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Title: An evaluation of the validity and reliability of chemical exposure assessment tools used under the Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) Regulation 2006
Author: Lamb, Judith
Awarding Body: University of Aberdeen
Current Institution: University of Aberdeen
Date of Award: 2016
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Within the European Union, the Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and restriction of Chemicals (REACH) Regulation 2006, requires the registration of chemicals by manufacturers and suppliers by a number of deadlines from 2008- 2018. Registrants must prepare a dossier of substance information, incorporating a chemical safety report and exposure assessment for the work activities for which the substance is used. Several computer-based screening (Tier 1) tools mentioned in the REACH guidance are used by Registrants to assess exposure: the ECETOC Targeted Risk Assessment (TRA); STOFFENMANAGER®; the EMKG-EXPO-TOOL and MEASE. As screening tools, they are expected to generate overestimates of exposure, thus allowing identification of situations of concern requiring more detailed assessment. The study aimed to carry out a comprehensive evaluation of the tools' validity, by comparison of their predictions with workplace measurements of inhalation exposure and their reliability, through assessment of consistency of operation by different users. Comparison of tool predictions of exposure with measurement data (n=3941) from a wide range of European and North American sources suggested that the tools generated overestimates in the majority of cases, with exceptions noted in certain process types and substance forms. Extremely large variability was observed in tool outputs generated by a group of representative users (n=146) when assessing identical exposure situations. A small number of input parameters drove most of the variation; the task descriptor, risk management measures and type of setting. Further calibration and review of the tool predictions are required to ensure that they generate consistent overestimates of exposure. Systems should be implemented to reduce between-user variability, for example user certification; round-robin exercises and team-based assessments. The study findings will assist in increasing the consistency of use and validity of the tools, thus increasing the overall levels of worker health protection and minimising unnecessary business risk management expenditure on redundant exposure controls.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Bundesanstalt für Arbeitsschutz und Arbeitsmedizin (BAuA) ; Germany
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Industrial toxicology ; Computer simulation