Estimating chemical ecotoxicity in EU ecolabel and in EU product environmental footprint

The EU Commission Ecolabel and the Product and Environmental Footprint (PEF) aim at promoting the development and consumption of greener products. The product aquatic toxicity score from these 2 methods may lead in some circumstances to opposite conclusions. Although this could be interpreted as an inconsistency, the score should not be compared to each other but used in a complementary way. In short, CDV provided a “full” product formula aquatic toxicity score, even if some chemicals may never reach or persist in freshwater ecosystems. The USEtox® score, by integrating fate and exposure, focuses on the potential toxicity of persistent-water-soluble chemicals at steady state. Since no risk or safety assessment can be conducted with USEtox® nor with the CDV, both are a hazard-based scoring system. This short communication clarifies the difference between approaches underpinning the toxicity scores used in Ecolabel and PEF, providing guidance on how to interpret the results.

Authors: Saouter E, De Schryver A, Pant R, Sala S. ; Full Source: Environment International. 2018 May 21; 118:44-47. doi: 10.1016/j.envint.2018.05.022. [Epub ahead of print]

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