Table 1—

Major criteria in judging the public health relevance of environmental exposure

Domain of judgementCriterion
ExposureProbability of exposure
Intensity of exposure
Frequency of exposure
Duration of exposure
Life period of exposure
Number of people exposed
Degree of choice (voluntary exposure?)
Benefit of source that causes the exposure
Health effectType of health effect
Degree and intensity of effect
Size of effect (e.g. relative risk)
Specificity of effect (other causes?)
Acute versus chronic effect
Frequency of health outcome among nonexposed
Reversibility of effect
Acceptance of effect
Costs of effects
Abatement/preventionNumber of susceptible among exposed
Feasibility of abatement strategies
Costs of abatement
Benefits of abatement
Specificity of the abatement strategy
Reversibility of health problems
Time of benefit of abatement
Acceptance of abatement strategy
Level of abatement (e.g. individual behaviour versus structural)