Impact category ecotoxicity and valuation procedure

Ecotoxicological impact assessment and the valuation step within LCA — pragmatic approaches
  • Rainer Walz
  • Monika Herrchen
  • Detlef Keller
  • Beate Stahl
LCA methodology


Within the methodology of LCA, the impact assessment of the impact category ecotoxicity and the valuation step for all categories still pose methodological challenges. A multi-tier approach is a pragmatic solution for the impact assessment of the impact category ecotoxicity. The screening tier only makes use of information concerning substance specific characteristics in order to derive both an identification of critical substances and a comparison of products. Within the detailed tier, critical substances are analyzed in more detail, but still without site-specific information on concentrations, time or region.

Valuation combines scientific results with value judgements. Thus, it is not an objective process which can substitute decision making, but instead serves as a base for the interpretation of results. A pragmatic approach combines the results of the impact assessment with a normalization and weighting of the impact categories. Four approaches for deriving general weighting sets (population surveys, expert surveys using the delphi-technique, sustainable development, distance-to-target) are discussed and the first results obtained are presented.


Life cycle assessment impact assessment ecotoxicity valuation sustainable development political targets population surveys expert surveys 



Life Cycle Inventory


International Organization for Standardization


Deutsches Institut für Normung


Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry


Fraunhofer-Institut für Umweltchemie und Ökotoxikologie


Fraunhofer-Institut für Systemrechnik und Innovationsforschung


Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development -Test Guidelines


Bioconcentration Factor

log Pow

log octanol/Water Partition Coefficient


lethal concentration for 50 % of the Investigated Organisms


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Copyright information

© Ecomed Publishers 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rainer Walz
    • 1
  • Monika Herrchen
    • 2
  • Detlef Keller
    • 2
  • Beate Stahl
    • 1
  1. 1.Fraunhofer-Institut für Systemtechnik und Innovationsforschung (Fh-ISI)KarlsruheGermany
  2. 2.Fraunhofer-Institut für Umweltchemie und Ökotoxikologie (Fh-IUCT)SchmallenbergGermany

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