Advancing Alternative Analysis: Integration of Decision Science

Timothy F Malloy, Virginia M Zaunbrecher, Christina Batteate, Ann Blake, William F Carroll, Charles J Corbett, Steffen Foss Hansen, Robert Lempert, Igor Linkov, Roger McFadden, Kelly D Moran, Elsa Olivetti, Nancy Ostrom, Michelle Romero, Julie Schoenung, Thomas Seager, Peter Sinsheimer, Kristina Thayer

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Abstract

Decision analysis-a systematic approach to solving complex problems-offers tools and frameworks to support decision making that are increasingly being applied to environmental challenges. Alternatives analysis is a method used in regulation and product design to identify, compare, and evaluate the safety and viability of potential substitutes for hazardous chemicals. Assess whether decision science may assist the alternatives analysis decision maker in comparing alternatives across a range of metrics. A workshop was convened that included representatives from government, academia, business, and civil society and included experts in toxicology, decision science, alternatives assessment, engineering, and law and policy. Participants were divided into two groups and prompted with targeted questions. Throughout the workshop, the groups periodically came together in plenary sessions to reflect on other groups' findings. We conclude the further incorporation of decision science into alternatives analysis would advance the ability of companies and regulators to select alternatives to harmful ingredients, and would also advance the science of decision analysis. We advance four recommendations: (1) engaging the systematic development and evaluation of decision approaches and tools; (2) using case studies to advance the integration of decision analysis into alternatives analysis; (3) supporting transdisciplinary research; and (4) supporting education and outreach efforts.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEnvironmental Health Perspectives
Number of pages53
ISSN0091-6765
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2016

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