The cleanup of hazardous waste sites in the United States is an environmental issue of great concern. The baseline risk assessment, as developed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, is conducted to assist in the development of remedial alternatives for cleanup. The first step in this assessment involves the selection of chemicals of concern, those chemicals posing the greatest potential public health risk at the site. This paper presents an approach to the selection process that incorporates a computerized program to perform the routine calculations for a concentration-toxicity screening procedure with additional selection parameters, including frequency of occurrence, comparison to background levels, site-relatedness, and environmental persistence and mobility. This approach to the selection of chemicals of concern streamlines the baseline risk assessment to address only those chemicals posing the greatest risk.
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