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Table 2 Illustrations of characterizations of uncertainties in environmental burden of disease assessments

From: Dealing with uncertainties in environmental burden of disease assessment

Source of uncertainty Nature
Epistemic/Ontic (Process Variability/Normative Uncertainty)
Range
Statistical/Scenario
Recognized ignorance Methodological unreliability Value diversity among analysts
CONTEXTUAL UNCERTAINTY
1 Multiple ways of defining the 'total environment' E/Nor Sc - + ++
2 Only including diseases that cause at least 1% of the global burden of disease Nor Sc -- -- +
MODEL STRUCTURE UNCERTAINTY
3 Specific form of the exposure-response relationship is unknown E Sc + + +
4 Evidence for causality (environmental factor leading to health effect) is weak and contradicting E Sc ++ ++ +
5 Incomplete understanding of the joint effect of smoking and radon in relation to lung cancer E Sc + + +
6 Accounting for susceptible groups if the available relative risk is not representative for this group Pro/E St + + +
PARAMETER UNCERTAINTY
7 Determining a relative risk (RR) for long-term exposure to PM10 E St + + -
8 Applying an American RR for PM10 to the Netherlands E Sc ++ + +
9 Use of severity weights Nor/E Sc + + ++
INPUT DATA UNCERTAINTY
10 Extrapolating non-assessment-specific exposure measurements E Sc ++ + +
11 Measuring population exposure E St + + -