GaBi Solutions

USEtox

USEtox

Description

USEtox is developed under the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) and the Society for Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (SETAC) Life Cycle Initiative, directly involving the model developers of CalTOX, IMPACT 2002, USES-LCA, BETR, EDIP, WATSON and EcoSense.

 

Characterisation


The USEtox model operates on four different spacial scales: indoor, urban, Continental and global.

The indoor and urban scale only have an air compartment, whereas the continental and global scales consists of five compartments: air, agricultural soil, natural soil, freshwater, and sea water.

All values for the air compartment in GaBi are calculated as the average of the rural and urban air compartment in USETox.

USEtox calculates characterisation factors for human toxicity and freshwater ecotoxicity via three steps:

 

  • Environmental fate, where the distribution and degradation of each substance is modelled
  • Exposure where the exposure of humans, animals and plants are modelled and
  • Effects, where the inherent damage of the substance is researched

 

Human effect factors relate the quantity taken in to the potential risk of cancerous and non-cancerous effects expressing cases per kg of chemical emitted. The final unit is comparative toxic units (CTUh).


Effect factors for freshwater ecosystems are based on species-specific data of concentration at which 50% of a population displays an effect, expressed as an estimate of the potentially affected fraction of species (PAF) integrated over time and volume per unit mass of a chemical emitted (PAF m3-day/ kg).  The final unit is comparative toxic units (CTUe).


The model provides both recommended and interim characterisation factors for human health and freshwater ecotoxicity impacts.


Only the recommended factors are included in GaBi as a standard setting. Nevertheless an import file containing the interim factors can be downloaded upon request. Save the file onto your computer. Open a GaBi database and go to Database -> Edit -> Import -> thinkstep eXchange file (*.tsx) and import the file.


The interim factors are estimated with a higher degree of uncertainty than the recommended and should be used with caution. If interim factors are dominating the result of a Life Cycle Assessment a sensitivity analysis should be carried out.


Importing the file will import a lot of substances that are not characterised in other methodologies (e.g. UBP, EDIP etc).


thinkstep and IABP-GaBi cannot be held responsible for any of this information and data.

 

Normalisation

Normalization references are not available for the most current USETox characterization factors. Normalizations are available for an older set of USETox factors for Europe and North America.

 

Literature

[1]
Rosenbaum RK, Bachmann TK, Gold LS, Huijbregts MAJ, Jolliet O, Juraske R, Koehler A, Larsen HF, MacLeod M, Margni M, McKone TE, Payet J, Schuhmacher M, Van de Meent D and Hauschild MZ (2008), USEtox - The UNEP/SETAC-consensus model: recommended characterisation factors for human toxicity and freshwater ecotoxicity in Life Cycle Impact Assessment. International Journal of Life Cycle Assessment 13(7): 532-546.
[2]
Hauschild MZ, Huijbregts MAJ, Jolliet O, MacLeod M, Margni M, Van de Meent D, Rosenbaum RK and McKone TE (2008). Building a model based on scientific consensus for Life Cycle Impact Assessment of Chemicals: the Search for Harmony and Parsimony. Environmental Science and Technology 42(19): 7032–7037.
[3]
Laurent A, Lautier A, Rosenbaum RK, Olsen SI and Hauschild MZ (2011). Normalization references for Europe and North America for application with USEtox™ characterization factors The International Journal of Life Cycle Assessment 16 ( 8), 728-738, DOI: 10.1007/s11367-011-0285-7
[4]

 

Complete model and characterisation results can be downloaded from the USEtox website.
www.usetox.org

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