Evaluation of Exposure Assessment Tools under REACH: Part I-Tier 1 Tools

Eun Gyung Lee, Judith Lamb, Nenad Savic, Ioannis Basinas, Bojan Gasic, Christian Jung, Michael L Kashon, Jongwoon Kim, Martin Tischer, Martie van Tongeren, David Vernez, Martin Harper

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Abstract

Tier 1 occupational exposure assessment tools recommended for use under the Registration, Evaluation, Authorization, and restriction of CHemicals (REACH) were evaluated using newly collected measurement data. Evaluated tools included the ECETOC TRAv2 and TRAv3, MEASEv1.02.01, and EMKG-EXPO-TOOL. Fifty-three exposure situations (ESs) based on tasks/chemicals were developed from National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health field surveys. During the field surveys, high quality contextual information required for evaluating the tools was also collected. For each ES, applicable tools were then used to generate exposure estimates using a consensus approach. Among 53 ESs, only those related to an exposure category of liquids with vapor pressure (VP) > 10 Pa had sufficient numbers of exposure measurements (42 ESs with n = 251 for TRAv2 and TRAv3 and 40 ESs with n = 243 for EMKG-EXPO-TOOL) to be considered in detail. The results for other exposure categories (aqueous solutions, liquids with VP ≤ 10 Pa, metal processing, powders, and solid objects) had insufficient measurement to allow detailed analyses (results listed in the Supplementary File). Overall, EMKG-EXPO-TOOL generated more conservative results than TRAv2 and TRAv3 for liquids with high VP. This finding is at least partly due to the fact that the EMKG-EXPO-TOOL only considers pure substances and not mixtures of chemical agents. For 34 out of 40 ESs available for chemicals with VP > 10 Pa, the liquid was a mixture rather than a pure substance. TRAv3 was less conservative than TRAv2, probably due to additional refinement of some input parameters. The percentages of exposure measurement results exceeding the corresponding tool estimates for liquids with VP > 10 Pa by process category and by input parameters were always higher for TRAv3 compared to those for TRAv2. Although the conclusions of this study are limited to liquids with VP > 10 Pa and few process categories, this study utilized the most transparent contextual information compared to previous studies, reducing uncertainty from assumptions for unknown input parameters. A further validation is recommended by collecting sufficient exposure data covering other exposure categories and all process categories under REACH.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)218-229
Number of pages12
JournalAnnals of Work Exposures and health
Volume63
Issue number2
Early online date9 Dec 2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 16 Feb 2019

Keywords

  • Hazardous Substances/analysis
  • Humans
  • Occupational Exposure/analysis
  • Occupational Health
  • Risk Assessment/methods

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