A critical assessment of the ecological risk assessment process: A review of misapplied concepts

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Abstract

A frank assessment of present-day ecological risk assessments (ERA) for managed contaminated sites reveals that fundamental concepts regarding the receptors that are considered and the chemical exposures they experience are commonly misapplied. As a consequence, environmental managers are not being supplied with the information needed for proper decision making. The stepwise review of ecological risk issues provided here suggests that the ERA process needs to be severely revamped. Further, what is likely hindering the development of a refined ecological assessment process that is better suited to environmental problem solving and land management is the unwillingness of stakeholders to agree that much of the current ERA practice and convention is flawed.

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