Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS


ECA (European Collaborative Action on, "Urban Air, Indoor Environment and Human Exposure"), 2000 Risk Assessment In Relation To Indoor Air Quality, Report No 22. EUR 19529 EN. Luxembourg: Office for Official Publications of the European Communities.

People will never live in a risk free environment. Still we must aim at minimising all risks and most importantly risks that are imposed on without their consent or even knowledge. A building is built for and perceived as shelter -against weather and unwanted intruders, for thermal comfort, privacy and property. Health threatening risks that the dwellers of a building cannot sense or expect contradict directly the whole concept of a building.

Risk assessment is a scientific multidisciplinary paradigm to identify, quantify, describe and compare risks. Risk management is an administrative paradigm to develop and compare risks reduction priorities and alternatives, to organise and manage risk-controlling practices and to evaluate the achievements. Risk assessment and management have existed always. The general formal paradigms that are being applied in today's societies, however, are quite recent, and still under continuous development.

This main body of this report presents the state of the art of modern risk assessment and risk management paradigms, highlighting also the historical development that has lead to the present practices, and applies them specifically into building environments.

The examples section in the end of this report applies the formal risk assessment protocol of the EC (and similarly USEPA), to a variety of building related health risk. These examples are not intended as recommendations, instead they are selected to highlight the level of success (or failure) in applying one strict protocol to multiple extremely different problems.

Additional information

Authors: JRC EI Air Quality Unit,
Bibliographic Reference: EUR 19529 EN (2000), 140pp, Euro: Free of charge
Availability: Available from European Commission, DG XII Communication Unit rue de la Loi/Wetstraat 200, B-1049 Bruxelles (BE) Tel: +32-2-2950001 Fax:+32-2-2958220 email:
ISBN: ISBN 92-828-9284-0
Record Number: 200012882 / Last updated on: 2000-11-29
Original language: en
Available languages: en