Towards a Life Cycle Based Chemical Alternative Assessment (LCAA)

O. Jolliet, L. Huang, Michael Overcash, Peter Fantke

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    Abstract

    There is a need for an operational quantitative screening-level assessment of alternatives, that is life-cycle based and able to serve both Life cycle Assessment (LCA and chemical alternatives assessment (CAA). This presentation therefore
    aims to develop and illustrate a new approach called “Life Cycle Based Chemical Alternative Assessment (LCAA)” that will quantify exposure and life cycle impacts consistently and efficiently over the main life cycle stages. The new LCAA
    approach is illustrated though a proof-of-concept case study of alternative plasticizers in vinyl flooring. The proposed LCAA approach combines the following elements: a) The manufacturing phase chemical inventory is based on the environmental genome of industrial products database, ensuring mass and energy balance, b) near-field exposure to consumer products during the use phase is determined based on the mass of chemical ingredient in the product, first-order inter-compartmental transfer fractions and a matrix approach to determine Product Intake Fractions, and c) toxicity-related outcomes are compared with other life cycle impacts to evaluate the relevance of different impact categories for different consumer product classes. The retained case study is a comparison of two alternative plasticizers (DEHP-diethylhexyl phthalate vs. DIHP-Diisoheptyl phthalate) in vynil flooring. First order release rates of DEHP and DIHP from
    flooring material to indoor air are restricted, with over the first three years a maximum of 0.4% of the SVOC initial content in flooring emitted for DEHP and 1,9% for DIHP. For climate change, there is little difference between the two plasticizers, whereas compared to DEHP, DIHP impacts are reduced by a factor 10 for human health and a factor 3 for ecotoxicity. This proof of concept case study demonstrates the feasibility of combining chemical specific Life Cycle Inventory from manufacturing database with near-field exposure assessment during product use and to compare the interest of various chemical alternatives. Considering consumer exposure during use phase is essential for both LCA and ACC, the determination of Product Intake Fractions using first order transfer matrices enabling a parsimonious exposure assessment.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationSETAC Europe 27th Annual Meeting Abstract Book
    Publication date2017
    Article number559
    Publication statusPublished - 2017
    EventSETAC Europe: 27th Annual Meeting – Environmental Quality Through Transdisciplinary Collaboration - Brussels, Belgium
    Duration: 7 May 201713 Jul 2017

    Conference

    ConferenceSETAC Europe: 27th Annual Meeting – Environmental Quality Through Transdisciplinary Collaboration
    CountryBelgium
    CityBrussels
    Period07/05/201713/07/2017

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