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(2010 - 2017)
(2010 - 2017)
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Article 2 Reads 3 Citations Improving substance information in USEtox® , part 1: Discussion on data and approaches for estimating freshwater ecotoxi... Published: 17 August 2017
Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, doi: 10.1002/etc.3889
The scientific consensus model USEtox® is recommended by the European Commission as the reference model to characterize life cycle chemical emissions in terms of their potential human toxicity and freshwater aquatic ecotoxicity impacts in the context of the International Reference Life Cycle Data System Handbook and the Environmental Footprint pilot phase looking at products (PEF) and organizations (OEF). Consequently, this model has been systematically used within the PEF/OEF pilot phase by 25 European Union industry sectors, which manufacture a wide variety of consumer products. This testing phase has raised some questions regarding the derivation of and the data used for the chemical-specific freshwater ecotoxicity effect factor in USEtox. For calculating the potential freshwater aquatic ecotoxicity impacts, USEtox bases the effect factor on the chronic hazard concentration (HC50) value for a chemical calculated as the arithmetic mean of all logarithmized geometric means of species-specific chronic median lethal (or effect) concentrations (L[E]C50). We investigated the dependency of the USEtox effect factor on the selection of ecotoxicological data source and toxicological endpoints, and we found that both influence the ecotoxicity ranking of chemicals and may hence influence the conclusions of a PEF/OEF study. We furthermore compared the average measure (HC50) with other types of ecotoxicity effect indicators, such as the lowest species EC50 or no-observable-effect concentration, frequently used in regulatory risk assessment, and demonstrated how they may also influence the ecotoxicity ranking of chemicals. We acknowledge that these indicators represent different aspects of a chemical's ecotoxicity potential and discuss their pros and cons for a comparative chemical assessment as performed in life cycle assessment and in particular within the PEF/OEF context. Environ Toxicol Chem 2017;36:3450–3462. © 2017 The Authors. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. on behalf of SETAC.
Article 0 Reads 3 Citations Improving substance information in USEtox® , part 2: Data for estimating fate and ecosystem exposure factors Published: 17 August 2017
Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, doi: 10.1002/etc.3903
The scientific consensus model USEtox® has been developed since 2003 under the auspices of the United Nations Environment Programme–Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry Life Cycle Initiative as a harmonized approach for characterizing human and freshwater toxicity in life cycle assessment and other comparative assessment frameworks. Using physicochemical substance properties, USEtox quantifies potential human toxicity and freshwater ecotoxicity impacts by combining environmental fate, exposure, and toxicity effects information, considering multimedia fate and multipathway exposure processes. The main source to obtain substance properties for USEtox 1.01 and 2.0 is the Estimation Program Interface (EPI Suite™) from the US Environmental Protection Agency. However, since the development of the original USEtox substance databases, new chemical regulations have been enforced in Europe, such as the Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) and the Plant Protection Products regulations. These regulations require that a chemical risk assessment for humans and the environment is performed before a chemical is placed on the European market. Consequently, additional physicochemical property data and new toxicological endpoints are now available for thousands of chemical substances. The aim of the present study was to explore the extent to which the new available data can be used as input for USEtox—especially for application in environmental footprint studies—and to discuss how this would influence the quantification of fate and exposure factors. Initial results show that the choice of data source and the parameters selected can greatly influence fate and exposure factors, leading to potentially different rankings and relative contributions of substances to overall human toxicity and ecotoxicity impacts. Moreover, it is crucial to discuss the relevance of the exposure factor for freshwater ecotoxicity impacts, particularly for persistent highly adsorbing and bioaccumulating substances. Environ Toxicol Chem 2017;36:3463–3470. © 2017 The Authors. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry Published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. on behalf of SETAC.
Article 0 Reads 4 Citations The search for an appropriate end-of-life formula for the purpose of the European Commission Environmental Footprint ini... Published: 03 January 2017
The International Journal of Life Cycle Assessment, doi: 10.1007/s11367-016-1244-0
This paper explains in details the rationale behind the choice of the end-of-life allocation approach in the European Commission Product Environmental Footprint (PEF) and Organisational Environmental Footprint (OEF) methods. The end-of-life allocation formula in the PEF/OEF methods aims at enabling the assessment of all end-of-life scenarios possible, including recycling, reuse, incineration (with heat recovery) and disposal for both open- and closed-loop systems in a consistent and reproducible way. It presents how the formula builds on existing standards and how and why it deviates from them. Various end-of-life allocation approaches and formulas, mainly taken not only from/based on existing environmental impact assessment methods and/or standards but also one original linearly degressive approach, were analysed against a predetermined set of criteria, reflecting the overall aim of the PEF/OEF methods. This set of criteria is physical realism, distribution of burdens and benefits in a product cascade system and applicability. Besides the qualitative analysis, the various formulas were implemented for several products and for different scenarios regarding recycled content and recyclability to check the robustness of the outcomes, exemplary expressed for the Global Warming Potential impact category. As reaching physical realism was impossible at both the product and overall product cascade system level by any of the end-of-life approaches analysed, one of both had to be prioritised. The paper explains in details why a product level approach was preferred in the context of the PEF/OEF methods. In consequence, allocation of the end-of-life processes which are related to more than one product in a product cascade system is needed and should be carefully considered as it has a major influence on the results and decision taking. A formula taking into account the number of recycling cycles of a material was identified as preferred to reach physical realism and to allocate burdens and benefits of repeatedly recycling of a material over the different products in a product cascade system. However, this approach was not selected for the PEF/OEF methods as data on the number of recycling cycles was insufficiently available (for the time being) for all products on the market and hence fails the criterion of “applicability”. This explains why, instead, a formula based on the 50:50 approach—allocating shared end-of-life processes equally between the previous and subsequent product—was selected for the PEF/OEF methods.
Article 5 Reads 6 Citations Area of concern: a new paradigm in life cycle assessment for the development of footprint metrics Published: 08 December 2015
The International Journal of Life Cycle Assessment, doi: 10.1007/s11367-015-1011-7
BOOK-CHAPTER 0 Reads 0 Citations Life Cycle Assessment and Sustainability Supporting Decision Making by Business and Policy Published: 20 November 2015
Sustainability Assessment of Renewables-Based Products, doi: 10.1002/9781118933916.ch13
Article 3 Reads 20 Citations Rethinking the Area of Protection “Natural Resources” in Life Cycle Assessment Published: 17 April 2015
Environmental Science & Technology, doi: 10.1021/acs.est.5b00734