Information sources for exposure assessment

Case study – CEFIC LRI

The European Chemical Industry Council (CEFIC) has for several years been carrying out work under the Long-Range Research Initiative (LRI). The focus of the LRI is on gaps in industry’s knowledge and understanding that are critical for risk assessment of chemicals.

In 2000 a project titled “Identification and Evaluation of Emission Databases in Europe” was instigated under the LRI. The overall aim of the project was to improve the data basis for emission estimation methods for risk assessment of chemicals in the environment within Europe.

In 2000 BRE was appointed to carry out the work in partnership with AstraZeneca in a two year project. The project was carried out in two parts.

  • Identification and preliminary review of data sources for emission estimation.
  • Detailed review and evaluation of fifteen selected data sources.

Criteria were developed for assessing the reliability and usefulness of each data source for emission estimation.

Diagrams depicting examples of the various lifecycle stages that could occur in industrial processes were developed to allow mapping of data sources to individual processes. This provided a useful framework for identifying data sources that are potentially useful for a large number of industrial processes.

Most of the data sources reviewed were readily available via the internet. The work was further updated in 2004 to take into account any new information that had become available.

Emission estimation is an integral part of the methodology currently used for assessing the environmental risk, and is likely to be an important part of any future developments in this area. The overall reliability of the conclusions of an environmental risk assessment depend crucially on the reliability of the estimation of the environmental exposure. The work provides a framework for identifying data sources for emission estimation from numerous industrial processes.