Exposure expertise

Exposure expertise

Analysis of exposure to chemicals is a key area of regulatory compliance. In Europe most legislation (REACH, IED) places important responsibilities on chemical suppliers and downstream industrial users or formulators.

Exposure assessment of a chemical substance involves identifying all the different ways that humans and the environment may be exposed to it throughout its life cycle, from manufacture to disposal, demanding detailed knowledge of the various ways that the chemical is used. Site-specific knowledge may be important.

Suppliers and downstream users are presented with a complex set of challenges, including:
– realistic modelling of exposure
– managing identified risks
– modifying on-site operational protocols.
Companies may need to exchange information when co-operating in the supply chain or collaborating within a sector, consortium or SIEF.

It is important that risk assessments reflect realistic uses and conditions of use, based as much as possible on the current practices in industry. In the context of the REACH Regulation, regulators and industry sector groups have been active in making available generic tools and reference materials, such as:
Use Maps generated by downstream user sector organisations, who have collected information on the uses and the conditions of use of chemicals in their sector;
SPERC (Specific Environmental Release Category) Factsheets, summarising emission estimations that have broad applicability within a specified use;
ENES (Exchange Network on Exposure Scenarios) forum for information-sharing, support, and input of all stakeholders.