Environmental risk assessment of existing chemicals
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exposure assessment leading to the derivation of a predicted environmental concentration (PEC) of a chemical from releases due to its production, processing, use, and disposal. The calculation of a PEC takes into account the dispersion of a chemical into different environmental compartments, elimination and dilution processes, as well as degradation. Monitoring data are also considered.
effects assessment. Data obtained from acute or long-term toxicity tests are used for extrapolation on environmental conditions. In order to calculate the concentration with expectedly no adverse effect on organisms (Predicted No Effect Concentration, PNEC) the effect values are divided by an assessment factor. This assessment factor depends on the quantity and quality of toxicity data available.
In the last step of the initial risk assessment, the measured or estimated PEC is compared with the PNEC. This “risk characterization” is conducted for each compartment separately (water, sediment, soil, and atmosphere). In case PEC > PNEC an attempt should be made to revise data of exposure and/or effects to conduct a refined risk characterization. In case PEC is again larger than PNEC risk reduction measures have to be considered.
KeywordsEnvironmental Risk Assessment Waste Water Treatment Plant Assessment Factor Risk Characterization Technical Guidance Document
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