Health risk assessment: Principles and applications

Course Dates

Latest course was on March 18-22, 2019.

Course Organiser

The course is organised by the Advanced International Training Programme in Health Risk Assessment at the Institute of Environmental Medicine (IMM), Karolinska Institutet, in collaboration with the Doctoral programme Environmental Factors and Health (EFH), course number 3125 and the Executive and Professional Education Office at Karolinska Institutet.

Course Credits

The course corresponds to 1.5 ECTS credits.

Learning outcomes

Upon completion of the course, the student should be able to:

  • describe the basic concepts and principles of health risk assessment of chemical substances
  • explain how different types of data from in vivo/animal, epidemiological and in vitro studies as well as exposure data are used in risk assessment
  • assess the relevance and reliability of data used in risk assessment
  • derive health based guidance values such as Acceptable Daily Intake (ADI) based on the data
  • reflect on the role of health risk assessment in regulatory decision making


-Health risk assessment of chemicals is the scientific method to assess the risk to humans of exposure to different types of chemical substances, such as pharmaceuticals, environmental pollutants, chemicals in cosmetics, clothing or other everyday products and pesticide residues, food additives and other substances in food.
-The course starts off with introducing the concepts in risk assessment, e.g. aims of risk assessment, role of risk assessment in risk analysis (risk assessment, risk management, risk communication), different steps in risk assessment (hazard identification, hazard characterisation, exposure assessment, risk characterisation).
It moves on to the different types of data from in vivo/animal, epidemiological and in vitro studies as well as exposure data that are used in risk assessment.
-Thereafter it is discussed how the relevance and reliability of the data is assessed, and how different kind of evidence is integrated (for example from animal and epidemiological studies).
-The principles on how to derive health-based guidance values such as Acceptable Daily Intake (ADI) and to derive Margins of Safety values based on the data are exercised.
-The course then moves on to provide examples of the role of risk assessment in regulatory decision making. Case studies of different types of risk assessments exemplify how research connects to risk assessment activities.
-The participants will also discuss how their own research can contribute to risk assessments.

Teaching and learning activities

Teaching and learning activities include lectures, exercises and group assignments.

Course programme

The course programme for the previous course.

Target group

The course is intended for PhD students and other participants from academia as well as participants from authorities and industry.

Course fee

There is no course fee for PhD students. The fee for participants from academia (except PhD students) is 300 euro, from authorities 600 euro and from industry 900 euro, including VAT. Course fee includes course material and coffee breaks. Payment of course fee can only be accepted from the participant’s employer, not from individuals. The participants must cover their costs for travel and accommodation.

Course application

Information on application procedure to the next course will be available later.

Course leaders

Anna Beronius, Johanna Zilliacus and Annika Hanberg, Institute of Environmental Medicine, Karolinska Institutet.


Johanna Zilliacus

Lecturer senior
C6 Institute of Environmental Medicine