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Probabilistic-fuzzy health risk modeling

Health risk analysis of multi-pathway exposure to contaminated water involves the use of mechanistic models that include many uncertain and highly variable parameters. Currently, the uncertainties in these models are treated using statistical approaches. However, not all uncertainties in data or model parameters are due to randomness. Other sources of imprecision that may lead to uncertainty include scarce or incomplete data, measurement error, data obtained from expert judgment, or subjective interpretation of available information. These kinds of uncertainties and also the non-random uncertainty cannot be treated solely by statistical methods. In this paper we propose the use of fuzzy set theory together with probability theory to incorporate uncertainties into the health risk analysis. We identify this approach as probabilistic-fuzzy risk assessment (PFRA).