Repository logo

Application of Probabilistic Risk Assessment in Establishing Perchlorate and Goitrogen Risk Mitigation Strategies.

Change log


Crawford-Brown, Douglas 


This paper applies probabilistic risk assessment in quantifying risks from cumulative and aggregate risk pathways for selected goitrogens in water and food. Results show that the percentages of individuals with a Hazard Index (HI) value above 1 ranges between 30% and 50% both with and without serum half-life correction when a traditional regulatory assessment approach based on establishment of a No Observed Effects Level (NOEL) is used. When an exposure-response curve is instead used and a threshold of 50% inhibition is assumed, 1.1% or less of the population exceeds an HI value of 1 with no serum half-life correction, rising to as high as 11% when serum half-life correction is applied. If 0% to 5% threshold for iodide uptake inhibition is assumed for production of adverse effects, the percentage of the population with an HI above 1 is 46.2% or less with no serum half-life correction, and 47.2% or less when serum half-life correction is applied. The probabilistic analysis shows that while there are exposed groups for whom perchlorate exposures are the primary cause of individuals having HI values above 1, these constitute significantly less than 1% of the population. Instead, the potential risk from exposure to goitrogens is dominated by nitrates without serum half-life correction and thiocyanates with serum half-life correction, suggesting public health protection is better accomplished by a focus on these and other goitrogens expect in highly limited cases where waterborne perchlorate is at unusually high concentrations.



aggregate risk, cumulative risk, goitrogens, perchlorate, probabilistic risk assessment, regulatory rationality, Adolescent, Adult, Antithyroid Agents, Child, Child, Preschool, Female, Goiter, Humans, Infant, Male, Monte Carlo Method, No-Observed-Adverse-Effect Level, Perchlorates, Pregnancy, Probability, Risk Assessment, Threshold Limit Values, Water Pollutants, Chemical, Water Supply, Young Adult

Journal Title

Int J Environ Res Public Health

Conference Name

Journal ISSN


Volume Title



The author acknowledges funding contributions from the Cambridge Centre for Climate Change Mitigation Research and the American Water Works Association Research Foundation.