The Alliance for Risk Assessment (ARA) is a collaboration of organizations that fosters the development of technical chemical risk assessment products and services, through a team effort of specialists and organizations dedicated to protecting public health by improving the process and efficiency of risk assessment, and to increasing the capacity for developing risk values to meet growing demand. The ARA will coordinate with Federal and State Agencies whenever possible, to ensure the best use of available resources, and to avoid duplication of effort.
To this end, the ARA provides a framework for the advancement of risk assessment by:
– implementing a multi-stakeholder decision-making process to deliver the best use of science with openness and transparency
– enabling groups with limited resources access to toxicological and risk assessment expertise
– facilitating the harmonization of risk assessment procedures across organizational lines
– increasing the capacity for developing risk information by pooling technical and financial resources to ensure their most effective applications, by minimizing duplication of effort
– promoting the use of risk assessment by fostering the exchange and dissemination of information.
The goal of ARA is to develop risk assessments where there is a need — for example where up-to-date assessments by major governmental agencies on the topic of interest do not exist or are not near finalization. This criterion is critical in selection of suitable projects.
Benefits of the Alliance Model
Projects are evaluated by the ARA Steering Committee, composed of a broad range of experts from various backgrounds and perspectives. The involvement of diverse interests:
- – enhances credibility
- – ensures careful consideration of all key data and ideas
- – provides thoughtful management of potential biases
- – indicates the importance of a project to the broader risk assessment community
Sharing of Resources
The collaborative nature of the ARA centers on the pooling of resources. ARA participants benefit from access to:
- – Technical resources– ARA provides access to experienced scientists and experts not typically found within a single organization.
- – Financial Resources– For organizations with limited funding, ARA offers help covering the costs of a project, and will assist in identifying potential co-sponsors.
- – Information– ARA participants keep each other informed of their activity, creating opportunities for collaboration.
The ARA encourages the free-flow of information across organizations. Projects that utilize the ARA process will be broadcast within the Risk assessment community via:
- – RiskIE- The Risk Information Exchange is a free internet database that tracks in-progress risk and toxicity assessments
- – ITER- The International Toxicity Estimates of Risk database lists chronic human health risk values
- – ARA Newsletter/Website– ARA maintains an up-to-date website with descriptions of ongoing projects. Newsletter updates are sent regularly to the risk assessment community