A research team led by Annetta Watson of the ORNL Environmental Sciences Division, Toxicology and Hazard Assessment Team, has been awarded “Risk Management Paper of Year 2011” for their technical paper documenting recent work performed for the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

The DHS Chemical Restoration Operational Technology Demonstration Project Remediation Guidance Team, comprised of researchers from ORNL, Lawrence Livermore National Lab (LLNL) and the US Army Public Health Command was charged with developing health-based decision criteria to guide remediation and restoration activities in a transportation hub such as an international airport that had been (hypothetically) attacked by chemical terrorists. The Team documented their analyses in two manuscripts published by the peer-reviewed professional journal Human and Ecological Risk Assessment in the January-February 2011 issue. Dr. Watson received recent journal notification that the HERA paper containing key decision criteria has been named “Risk Management Paper of Year 2011” by the journal.

This paper, co-authored by Fred Dolislager (UT Knoxville); Linda Hall, Ellen Raber and Adam Love (LLNL); and Veronique Hauschild (US Army Public Health Command) contains exposure guidelines for multi-pathway exposures to numerous chemical warfare agents, toxic industrial compounds and key degradation products for the chemical warfare agents. Surface exposure guidelines developed in collaboration with Fred Dolislager are unique. The ORNL Site Manager for the DHS Chemical Restoration Operational Technology Demonstration Project was Cyril Thompson of the Chemical Sciences Division. Robert Bock of the Environmental Sciences Division also contributed to this effort.

The winning citation follows:

HERA Risk Management Paper of Year 2011

Annetta Watson, Fredrick Dolislager, Linda Hall, Ellen Raber, Veronique D. Hauschild, and Adam H. Love. “Developing Health-Based Pre-planning Clearance Goals for Airport Remediation Following a Chemical Terrorist Attack: Decision Criteria for Multipathway Exposure Routes.” HERA 17(1):57-121 (HERA Editorial Board member states that “This paper gives salient management actions should airports experience terrorists’ release of toxic substances into airport environments This study was sponsored by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, for which the work documented in the paper was performed.”).

According to the HERA announcement, selection of papers of the year begins with the HERA Editorial Board; members of this group of distinguished scientists and risk assessment professionals nominated papers for consideration, which were compiled into a catalog of 26 nominated papers. From this catalog, the HERA senior editors selected the HERA “Papers of Year 2011” within their specialty areas. Selection criteria for all five categories were (a) degree of contribution to the field of risk assessment, and (b) overall quality of writing.