Development of a framework to translate environmental risk assessment outputs into socio-economic analysis inputs when developing Restrictions under REACH.

The aim of this project, which was undertaken for ECHA’s Risk Assessment Committee, was to develop instructive examples for translating environmental risks into environmental impacts which can be practically used to inform SEA and eventual decision making under REACH.

Specific project objectives were:

  1. To identify two substances for use as examples in this project. These were:
    • Nickel as an example of a substance with a large amount of environmental exposure and effects data when compared with most other substances subject to the Existing Substances Regulations, which pre-dated REACH.
    • Medium Chain Chlorinated Paraffins (MCCPs) as an example of a substance with a typical environmental exposure and toxicity database.
  2. To identify the risk assessment scenarios for these examples which are most relevant for Restriction considerations.
  3. To analyse for these scenarios the outcomes of hazard and exposure assessments.
  4. To develop and apply different approaches to translate these risk assessment outcomes into ecological impacts and analyse how far the outcome of the impact assessment is affected by each approach.
  5. To summarise strengths and weaknesses in both the risk assessment approach and the approaches used to translate risk assessment outputs into impact assessment inputs for each case study.
  6. To review and briefly summarise the ecological and ecotoxicological literature to identify what is realistically achievable for SEA, given the current theoretical and empirical knowledge base.
  7. To identify information and data which could be useful for SEA but are not currently provided by the risk assessment reports, assign such information needs to the categories “need-to-know” and “nice-to-know”, and provide a view on expected changes in the extent and quality of information in future CSRs under REACH.
  8. To summarise which approaches appear to be useful in general and which issues require individual, case-specific approaches.

Conclusions from this review can be found here and an extension to the project scope has recently been agreed.