Kathleen Thiessen

Kathleen Thiessen, Risk Analysis

Kathleen M. Thiessen, PhD, is Director, and Senior Scientist, at Oak Ridge Center for Risk Analysis, Oak Ridge, Tennessee.

Dr. Thiessen coordinates the involvement of the Oak Ridge Center for Risk Analysis in international programs for validation of environmental assessment models. Currently, she  leads the Urban Remediation Working Group of the International Atomic Energy Agency’s EMRAS (Environmental Modeling for Radiation Safety) program. Prior to that, she led a working group on dose reconstruction in the IAEA’s BIOMASS (Biosphere Modelling and Assessment Methods) program and was a member of the coordinating committee of BIOMASS.

Dr. Thiessen is experienced in the evaluation of exposures, doses, and risks to human health from trace levels of contaminants in the environment and in the use of uncertainty analysis for environmental and health risk assessment. She has been involved in the development of a risk-based screening approach to prioritize further investigation of contaminants and exposure situations in various assessment contexts. Dr. Thiessen authored several USEPA reports and draft reports on the health effects of specific environmental contaminants.

Dr. Thiessen has also co-authored several papers on contaminant interception and retention by vegetation and assisted with a review paper on this topic prepared for the IAEA. She led in the application of screening techniques for multiple-contaminant and exposure-pathway screening for the reconstruction of human exposures, doses, and health risks associated with historic releases of chemicals and radionuclides from government facilities near Oak Ridge (Tennessee), and she was involved in the estimation of site-specific bioconcentration factors for radionuclides in the Clinch River.

Dr. Thiessen served on the subcommittee of the National Research Council’s Committee on Toxicology that authored “Fluoride in Drinking Water: A Scientific Review of EPA’s Standards” (NRC 2006).

Dr. Thiessen served as a consultant to the National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurements for the preparation of “A Guide for Uncertainty Analysis in Dose and Risk Assessments Related to Environmental Contamination” (NCRP Commentary No. 14, 1996).

She has also served as a reviewer for several Nuclear Regulatory Commission reports or drafts, including NRC’s draft report “Radiological Assessments for Clearance of Equipment and Materials from Nuclear Facilities” (NUREG-140, 1999).

Dr. Thiessen is co-author, with Lee Ko,  of “A critique of recent economic evaluations of community water fluoridation.” International Journal of Occupational and Environmental Health  (2014).

Contact Dr. Thiessen at: kmt@orrisk.com

Oak Ridge Center for Risk Analysis, founded in 1992 as SENES Oak Ridge, Inc., is committed to attaining the highest level of technical excellence and transparency in all its work. Oak Ridge specializes in human health and ecological risk estimation, risk assessment, and risk communication.

1. About Dr. Thiessen: Oak Ridge Center for Risk Analysis
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