TitleThe Spokane Tribe's multipathway subsistence exposure scenario and screening level RME.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2002
AuthorsHarper, B, Flett, B, Harris, S, Abeyta, C, Kirschner, F
JournalRisk analysis : an official publication of the Society for Risk Analysis
Date Published2002 Jun

Exposure scenarios are a critical part of risk assessment; however, representative scenarios are not generally available for tribal communities where a traditional subsistence lifestyle and diet are relevant and actively encouraged. This article presents portions of a multipathway exposure scenario developed by AESE, Inc. in conjunction with the Spokane Tribal Cultural Resources Program. The scenario serves as the basis for a screening-level reasonable maximum exposure (RME) developed for the Midnite Uranium Mine Superfund site. The process used in developing this scenario balances the need to characterize exposures without revealing proprietary information. The scenario and resulting RME reflect the subsistence use of original and existing natural resources by a hypothetical but representative family living on the reservation at or near the mine site. The representative family lives in a house in a sparsely populated conifer forest, tends a home garden, partakes in a high rate of subsistence activities (hunting, gathering, fishing), uses a sweat lodge daily, has a regular schedule of other cultural activities, and has members employed in outdoor monitoring of natural and cultural resources. The scenario includes two largely subsistence diets based on fish or game, both of which include native plants and home-grown produce. Data gaps and sources of uncertainty are identified. Additional information that risk assessors and agencies need to understand before doing any kind of risk assessment or public health assessment in tribal situations is presented.