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Comparison of International Risk-Based Screening Levels

Abstract
In response to a growing public concern over the potential environmental and human health-related effects associated with impacted sites, many countries have launched national frameworks for remediation of high priority sites. Some countries have developed Risk-Based Screening Levels (RBSLs) as part of a national framework. RBSLs are numerical media concentrations used to inform decision making about land contamination. Many countries have yet to develop their own RBSLs. Those countries often require that the regulated community to use RBSLs developed for other countries and, in some cases, to select and defend the most appropriate RBSLs for use. Understanding the underlying assumptions used in developing internationally available RBSLs and their intended purpose is essential to making informed decisions regarding their use to manage contamination and mitigate risk. This paper evaluates some of the underlying assumptions used by a representative group of countries in developing RBSLs. This analysis was, by necessity, done at the level of primary assumptions, methods and technical elements. Despite this fact, some general conclusions regarding use of internationally available RBSLs have been drawn in the paper.
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