Ultimately, society needs to adopt an entirely new approach to risks and hazards - one which is preventive, pre-emptive and pro-active, rather than reactive and based on damage limitation after the event. Pervasive technologies which are reasonably suspected of having the potential for substantial, irreversible or uncontainable effects should not be developed until it has been established beyond reasonable doubt that they will not produce such effects.
Governments should encourage maximization of the identification and quantification of hazards within any given risk assessment, thus reducing as far as possible the number of assumptions related to modelling. As regards the assumptions that remain, it is important that these are clearly stated and that the precautionary principle is rigorously applied. Aside from the difficulty of accurately and confidently quantifying risks, the question of their acceptability depends on a range of other issues which involve subjective value judgements. This implies a need for broad societal input into decision-making on risks, the role of value judgements and the treatment of scientific uncertainty in risk assessment.