Regulating under uncertainty: newsboy for exposure limits

Roger M Cooke, Margaret MacDonell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Setting action levels or limits for health protection is complicated by uncertainty in the dose-response relation across a range of hazards and exposures. To address this issue, we consider the classic newsboy problem. The principles used to manage uncertainty for that case are applied to two stylized exposure examples, one for high dose and high dose rate radiation and the other for ammonia. Both incorporate expert judgment on uncertainty quantification in the dose-response relationship. The mathematical technique of probabilistic inversion also plays a key role. We propose a coupled approach, whereby scientists quantify the dose-response uncertainty using techniques such as structured expert judgment with performance weights and probabilistic inversion, and stakeholders quantify associated loss rates.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)577-587
Number of pages11
JournalRisk Analysis
Issue number3
Early online date28 Jun 2008
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2008


  • regulating
  • uncertainty
  • newsboy
  • exposure limits
  • probabilistic inversion
  • action levels
  • dose-response uncertainty
  • expert judgment
  • health risk
  • performance weights


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