Coupling multi-criteria decision analysis, life-cycle assessment, and risk assessment for emerging threats

Igor Linkov, Thomas Seager

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

98 Scopus citations

Abstract

Emerging environmental threats such as novel chemical compounds, biological agents, and nanomaterials present serious challenges to traditional models of risk analysis and regulatory risk management processes. Even a massive expansion of risk and life-cycle assessment research efforts is unlikely to keep pace with rapid technological change resulting in new and modified materials with changing properties. Therefore, it is essential to have a framework for interpreting available information in the context of high uncertainty and a strategy for prioritizing research efforts to reduce those uncertainties that are most critical. We discuss how integrating the three analytic approaches of risk assessment, life-cycle assessment, and multicriteria decision analysis into a framework permits understanding uncertainty and prioritizes needs for scientific research. Our approach is illustrated with two separate cases: nanomaterials and contaminated sediment remediation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5068-5074
Number of pages7
JournalEnvironmental Science and Technology
Volume45
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 15 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Environmental Chemistry

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