Since product lifecycle risk assessments are chemical based, they can be utilized for any product made from chemicals (e.g., paints, furniture, textiles, pesticides, cosmetics, etc.), and can be integrated into any of these products LCAs.
The biggest obstacle in this integration process is to develop product, exposure, and site specific data required for the risk assessment. To illustrate this integration, we have conducted a lifecycle risk assessment for spray polyurethane foam (SPF), as well as utilizing data from the SPFA LCA. With SPF, the final product fulfills the regulatory definition of an “article” Which results in an even lower risk at this final stage since it involves only inhalation and dermal potential exposures and no ecological impacts. Clearly, integrated risk and lifecycle assessment capabilities are currently available, and can be applied to a wide spectrum of product types. This science-based information provides a realistic view of risk and exposure to harmful ingredients vs. a hazard-based approach which does not address the entire lifecycle of a product.
Integrated risk assessment and LCA capabilities offer
- Reduced uncertainty of generic LCA assumptions
- Incorporation of dose response and threshold exposure considerations
- Accounting for site and application specific health and ecological effects
- Calculation of product individual and additive ecological, health, and safety risk
- Incorporation into each life cycle phase & summation across all phases
This webinar offers insight into how an integrated approach to material assessments results in more realistic view of impacts across the entire life cycle.