The coordination action (CA) 'RISKCYCLE' is aimed to establish and co-ordinate a global network of European and international experts and stakeholders to
define together future needs of R+D contributions for innovations in the risk-based management of chemicals and products in a circular economy of global scale
leading to alternative strategies to animal tests and reduced health hazards. The partners joining this action seek to explore the synergies of the research
carried out within different programmes and countries of the EU,in Asia and overseas to facilitate the intensified communication with researchers, institutions
and industries about the risks of hazardous chemicals and additives in products and risk reduction measures and to improve the dispersion of available information.
RISKCYCLE will focus on the fate and behaviour of these additives in six sectors: textile, electronics, plastics, leather, paper and lubricants. In textile
industry the use of additives will be studied, in the electronic industry and also in textile industry the use of flame retardants, specially brominated flame
retardants such as PBDEs und HBCD will be analysed. In the leather industry, heavy metals such as chromium will be taken in account. The use of biocides in the
paper industry will be another main concern of co-ordinated activities.
| Achieved Objectives:
A new index that condenses the overall environmental impact of pollutants
at a particular site into a single value has been developed. This unique
number captures the health status of the territory in terms of the risk of the
pollutants to animals and plants in ecosystems, human health and the
long-term fate of the pollutants in the environment.
An environmental index is used to summarise complex environmental
information in a single value. In the case of assessing the potential risk of
toxic chemicals at a particular site, it is important to capture the local
impact of the pollutants on human health and all parts of the environment,
including water, soil, sediment and the air.
Researchers, partly funded by the EU RISKCYCLE project1, have
developed the Ecotoxicological Risk Index for a Chemical Assessment
(ERICA). A database, holding physical and chemical properties and
toxicity data derived from experiments or predictive models, was compiled
for 186 potentially harmful chemicals.
It is recommended that a minimum of 19 priority toxic substances (likely to
be found in water, soil, sediment and the air) are included when each
ERICA value is compiled. The 19 chemicals include toxic metals,
polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), pesticides, particulate matter
(PM2.5 and PM10), nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxide and ozone,
amongst others. Other specific pollutants, identified during initial sampling
and analysis of the site under investigation, should also be included.