John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

SPERCS – a tool for environmental emission estimation

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The EU chemicals regulation REACH requires a hazardous substance registration to identify the uses of a substance and the corresponding conditions of safe use. This includes a human and an environmental safety assessment. Exposure scenarios are developed and employed for estimating emissions resulting from the uses of hazardous substances. To support the environmental assessments, the REACH guidance documents define 22 Environmental Release Categories (ERCs) with conservative release factors to water, air and soil. Several industry associations target the ERCs to more specific uses and respective emission scenarios to enable more realistic emission estimations. They have developed more than 190 specific ERCs (SPERCs) as standardized descriptions of operational conditions and risk management measures. SPERCs reflect the current good practice and are documented in factsheets. These contain the information necessary for environmental emission modelling. Key parameters are the substance use rate, the efficiency of the risk management measures (if applicable), and the release factors. These can be based on literature, measured company data or are justified by qualitative arguments. The majority of SPERCs have been implemented as realistic worst case emission values in screening level chemical safety assessment tools. Three regulatory reviews in Europe have established requirements for documenting the SPERCs and for justifying the release factors. In addition, each of the reviews included recommendations for improving the SPERCs. The latest review proposed a condensed factsheet which focusses on the essentials for exposure assessment and subsequent communication in safety data sheets. It is complemented with a background document for providing details on the emission scenarios and justifications. In the EU the SPERCs will be further progressed in a consensus process using the multi‐stakeholder expert network on exposure scenarios. The SPERCs have the potential for being used for emission estimations within other regulatory frameworks or in other geographical regions. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved

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