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APROBA-Plus: A probabilistic tool to evaluate and express uncertainty in hazard characterization and exposure assessment of substances.To facilitate the application of probabilistic risk assessment, the WHO released the APROBA tool. This tool applies lognormal uncertainty distributions to the different aspects of the hazard characterization, resulting in a probabilistic health-based guidance value. The current paper describes an extension, APROBA-Plus, which combines the output from the probabilistic hazard characterization with the probabilistic exposure to rapidly characterize risk and its uncertainty. The uncertainty in exposure is graphically compared with the uncertainty in the target human dose, i.e. the dose that complies with the specified protection goals. APROBA-Plus is applied to several case studies, resulting in distinct outcomes and illustrating that APROBA-Plus could serve as a standard extension of routine risk assessments. By visualizing the uncertainties, APROBA-Plus provides a more transparent and informative outcome than the more usual deterministic approaches, so that risk managers can make better informed decisions. For example, APROBA-Plus can help in deciding whether risk-reducing measures are warranted or that a refined risk assessment would first be needed. If the latter, the tool can be used to prioritize possible refinements. APROBA-Plus may also be used to rank substances into different risk categories, based on potential health risks without being compromised by different levels of conservatism that may be associated with point estimates of risk.
Towards a proportionality assessment of risk reduction measures aimed at restricting the use of persistent and bioaccumulative substances.International chemicals legislation aims at adequately controlling persistent organic pollutants (POPs) and substances of very high concern (SVHCs), such as persistent, bioaccumulative, and toxic (PBT) and very persistent and very bioaccumulative (vPvB) substances, with a view to progressively substitute these substances with suitable less-hazardous alternatives. Using cost-effectiveness analysis (CEA) to assess the (dis)proportionality of measures to control such substances (collectively called "PBT" in the present paper) requires benchmarks. The present paper provides building blocks for possible benchmarks by looking at the cost-effectiveness estimates for regulatory measures that have been applied or considered for various PBT substances. These cost-effectiveness estimates vary widely, and the main factors possibly explaining this variation are discussed. The available cost estimates currently do not allow deriving a value for society's willingness to pay to reduce PBT presence, use, and emissions because decisions referring explicitly to these estimates are scarce. Roughly speaking, the available evidence suggests that measures costing less than €1000 per kilogram PBT use or emission reduction will usually not be rejected for reasons of disproportionate costs, whereas for measures with costs above €50 000 per kilogram PBT such a rejection is likely. More research is needed to strengthen the evidence base and further elaborate a systematic approach toward proportionality benchmarking. Integr Environ Assess Manag 2017;13:1100-1112. © 2017 The Authors. Integrated Environmental Assessment and Management published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. on behalf of Society of Environmental Toxicology & Chemistry (SETAC).