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Environmental risk assessment of existing chemicals

  • Jan Ahlers
  • Robert Diderich
  • Ursula Klaschka
  • Annette Marschner
  • Beatrice Schwarz-Schulz
Article

Abstract

Most of the existing chemicals of high priority have been released into the environment for many years. Risk assessments for existing chemicals are now conducted within the framework of the German Existing Chemicals Program and by the EC Regulation on Existing Substances. The environmental assessment of a chemical involves:
  1. a)

    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.

     
  2. b)

    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.

Keywords

Environmental Risk Assessment Waste Water Treatment Plant Assessment Factor Risk Characterization Technical Guidance Document 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Literature

  1. Ahlers, J.;Koch, W.;Lange, A.;Marschner, A.;Welter, G. (1992): Bewertung der Umweltgefährlichkeit von Alten Stoffen nach dem Chemikaliengesetz (ChemG). Chemikaliengesetz Heft 10, Texte 19/92, Umweltbundesamt, Berlin, März 1992Google Scholar
  2. Ahlers, J.; Koch, W.; Marschner, A.; Welter, G. (1993): The Sci. Total Environm. Supplement 1993, 1587–1596Google Scholar
  3. Deutscher Bundestag (1985): Bodenschutzkonzeption der Bundesregierung BT-Drs. 10/2977 vom 7. März 1985Google Scholar
  4. ISO (International Organisation for Standardization) (1991): Soil Quality, Vocabulary, Part 1: Terms and Definitions Relating to Soil Protection and Soil Pollution, ISO/CD 11071Google Scholar
  5. OECD (1992): Report of the Workshop on Effects Assessment in Sediment. Copenhagen, Denmark, 13–15 May 1991Google Scholar
  6. Technical Guidance Documents in Support of the Risk Assessment Directive (93/67/EEC) for Substances Notified in Accordance with the Requirements of Council Directive 67/548/EEC. Brussels, 1993Google Scholar
  7. UBA (Umweltbundesamt) (1993): Entwurf zur Bewertung von Bodenbelastungen, Fachgebiet I 3.7Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Ecomed Publishers 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jan Ahlers
    • 1
  • Robert Diderich
    • 1
  • Ursula Klaschka
    • 1
  • Annette Marschner
    • 1
  • Beatrice Schwarz-Schulz
    • 1
  1. 1.German Federal Environmental Agency (Umweltbundesamt)BerlinGermany

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