Our staff have a comprehensive understanding of the state and national legislative frameworks, including specific technical capability in waste management, chemical evaluation and health risk assessments.
Our human health risk services help clients to address some of their most challenging issues, including those related to regulatory compliance, new product registration, product stewardship, worker health and safety, site risk assessment and remediation and response to litigation. Our professionals are active members of The Australasian College of Toxicology & Risk Assessment.
Our health risk services include:
- Qualitative and quantitative human health risk assessments
- Deterministic and probabilistic human health risk assessments
- Health impact assessment
- Multi-pathway and multi-chemical exposure assessment
- Toxicological and chemical reviews
- Chemical regulation
- Product Safety and Stewardship
- Development of methods and guidance materials (e.g., national guidance)
- Development of site-specific remediation or screening criteria
- Vapour intrusion assessments
- Noise and vibration health risk assessments
- Communication of risk results to stakeholders
- Integrating health risk with ecological risk
- Toxicology and risk assessment training and education
- Specialist technical review and auditor support
Hazardous Waste and Chemicals Management
Hazardous waste and chemicals management, in terms of potential risk to human health and the environment, are primarily regulated by state government environment agencies for activities within their borders. Our health scientists have a comprehensive understanding of the state and national environmental legislative frameworks, including specific technical capability in waste management.
Hazardous waste management, across borders and related to Australian import and export requirements, involves the federal government, both in coordination and regulatory roles. The latter includes Australia’s responsibilities as a party to international treaties on the environment, such as the Basel and Stockholm Conventions and the Montreal Protocol.
Services to assist manufacturers and waste producers in the private sector and policy makers in the public sector include:
- Government policy impact assessment
- Data analysis / market studies / technical advice
- International environmental treaties advice
- Hazardous materials auditing
- Waste and resource management strategies
- Regulatory approvals and product safety
- Regulatory compliance and reporting (state and federal)
Select Project Experience
Toxicology and Risk Assessment Training
Ramboll developed and delivered a comprehensive toxicology and risk assessment training course to the Australian Government rel="noopener noreferrer" Department of Health, Office of Chemical Safety in 2015. The training course was held over a 10-day period for approximately 70 staff held at venues in Sydney and Canberra. The modules included topics such as acute toxicology, repeat dose toxicology testing, neurotoxicity, genotoxicity, carcinogenicity tests, toxicokinetics, toxicodynamics, immunotoxicity, developmental and reproductive toxicity and endocrine toxicity.
Ramboll prepared a risk assessment for a landfill that included ranking the potential hazard of more than 100 chemicals by more than 10 routes of exposure to determine the major toxicants. We considered both direct and indirect exposures of adults and children and conducted site-specific evaluations of the major routes of exposure (e.g., local rates of fish consumption).
Development of National Guidelines
Our staff provided assistance to the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) during revision of Australia’s soil health investigation levels (HIL) as part of the revision of the National Environment Protection Measure on contaminated land assessment. Our work included detailed toxicological review of numerous common soil contaminates, as well as assessment of bioavailability of a number of substances. This project also included preparation of the paper titled ‘NHMRC Health Investigation Levels review, Cancer Risk Assessment Methodology: rel="noopener noreferrer" Review and Recommendations’ available on the NEPM Tool box website.
Ramboll experts have extensive experience assessing human health exposures to metals released from smelters and mines, including conducting health risk assessments and lead and arsenic bio-monitoring studies. Projects include an assessment of current and future risks from sulfur dioxide, particulate, lead and other metals from an operating smelter. One study included collection of outdoor dust, indoor dust, soil and drinking water. Air modelling and a diet study were conducted by collaborators. Children’s exposures to lead were assessed using a probabilistic exposure model that was modified to predict recently collected blood lead data. The adult blood lead model was also modified to better reflect site conditions. The findings were presented at public meetings attended by thousands of residents and workers. An update conducted after three years confirmed model predictions.
Litigation Support and Vapour Intrusion
Ramboll's many experts on the assessment of potential vapour intrusion from groundwater and soil have conducted site investigations and performed human health risk assessments to guide remedial activities at a variety of sites. Our staff have acted as testifying experts for litigation related to the potential impacts of vapour intrusion from volatile chemicals in numerous cases. We have critically assessed building vapour intrusion models and related guidance, conducted in-depth reviews of risk assessments, performed inhalation pathway assessments, assessed potential employee and resident exposures, and researched toxicity assessments of chlorinated volatile organic chemicals and benzene.