The ARA has worked with local, State, and Federal governments, private industries, and environmental organizations in their human health protection efforts.  ARA helps build bridges between groups to provide a variety of technical products, such as:



Submit a project to the Alliance for Risk Assessment

Submitting your project to the ARA is simple.

Step 1. Submit: Post your project to the Risk Information Exchange - give a brief description of your project, let the risk assessment community know what you are working on. Under "project type" select "Proposed ARA Project".

Step 2. Review:
The ARA Steering Committee will review your project for mission-relevance, and to consider if any other groups are working on something similar. The Steering Committee strives to deliver a decision within 2 weeks.

Step 3. Publicize:
If your project is endorsed by the ARA, it will be announced on the ARA website and newsletter.

Step 4. Execute: Depending on the nature of your project, there are a variety of options for execution - a non-profit partner may be selected to lead the effort, or a collaboration may be appropriate. Your project will be conducted in a timely manner by risk assessment experts. All ARA projects contribute a 7% fee to support the ARA mission.


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


Risk Information Exchange (RiskIE)

The Risk Information Exchange (RiskIE) is a database for tracking the progress of ongoing and recently completed human health risk assessment projects. By providing a centralized source of project information, RiskIE aims to help bridge communication gaps between government, industry, academic, and environmental stakeholders of the chemical risk assessment community.  RiskIE is used to identify and eliminate overlap in the health protection efforts of different organizations, and ultimately increase our collective output of chemical safety and risk information.

View RiskIE

If you have a project you would like to be included on RiskIE, please submit the project information to Valerie Ayers.

International Toxicity Estimates for Risk (ITER) database  

The ITER database (available at and is a free web-based database that provides the public with easy access to peer-reviewed risk data from a variety of national and international organizations worldwide, as well as independent groups.  ITER currently contains risk values and/or cancer classifications for more than 640 chemicals, and is part of the National Library of Medicine’s TOXNET compilation of databases.  Risk values developed under this alliance can be published on ITER after appropriate peer review and approval of the risk values.  This will ensure that new credible risk values developed by both State regulatory agencies and independent groups are widely available to interested parties.  In addition, peer reviewed risk values already developed by State agencies and independent groups can be uploaded to ITER to foster data sharing.  The inclusion of individual state’s risk assessment values on ITER would facilitate sharing of information between state and/or local agencies. 

Risk Issues Document Development for Contaminants 

Need for new risk assessment issues documents will be identified by reviewing existing assessments (including coordination through RiskIE), sharing internal priorities among funding partners and State groups, and evaluating requests made by interested parties.  For assessments not currently under development, Ohio based non-profit risk assessment consultancies and academic centers could author such documents for use by the broader risk assessment community.  Assessments will be conducted according to generally-accepted state-of-the science methods and newly developed risk assessment values will be posted on ITER after appropriate peer review and acceptance of proposed values. 

Peer Consultation 

A peer consultation process will be established beginning with an expertise survey of faculty at the major Universities with programs such as toxicology, and occupational and environmental health,  then specific experts will be invited to address data interpretation issues and provide scientific judgments during document development.  The first level of review would be a peer consultation, conducted by an expert panel comprised of a core group of highly experienced risk assessment scientists from various organizations, plus rotating membership from the document development community, including individuals from State, academia, public interest groups, and industry.  The core group will develop and apply a consistent approach to addressing issues encountered in the development of risk values.  The purpose of this group is to ensure that the documentation meets basic requirements, to apply a consistent approach to addressing generic issues, and to identify key chemical-specific issues that would be useful to highlight during the next step of peer review.  After the peer consultation, the document authors will revise the document, which can then be submitted for peer review. Examples of such peer consultations are available from non-profit risk assessment consultancies, such as TERA (

Peer Review

A peer review process will be established to address the higher-level, chemical-specific issues that are part of the assessment, and to reach a consensus position on the appropriate risk values or interpretations.  Unlike the peer-consultation panel, which focuses on generic issues in risk assessment, the peer review panel consists of ad hoc members convened to address issues specific to the chemical or issue at hand, and would include chemical-specific experts, and experts on issues key to the specific assessment.  Examples of such peer review are available from non-profit risk assessment consultancies.


A key requirement for the efficient development of risk values and issues guidance is a core of skilled risk assessment scientists.  Under this alliance, this need will be addressed through two approaches: formal training courses and “hands-on” experiences.  First, formal training courses would be conducted for state, provincial, tribal, funding partners, and other interested risk assessors on a variety of topics, ranging from the key steps and considerations in deriving risk values to improvements for site assessment capabilities, to state-of-the-art methods such as benchmark dose (BMD) modeling, chemical-specific adjustment factors (CSAF), and methods for physiologically-based pharmacokinetic (PBPK) modeling.  Examples of training opportunities are available from non-profit risk assessment consultancies and Academic centers.

Second, the peer review and peer consultation process provides an opportunity for ongoing “hands-on” training.  Lessons learned and general approaches developed in the peer consultation will be collated and made available for public use.  By including less experienced scientists in the rotating membership, it is envisioned that, over time, the functioning of the expert panels will provide a training mechanism for new risk issue document developers.  Feedback from the peer consultation and peer review steps will also help to identify needs for formal training. 

Dose Response Boot Camp

Risk Research & Tools

ARA helps coordinate the development of white papers to resolve technical risk assessment issues.  Technical issues may be identified through the peer consultation as recurring across multiple documents or be raised by State risk assessors or other stakeholders.  Resolution of some of these broader issues may require initial research or developmental work beyond what is done during a peer consultation.  For example, the following issues might fall into this category:  research on issues raised by risk assessment guidance in addressing issues  of practical application of such guidance (e.g., determination of mutagenic mode of action in context of children’s cancer risk), research on how to apply new risk methods (e.g., probabilistic techniques, quantitative structure activity relationships or kinetic modeling), or research on using new biology data (e.g., toxicogenomics findings or data on biomarkers) to update chemical risk assessments.  In such cases, nonprofit collaborators and academic centers in Ohio could develop a white papers or externally-funded research to address such issues.  The resulting products could be evaluated by the peer consultation group and/or a group of relevant experts and used to provide consistent guidance to the broader risk assessment community.

Risk Communication 

The tasks and work of the Alliance will be communicated through a variety of venues. In addition, technical work products relate to communicating toxicology and health risk information can be developed as part of the ARA.  Examples of training opportunities are available from the non-profit risk assessment consultancies and academic centers listed on the web site.