An occupational chemical priority list for future life cycle assessments

Demou, E. , Hellweg, S. and Hungerbühler, K. (2011) An occupational chemical priority list for future life cycle assessments. Journal of Cleaner Production, 19(12), pp. 1339-1346. (doi: 10.1016/j.jclepro.2011.03.011)

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Publisher's URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jclepro.2011.03.011

Abstract

A chemical priority list is presented to screen and identify relevant chemicals, for which more detailed and industrial-sector specific quantitative exposure, risk and life-cycle assessments should be completed. A list of 38 solvents were ranked according to the framework of the LCA toxicity model, USEtox, and according to the framework proposed by the UNEP/SETAC working group on Indoor Exposure Assessment in LCA. An additional method, based on a risk assessment (RA) framework, was used to examine the robustness of the priority rank. Under both schemes dichloromethane, ethanol, formaldehyde, hexane and toluene all rank in the top ten positions. These chemicals are currently relevant with regard to health effects on a population level. Some of these chemicals are known as hazardous, while others, such as ethanol, have a low toxicity but were prioritized because of their extensive use and high exposure levels. This study attempts to combine the knowledge and methods of the LCA and occupational hygiene communities in assessing health impacts. It provides a consistent and transparent method for rapid comparative assessments of different chemicals and identifies the chemicals and workplaces that will require more thorough investigations. (C) 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Demou, Dr Evangelia
Authors: Demou, E., Hellweg, S., and Hungerbühler, K.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Health & Wellbeing > MRC/CSO SPHSU
College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Health & Wellbeing > Public Health
Journal Name:Journal of Cleaner Production
ISSN:0959-6526

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