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An Overview of the Risk Assessment Information System

Publication Type
ORNL Report
Publication Date

This technical memorandum (TM) presents an overview of the Risk Assessment Information System (RAIS), a collection of web-based tools designed to assist with the environmental risk assessment process. The objective of the RAIS is to be a single resource for the risk assessment process, providing guidance when planning and performing the steps: data assessment, exposure assessment, toxicity assessment, and risk characterization.
The RAIS evolved as a result of the initial remediation efforts at various United States (U.S.) Department of Energy (DOE) facilities. The goal was to increase the efficiency and transparency of the human health and ecological assessments being performed by DOE’s Office of Environmental Management, Oak Ridge Operations (ORO) office by providing a repository for toxicity information, physicochemical data, risk assessment procedures, standardized risk calculation methods, and web-based tools. Since the initial launch in 1996, the RAIS has expanded its user base outside of the federal government and now has users from over 100 countries, universities, states, and local governments. What sets the RAIS apart from other risk assessment sites are the publicly available, searchable toxicity and physicochemical databases and the wide range of chemical and radionuclide risk calculation tools.
The purpose of this TM is to present the RAIS tools in order of the website menus and explain how they fit in the risk assessment process. In addition, this TM describes differences between the chemical and radionuclide tools of the RAIS. Screening level equations, chronic daily intake equations, and default exposure factors used in the chemical and radionuclide calculators are included in the appendices of this TM. This TM is not intended to be a detailed guide to risk assessment or the RAIS tools. The tools on the RAIS can be used to comply with procedures from multiple agencies, including but not limited to DOE, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), U.S. Department of Defense (DoD), and many state governments. Further information on the RAIS tools can be found in the user guides and tutorials available on the webpage.