Tools for Environment




The Aquatic Impact Indicator Database (AiiDA) groups together the 7 most important ecotoxicity databases and is based on more than 570 000 ecotoxicological tests results for more than 3600 species belonging to 30 phyla. This global ecotoxicity database is used to automatically calculate different ecotoxicological endpoints and their uncertainties. The database itself has two levels, first the tests results that are presented in an homogeneous format with transparent documentation; second the indicators per substances that are calculated on the tests. Several indicators are provided such as the the HC50 (Hazardous concentration for 50% of species also called avlogEC50) which is commonly used in Life Cycle Impact Assessment (LCA), the HC5 (Hazardous concentration for 5% of species) which is used in the statistical approach in risk assessment and the PNEC (Predicted No Effect Concentration) which is described in depth in the Technical Guidance Document (TGD) from the European Commission. Aiida covers data on 7500 molecules from which 5400 are covered with data on 3 phyla or more. The calculated endpoints are available in the interactive platform which provides the results and the traceability of all the calculation steps of the endpoints. This traceability assure the consistency of the aquatic indicators. The comparison of the substances and the calculation of the Species Sensitivity and Phyla Sensitivity Distributions are provided to the user. Aiida is edited by Jerome Payet. A demo version enable a complete visit of the functions of the database for three substances.

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In 2004, during the Lausanne review workshop organized by the UNEP-SETAC Life Cycle Initiative at the EPFL (Switzerland) (Jolliet , 2004), it was decided to select the HC50 as the most relevant indicator for assessing ecotoxic impact in Life Cycle Assessment. This metrics corresponds to the average response of species and assume that species inhabiting an ecosystems exposed to several sources of stress are likely to react even at very small doses of toxics. Such an assumption is considering that the best model for describing reactions of species exposed to numerous stresses at the same time is the concentration additive model. The HC50 is describing in detail in several publications (such as Pennington et al 2006) and the database of ecotoxicity effect factors was presented as the AMI database (Assessment of the Mean Impact).  In its first version (Payet 2004), the AMI database was providing HC50 values several hundreds of substances, and was largely used to run the UNEP-SETAC toxicity model (USETOX). Nevertheless, only little substances were taken into account. In its new version, the AMI database has an extensive coverage of substances and the documentation describing in detail the methodological requirements in the calculation of the HC50 is provided.

Eco toxicity

The UNEP-SETAC toxicity model (USETOX) was published in 2008 as a research model. Limited coverage of substances, long time spent in the collection of data for input parameters, small errors in the calculation excel table and extensive time needed to control the documentation made this model inaccessible for industry use. Nevertheless, on the basis of the existing model, the French government was entrusted Cycleco and TOOLS the mission to build up a practical system enabling the use of usetox for calculating ecotoxicity footprint of mass market product. The first version of Environmental footprinting with Usetox is following four key axes: (i) Providing users a detailed documentation explaining how calculating new characterization factors with Usetox with a special focus for cosmetics and detergents components; (ii) Providing a web platform enabling the test and calculation of new characterization factors; (iii) Calculating and providing to companies all characterization factors which enable an easy evaluation of detergents and cosmetics products; (iv) Organizing a governance committee in charge of controlling the integration of new characterization factors for the french national database. The result of this work leads to the development of the Environmental footprinting platform, which now provides ecotoxicity characterization factors for more than 4400 substances.