Some Public Policy Problems with the Science of Carcinogen Risk Assessment

Abstract
Government agencies and private risk assessors use (quasi) scientific risk assessment procedures to try to estimate or predict risk to human health or the environment that might result from exposure to toxic substances in order to take steps to prevent such risks from arising or to eliminate the risks if they already exist. In this paper I discuss several ways in which the "science" of carcinogen risk assessment differs from ordinary scientific enterprises. I also consider several ways in which normative policy considerations infect this regulatory science. Scientists, philosophers of science, moral philosophers and policy makers should address these issues forthrightly in order to serve better the aims of science and regulation.
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