Nordborg, Maria; Arvidsson, Rickard; Finnveden, Göran; Cederberg, Christel; Sorme, Louise; Palm, Viveka; Stamyr, Kristin; and Molander, Sverker; Environmental Impact Assessment Review, Volume 62, January 2017, Pages 110–114.
This paper follows up on 2016’s “Using E-PRTR data on point source emissions to air and water—First steps towards a national chemical footprint“, producing updated national human toxicity and ecotoxicity footprints for Sweden using a new version of the USEtox model.
“Using E-PRTR data on point source emissions to air and water—First steps towards a national chemical footprint” took a first step towards producing a national chemical footprint indicator, as envisaged in PRINCE, and applied it to Sweden. National impact potentials for human toxicity and ecotoxicity from chemicals were calculated using USEtox 1.01. The results showed that zinc dominated in both human toxicity and ecotoxicity impacts – a surprising finding given that zinc is rarely identified as a major problematic chemical.
In the new study, the team updated these indicators using a new version of the USEtox model (USEtox 2.01, released in February 2016). They found that the two model versions produced relatively consistent results, and zinc still emerged as a major contributor to the human toxicity and ecotoxicity impact potentials.
To further explore the “zinc paradox”, the team compared the impact potentials based on USEtox with a simplified indicator using the mass of chemical emissions. The emissions mass indicator pinpointed somewhat different chemicals.