Federal contaminated site risk assessment in Canada: Guidance on human health preliminary quantitative risk assessment (PQRA), version 3.0

ISBN: 978-0-660-37620-2
Cat.: H129-114/2021E-PDF

This guidance document (Federal Contaminated Site Risk Assessment in Canada: Guidance on Human Health Preliminary Quantitative Risk Assessment (PQRA), Version 3.0) was prepared to provide guidance for custodians of federal contaminated sites.

One of the objectives of the Federal Contaminated Sites Action Plan (FCSAP) is to assess and reduce potential human health risks associated with federal contaminated sites. Human health risk assessments (HHRAs) are conducted to varying levels of detail and complexity, depending on the goals of the assessment, the extent of available data and the results or outcomes of the initial steps.

This document defines the applicability of a preliminary quantitative risk assessment (PQRA) and offers guidance for its completion in the specific context of the FCSAP. The purpose of a PQRA is to quantify, based on conservative assumptions, the degree of potential human health risks posed by the presence of contamination at a subject site.

Health Canada’s original PQRA guidance was designed to rank sites in a consistent manner with regard to potential human health risks. However, since the results of a PQRA are no longer used within the FCSAP to rank and prioritize federal sites for subsequent action and remedial funding, this guidance document has been updated in order to allow more flexibility at this assessment level (e.g., for exposure and risk estimates, the selection of exposure point concentrations or other input parameters could be more site-specific and based on available data). This document has also been updated to reflect more recent science. It provides an overview of standard methodology required to quantitatively and conservatively assess potential chemical exposures and associated human health risks at federal contaminated sites, including standardized receptor characteristics.

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The Federal Contaminated Sites Action Plan (FCSAP) is a program of the Government of Canada designed to achieve improved and continuing federal environmental stewardship as it relates to contaminated sites located on federally owned or operated properties, or non-federal lands for which the federal government has accepted full responsibility

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