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Title: Bayesian Networks as a screening tool for exposure assessment
Contributor(s): Tighe, Matthew  (author); Pollino, Carmel A (author); Wilson, Susan C  (author)orcid 
Publication Date: 2013
DOI: 10.1016/j.jenvman.2013.03.018
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Abstract: A tiered approach to contamination exposure assessment is currently adopted in many countries. Increasing the site-specific information in exposure assessments is generally recommended when guideline values for contaminants in soil are exceeded. This work details a Bayesian Network (BN) approach to developing a site-specific environmental exposure assessment that focuses on the simple mapping and assessment of assumptions and the effect of new data on assessment outcomes. The BN approach was applied to a floodplain system in New South Wales, Australia, where site-specific information about elevated antimony (Sb) concentrations and distribution in soils was available. Guidelines for exposure assessment in Australia are used as a template for this site, although the approach is generic. The BN-based assessment used an iterative approach starting with limited soil Sb data (41 samples ranging from 0 to 18 mg kg⁻¹ Sb) and extending the model with more detailed Sb data (145 samples ranging from 0 to 40 mg kg⁻¹ Sb). The analyses identified dominant exposure pathways and assessed the sensitivity of these pathways to changes in assumptions and the level of site-specific information available. In particular, there was a 10.8% probability of exceeding the tolerable daily intake of Sb in the case study when the limited soil Sb data was used, which increased to 26.2% with the more detailed sampling regime. There was also a 47% decrease in the probability of overexposure to Sb when the dermal bioavailability of arsenic (a similar metalloid) was used as a surrogate measure instead of a default bioavailability of 100%. We conclude that the BN approach to soil exposure assessment has merit both in the context of Australian and international soil exposure assessments.
Publication Type: Journal Article
Source of Publication: Journal of Environmental Management, v.123, p. 68-76
Publisher: Academic Press
Place of Publication: United Kingdom
ISSN: 1095-8630
Field of Research (FOR): 050204 Environmental Impact Assessment
050304 Soil Chemistry (excl Carbon Sequestration Science)
050206 Environmental Monitoring
Socio-Economic Objective (SEO): 960504 Ecosystem Assessment and Management of Farmland, Arable Cropland and Permanent Cropland Environments
961401 Coastal and Estuarine Soils
Peer Reviewed: Yes
HERDC Category Description: C1 Refereed Article in a Scholarly Journal
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