Updates and Approaches to Toxicological Risk Issues for the PAHs and Risk Communication: Perception and Practice
Dr. Christopher M. Teaf, Institute of Science & Public Affairs, Florida State University
Co-Authors: Douglas J. Covert and Michele M. Garber, MPH, Hazardous Substance & Waste Management Research, Inc.
The polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) typically dominate health risk concerns and environmental considerations at historical manufactured gas plant (MGP) sites. That chemical group, and specific representatives particularly, are the subject of ongoing regulatory review at the federal level and within some state agencies. Location and subsequent redevelopment at former MGP properties influence site-specific health risk assessment, and the results of those activities may require presentation to various groups, including regulatory agencies, local homeowner groups, and litigation-related groups. One rarely gets a second chance to “get it right” when presenting to, or interacting with, any of these groups. Accurate, understandable, and often personalized information all are essential to managing what may be contentious or hostile interactions. While toxicological and health evaluation often are straightforward, they rarely are sufficient alone. Rather, careful listening and response to sometimes highly personal questions, along with agreeing to share supplemental information, can be of great value, regardless of the audience. Examples of potential strategies, approaches and past cases will be used to illustrate ways to navigate what can be highly charged situations.
Dr. Teaf is the Director Emeritus of the Center for Biomedical and Toxicological Research at Florida State University (FSU), and currently is a Research Scholar at the FSU Institute of Science & Public Affairs. Dr. Teaf's research and applied activities involve the study of toxicological properties of environmental and occupational chemicals, particularly with regard to the potential human health risks. He has authored many technical articles, monographs and book chapters on aspects of human health and environmental impacts. He has testified in state and federal courts in many states, as well as administrative proceedings.