Scottish Government contract to review methods of assessing the risk to human health associated with contaminated landDate: 29 February 2012
The IOM has been commissioned by the Scottish Government to undertake a review of methods to assess risk to human health from contaminated land. The overall aim of the project is to work up guidance that should be useful to Scottish Local Authorities in assessing whether sites represent a significant possibility of significant harm (SPOSH) to human health. It is envisaged that the output of the project will be a short document providing high level guidance on health risk assessment with reference to existing published guidance and methodologies that have been identified as being particularly relevant and helpful. The project will examine how policy guidelines have been developed for determining the acceptability of risks to human health and propose an approach for assessing what constitutes unacceptable risk in line with the criteria for SPOSH as defined in the legislation and the Scottish Statutory Guidance. Specific research objectives are to:
- Identify and assess national and international policies and regulations where the identification of contaminated land is based on assessing whether there are unacceptable risks to human health.
- Identify best practice and potential case studies.
- Describe the available options for a more workable definition of SPOSH based on existing guidance.
- Assess the authority and robustness of available guidance, carry out a preliminary appraisal of the applicability in Scotland of guidance developed elsewhere and consider whether it might be used in assessing risks in the SPOSH decision making process in Scotland.
We are currently in the processes of consulting with local authority contaminated land officers and others with an interest in contaminated land, both in Scotland and internationally. We wish to find out what guidance/methods are currently employed in determining the human health risks associated with contaminated land, what works well, what shortcomings have been identified and how the guidance can be improved. Ideally, we would also like some case studies where sites have been determined as contaminated (or not) on the basis of human health and copies of the documentation that describes how the available evidence was used to determine whether or not the SPOSH criterion was met. If you would like to be involved in this consultation, please contact Alison Searl at IOM for more information. The consultation period ends on March 30th