Comparison between three different LCIA methods for aquatic ecotoxicity and a product environmental risk assessment

Insights from a Detergent Case Study within OMNIITOX
  • Rana Pant
  • Gert Van Hoof
  • Diederik Schowanek
  • Tom C. J. Feijtel
  • Arjan de Koning
  • Michael Hauschild
  • Stig I. Olsen
  • David W. Pennington
  • Ralph Rosenbaum
OMNIITOX: LCA Case Studies

Abstract

Background and Objective

In the OMNIITOX project 11 partners have the common objective to improve environmental management tools for the assessment of (eco)toxicological impacts. The detergent case study aims at: i) comparing three Procter &c Gamble laundry detergent forms (Regular Powder-RP, Compact Powder-CP and Compact Liquid-CL) regarding their potential impacts on aquatic ecotoxicity, ii) providing insights into the differences between various Life Cycle Impact Assessment (LCIA) methods with respect to data needs and results and iii) comparing the results from Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) with results from an Environmental Risk Assessment (ERA).

Material and Methods

The LCIA has been conducted with EDIP97 (chronic aquatic ecotoxicity) [1], USES-LCA (freshwater and marine water aquatic ecotoxicity, sometimes referred to as CML2001) [2, 3] and IMPACT 2002 (covering freshwater aquatic ecotoxicity) [4]. The comparative product ERA is based on the EU Ecolabel approach for detergents [5] and EUSES [6], which is based on the Technical Guidance Document (TGD) of the EU on Environmental Risk Assessment (ERA) of chemicals [7]. Apart from the Eco-label approach, all calculations are based on the same set of physico-chemical and toxicological effect data to enable a better comparison of the methodological differences. For the same reason, the system boundaries were kept the same in all cases, focusing on emissions into water at the disposal stage.

Results and Discussion

Significant differences between the LCIA methods with respect to data needs and results were identified. Most LCIA methods for freshwater ecotoxicity and the ERA see the compact and regular powders as similar, followed by compact liquid. IMPACT 2002 (for freshwater) suggests the liquid is equally as good as the compact powder, while the regular powder comes out worse by a factor of 2. USES-LCA for marine water shows a very different picture seeing the compact liquid as the clear winner over the powders, with the regular powder the least favourable option. Even the LCIA methods which result in die same product ranking, e.g. EDIP97 chronic aquatic ecotoxicity and USES-LCA freshwater ecotoxicity, significantly differ in terms of most contributing substances. Whereas, according to IMPACT 2002 and USES-LCA marine water, results are entirely dominated by inorganic substances, the other LCIA methods and the ERA assign a key role to surfactants. Deviating results are mainly due to differences in the fate and exposure modelling and, to a lesser extent, to differences in the toxicological effect calculations. Only IMPACT 2002 calculates the effects based on a mean value approach, whereas all other LCIA methods and the ERA tend to prefer a PNEC-based approach. In a comparative context like LCA the OMNIITOX project has taken the decision for a combined mean and PNEC-based approach, as it better represents the ‘average’ toxicity while still taking into account more sensitive species. However, the main reason for deviating results remains in the calculation of the residence time of emissions in the water compartments.

Conclusion and Outlook

The situation that different LCIA methods result in different answers to the question concerning which detergent type is to be preferred regarding the impact category aquatic ecotoxicity is not satisfactory, unless explicit reasons for the differences are identifiable. This can hamper practical decision support, as LCA practitioners usually will not be in a position to choose the ’right’ LCIA method for their specific case. This puts a challenge to the entire OMNIITOX project to develop a method, which finds common ground regarding fate, exposure and effect modelling to overcome the current situa-tion of diverging results and to reflect most realistic conditions.

Keywords

Aquatic ecotoxicity case studies detergents ecotoxicity LCIA OMNIITOX surfactants toxicity 

References

  1. [1]
    Wenzel H, Hauschild M, Alting L, (1997): Environmental Assessment of Products. Vol.1—Methodology, tools and case studies in product development. First edition. Chapman & Hall, United Kingdom, Kluwer Academic Publishers, Hingham, M.A., USA. ISBN 0-412-80800-5Google Scholar
  2. [2]
    Huijbregts, MAJ. (1999): Priority Assessment of toxic chemicals in LCA. Development and application of the multi-media fate, exposure and effect model USES-LCA. IVAM environmental research, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The NetherlandsGoogle Scholar
  3. [3]
    Guinée JB. (ed) (2001): Life Cycle Assessment: An operational guide to the ISO standards; LCA in perspective; Guide; Operational Annex to guide. Centre for Environmental Science, Leiden Univeristy, Leiden, The Netherlands, May 2001Google Scholar
  4. [4]
    Pennington DW, Margni M, Jolliet O (2003 submitted): Risk-based indicators of cumulative contributions to toxicological effects for LCA. Environ Toxicol Chem1 Google Scholar
  5. [5]
    CEC (Commission of the European Communities) (1999): Establishing the Ecological Criteria for the award of the Community Eco-label to Laundry Detergents (1999/476/EC), Official Journal of the European Communities L187/52-68, Brussels, Belgium, 20.07.1999Google Scholar
  6. [6]
    CEC (Commission of the European Communities) (1996). EUSES, the European System for evaluation of Substances. National Institute of Public Health and the Environment (RIVM), the Netherlands. Available from the European Chemicals Bureau (ECB/JRC), Ispra, ItalyGoogle Scholar
  7. [7]
    CEC (Commission of the European Communities) (1996): Technical Guidance Documents in support of the Commission Directive 93/67/EEC on Risk Assessment for New Notified Substances and the Commission Regulation (EC) 1488/ 94 on Risk Assessment for Existing SubstancesGoogle Scholar
  8. [8]
    Molander S, Lidholm P, Schowanek D, Recasens M, Fullana P, Christensen FM, Guinée JB, Hauschild M, Jolliet O, Carlson R, Pennington DW, Bachmann TM. (2004): OMNIITOX—Operational life-cycle impact assessment models and information tools for life-cycle impact assessment practitioners. Int J LCA 9 (5)282–288Google Scholar
  9. [9]
    Udo de Haes A (2002): Life Cycle Assessment (LCA): Its role and future position in SETAC—Don’t stretch LCA too far, key note speech at Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (SETAC) 12th Annual SETAC Europe meeting Vienna (Austria): Challenges in Environmental Risk Assessment and Modelling, 12-16 May 2002Google Scholar
  10. [10]
    Olsen SI, Christensen FM, Hauschild M, Pedersen F, Larsen HF, Tùrslùv J. (2001): Life cycle impact assessment and risk assessment of chemicals—A methodological comparison. Environmental Impact Assessment Review 21, 385–404CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. [11]
    Pant R, Schowanek D (2002): LCA and ERA comparison—A detergent case study within the OMNIITOX project, Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (SETAC, ed) 12th Annual SETAC Europe meeting Vienna (Austria): Challenges in Environmental Risk Assessment and Modelling, 12-16 May 2002, Brussels, 67Google Scholar
  12. [12]
    [12]Saouter E, Hoof van G, Pittinger CA, Feijtel, TCJ. (2001).: The Effect of Compact Formulations on the Environmental Profile of Northern European Ganular Laundry Detergents, Part I: Environmental Risk Assessment. Int J LCA 6 (6) 363–372CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. [13]
    Owens JW (1997): Life Cycle Assessment in Relation to Risk Assessment: An Evolving Perspective. Risk Analysis 17 (3) 359–365CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. [14]
    Pant R, Hoof van G, Schowanek D, Feijtel TCJ (2003): Comparison of four LCIA methods for ecotoxicity based on a detergent case study within OMNIITOX, presentation at 13th Annual SETAC Europe meeting Hamburg (Germany), Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (SETAC ed), abstract book, p 18Google Scholar
  15. [15]
    Saouter E, Feijtel T. (2000): Use of Life Cycle Analysis and Environmental Risk Assessment in an Integrated Product Assessment. Environmental Strategies, Nordic Workshop, Vedbaek 1999, in Hauschild M, Olsen SI, Poll C, (eds): Risk Assessment and Life Cycle Assessment, TemaNord 2000:545. Nordic Council of Ministers, Copenhagen (Denmark), 81–97Google Scholar
  16. [16]
    Saouter E, Van Hoof G, Feijtel TCJ, Owens JW (2002): The Effect of Compact Formulations on the Environmental Profile of Northern European Granular Laundry Detergents, Part II: Life Cycle Assessment. Int J LCA (7) 27–38CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. [17]
    European Centre for Ecotoxicology and Toxicology of Chemicals (ECETOC) (2001): Aquatic toxicity of Mixtures, ECETOC report No. 80, Brussels (Belgium), 2001Google Scholar
  18. [18]
    Pant R, Schowanek D, Hoof van G, Feijtel TCJ (2003): OMNIITOX: Comparative ERA for three detergent products in a tiered approach, poster at 13th Annual SETAC Europe meeting, Hamburg (Germany), May 2003Google Scholar
  19. [19]
    Hoof van G, Schowanek D, Feijtel TCJ: Comparative Life Cycle Assessment of Laundry Detergent Formulations in the UK, Part I: Environmental Fingerprint of five detergent formulations in 2001. Tenside Surfactants and Detergents (40) 2003, 266-275Google Scholar
  20. [20]
    Guinée JB, Koning de A, Pennington DW, Rosenbaum R, Hauschild M, Olsen SI, Molander S, Bachmann TM, Pant R, (2004): Bringing Science and Pragmatism together in a Tiered Approach for Modelling Toxicological Impacts in LCA. Int J LCA 9 (5) 320–326CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. [21]
    Margni M, Pennington D, Jolliet O, Guinée JB, de Koning A (2003): Multimedia Models Comparison: State of the Art in Life Cycle Assessment, presentation at 13th Annual SETAC Europe meeting Hamburg (Germany), Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (SETAC ed), abstract book, p 18Google Scholar
  22. [22]
    Dreyer LM, Niemann AL, Hauschild MZ (2003): Comparison of three different LCIA methods: EDIP97, CML2001 and Eco-Indicator 99. Int J LCA 8 (4) 191–200CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. [23]
    CEC (Commission of the European Communities) (2001): White paper—Strategy for a Future Chemicals Policy. COM (2001) 88 final (CEC, Brussels, February, 2001)Google Scholar
  24. [24]
    CEC (Commission of the European Communities; Directorate General Environment and Enterprise) (2003): Consultation document concerning the Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restrictions of Chemicals (REACH). Available via the CEC web pages http://www.europa.eu.int/comm/ environment/index en.htm or http://www.europa.eu.int/ comm/enterprise/index en.htmGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Ecomed Publishers 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rana Pant
    • 1
  • Gert Van Hoof
    • 1
  • Diederik Schowanek
    • 1
  • Tom C. J. Feijtel
    • 1
  • Arjan de Koning
    • 2
  • Michael Hauschild
    • 3
  • Stig I. Olsen
    • 3
  • David W. Pennington
    • 4
  • Ralph Rosenbaum
    • 4
  1. 1.Procter & Gamble EurocorStrombeek-BeverBelgium
  2. 2.Centre of Environmental Science (CML)Leiden UniversityRA LeidenThe Netherlands
  3. 3.Department of Manufacturing Engineering and ManagementTechnical University of Denmark (DTU)LyngbyDenmark
  4. 4.Industrial Ecology—Life Cycle Systems, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne (EPFL)LausanneSwitzerland

Personalised recommendations