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Validation of the results from toxicity assessment in LCA using triangulation
RISE - Research Institutes of Sweden, Swerea, Swerea IVF.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-7949-2268
2015 (English)Conference paper, Abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

The European Commission initiative for Product Environmental Footprint is based on life cycle assessment (LCA), with the USEtox consensus model as the recommended impact assessment method for toxicity. The confidence in the scientific robustness will be crucial for the intended users to take actions based on the results. This research work aims to validate the results from toxicity assessment within the context of LCA by benchmarking USEtox with two alternative approaches in a case study. While strictly speaking there can be no experimental validation of environmental damage predicted in an LCA of a generic product, comparison of the results of three different methods can be considered a form of triangulation in LCA which can potentially provide confidence in an individual method. A textile case was chosen as the textile industry is an intense user of chemicals.Three different quantitative or semi-quantitative methods for toxicity assessment were used: the USEtox model chosen for the European PEF work; the Score System presented in the European Commission's Reference Document on Best Available Techniques for the Textiles Industry; and the Strategy Tool presented by Askham. The results show that the three methods do not give a consistent toxicity assessment of the chemicals in the case study. For USEtox the result also depends on whether the practitioner uses the default method or add more characterization factors. The two semi-quantitative methods give more equal importance to the chemicals while the USEtox scores differ by several orders of magnitude. The Simple Score System and the Strategy Tool are very concerned with persistent pollutants and therefore the chemicals which are not readily biodegradable, receive a high score. The USEtox score on the other hand is relatively low for the persistent organic chemicals. Validation of results using triangulation can be used both to create confidence and/or help identify new challenges that were not previously perceived in the method. In this case we showed that the property of persistence is judged to have lower importance in USEtox compared to the two other methods, which is a finding that can be used to develop the fate modelling in USEtox. On the other hand, USEtox could provide additional advice compared to the two other methods, that one of the substances could be more environmentally problematic than what these semi-quantitative methods signals.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015.
National Category
Other Materials Engineering Other Chemical Engineering
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:ri:diva-31190OAI: oai:DiVA.org:ri-31190DiVA: diva2:1135696
Conference
SETAC Europe 25th Annual Meeting, Barcelona, 3-7 May.
Available from: 2017-08-24 Created: 2017-08-24 Last updated: 2017-08-24Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

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Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
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  • asciidoc
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