SYMPOSIA PAPER Published: 01 January 1996

PRÉCIS — A Probabilistic Risk Assessment System


A series of computer tools has been developed to conduct the exposure assessment and risk characterization phases of human health risk assessments within a probabilistic framework. The tools are collectively referred to as the Probabilistic Risk Evaluation and Characterization Investigation System (PRÉCIS). With this system, a risk assessor can calculate the doses and risks associated with multiple environmental and exposure pathways, for both chemicals and radioactive contaminants. Exposure assessment models in the system account for transport of contaminants to receptor points from a source zone originating in unsaturated soils above the water table. In addition to performing calculations of dose and risk based on initial concentrations, PRÉCIS can also be used in an inverse manner to compute soil concentrations in the source area that must not be exceeded if prescribed limits on dose or risk are to be met. Such soil contaminant levels, referred to as soil guidelines, are computed for both single contaminants and chemical mixtures and can be used as action levels or cleanup levels. Probabilistic estimates of risk, dose and soil guidelines are derived using Monte Carlo techniques.

Author Information

Peterson, DM
INTERA Inc., Albuquerque, New Mexico
Knowlton, RG
Sandia National Laboratories, Albuquerque, New Mexico
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Developed by Committee: E47
Pages: 392–425
DOI: 10.1520/STP11722S
ISBN-EB: 978-0-8031-5345-5
ISBN-13: 978-0-8031-2031-0