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Keywords:

  • Effects assessment;
  • exposure assessment;
  • health risk;
  • Monte Carlo;
  • probalistic risk assessment;
  • uncertainty;
  • variability

Whether and to what extent contaminated sites harm ecologic and human health are topics of considerable interest, but also considerable uncertainty. Several federal and state agencies have approved the use of some or many aspects of probabilistic risk assessment (PRA), but its site-specific application has often been limited to high-profile sites and large projects. Nonetheless, times are changing: newly developed software tools, and recent federal and state guidance documents formalizing PRA procedures, now make PRA a readily available method of analysis for even small-scale projects. This article presents and discusses a broad review of PRA literature published since 2000.3