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Risks and Benefits

People face many risks around them and their environment in their daily lives; for example, the risk of being injured in a car accident while driving and the risk of environmental pollution after a crash of a chlorine-carrying freight train. People accept these hazards to some extent because they also provide benefits; driving to work by car is faster and more convenient than walking, and the chemical industry needs chlorine to produce plastic consumer goods, among other things.

Risk is defined here as the probability of certain negative consequences from a hazard. The benefits of a hazard are described as its positive consequences. Risk is narrowly defined here; a risk assessment generally also includes consideration of other factors, such as the uncertainty of the consequences, ...

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