A system dynamics model for the screening-level long-term assessment of human health risks at contaminated sites
Publication: Research - peer-review › Journal article – Annual report year: 2012
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For the design of sustainable and cost-effective management strategies for contaminated sites, decision makers need appropriate tools, i.e. environmental decision support systems to assist them in the planning, assessment, selection and optimisation of possible alternatives. We propose a novel system dynamics model, CARO-PLUS (Cost-efficiency Analysis of Remediation Options), which provides estimates of current and future risks originating from soil and groundwater contamination. Utilising a source-pathway-receptor concept, the model particularly addresses the presence of multi-compound non-aqueous phase liquids in porous media, which have been identified as major sources of groundwater contamination at many of these sites. Simplified approaches for the description of contaminant release and transport, as well as of exposure pathways for human health risk assessment, allow for a fast and effective screening model, which is particularly qualified to support early decisions within a tiered management approach at contaminated sites. CARO-PLUS is applied to assess the long-term risks originating from a kerosene contamination at a former military airfield in Germany. Monte Carlo simulations are performed to account for the large uncertainty in model parameters at early decision levels. The results of the application show that the implementation of monitored natural attenuation might be a feasible management strategy for the site, and provide guidance for additional, more detailed investigations.
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