Title: Comparing options for deriving chemical ecotoxicity hazard values for the European Union Environmental Footprint, Part II
Publication Year: 2019
JRC N°: JRC115965
ISSN: 1551-3777 (online)
URI: https://setac.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/ieam.4169
DOI: 10.1002/ieam.4169
Type: Articles in periodicals and books
Abstract: The EU Commission published in 2013 a recommendation on the use of a common method to measure and communicate the life cycle environmental performance of products and organizations. In November 2013, started a four years pilot exercise with industries, NGOs, and academia to assess the effectiveness of the method on 25 product categories. One of the impact categories in the environmental footprint pilot program, freshwater ecotoxicity, was identified for improvement by, among other points, increasing the number of chemicals for which an aquatic toxicity indicator is available. For this work, we used ecotoxicity data (54,353 test data points) extracted from the REACH ecotoxicity database and compared multiple approaches to calculate final substance toxicity indicator (e.g. hazard values): the USEtox® approach, using only acute EC50 equivalent data, and using only chronic NOEC equivalent data. The species sensitivity distribution at 10, 20 and 50% potential affected fraction (PAF) of species were evaluated. Using REACH ecotoxicity database, 3845, 4853 and 5560 hazard values could be calculated for the USEtox® model, following an acute only and chronic only approaches, respectively. The USEtox® approach provides hazard values similar to the ones based on acute EC50 data only. While there is a large amount of variability in the ratios, the data support acuteEC50eq to Chronic NOECeq ratios (calculated as geometric mean) of 10.64, 10.90 and 4.21 for fish, crustacean and algae respectively. Comparison of the calculated hazard values with the criteria used by the EU chemical classification, labelling and packaging regulation (CLP) shows the USEtox® method underestimates the number of compounds categorized as very toxic to aquatic life and/or having long lasting effects. In contrast, use of the chronic NOEC data shows a good agreement with CLP. The selection procedure applied on the original REACH database led to the exclusion of 83% of the available ecotoxicity data (not meeting minimum quality requirements) and to a final database where > 98% of the chemicals have only three of less ecotoxicity values
JRC Directorate:Sustainable Resources

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