Human Health and Environmental Risk Assessment

The Risk Assessment program at RTI specializes in the development and application of mathematical models to predict potential risks to public health and the environment associated with exposure to chemical and microbial agents. The models range from simple screening applications used in ranking and/or prioritizing hazards and health risks, to complex representations of environmental behavior, interactions with human and ecological receptors that result in exposure and, ultimately, risk.

We develop methods, models, and supporting data systems to help our clients quantify potential risks to individuals, populations, and sensitive subpopulations (e.g., children) exposed to chemical or microbial agents through direct contact with contaminated media (e.g., water, air) and through the food supply system (e.g., consumption of contaminated produce). Because risk assessment is inherently a multidisciplinary science, our project teams leverage expertise at RTI in mathematical modeling, public health science, engineering, toxicology, food science, microbiology, statistics, hydrogeology, geology, environmental science, decision analysis, geographic information systems, and information technology.

Approaches range from simple, screening-level models and risk ranking that support risk management decision making. We engage our clients through the design and implementation of each risk assessment, developing applications and analyses that meet or exceed expectations, and ensuring that our research fully supports their risk management processes.

RTI works with a variety of federal clients, including the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the U. S. Food and Drug Administration, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the U.S. Army, and other agencies responsible for the protection of public health. In addition, the Risk Assessment program provides services to international clients such as the Environment Agency in Abu Dhabi, as well as selected private clients.

Focus Areas

  • Public health
  • Environmental health
  • Food safety
  • Nanotechnology
  • Shale gas development
  • Industrial hazards


  • Mathematical modeling
  • Data analysis
  • Chemical risk assessment
  • Microbial risk assessment
  • Software development
  • Data management systems
  • Decision analysis


  • Risk Analysis for Exclusions of Solvent-Contaminated Industrial Wipes (EPA news release)
  • Energy Sector – Health, Environmental & Economic Assessment Tool (E-HEAT)
  • Quantitative Predictive Risk Assessment Model (QPRAM)
  • Pathogen Produce Pair Attribution Risk Ranking Tool (P3ARRT)
  • Coal Combustion Residuals (CCR) Risk Assessment
  • Risk Characterization and Hazard Evaluation System (RiCHES)
  • Open TerraWorks (OTW)
  • Agricultural land application of biosolids
  • Tool for Engineered Nanomaterial Application Pair Risk Ranking (TEARR)