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Characterisation Method Information
Characterisation Method Name:
Formaldehyde impact on YOLL
Version:
1999
Date Completed:
1999
Principal Method Name:
EPS: cancer, oxidant and global warming pathways
Method Description:
YOLL stands for Year of Lost Life.


Model 1, cancer pathway

The characterisation factor is determined by an equivalency method using benzene as a reference.

Equivalency factor

According to USEPA, IRIS (Integrated risk Information System) database, the lifetime cancer risk for formaldehyde is 1.3·E-05 per mg/m 3 , which is 2.60 times the risk of benzene.

Calculation of characterisation factor

The cancer pathway specific characterisation factor of benzene for YOLL was determined to 1.95E-05 YOLL/kg benzene. Thus the characterisation factor of formaldehyde for YOLL is 2.60*1.95E-05 = 5.07E-05 YOLL/kg.

Model 2, global warming pathway

The characterisation factor is determined by an equivalency method using CO2 as a reference.

Equivalency factor

The GWP100 was estimated by IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) to 11 in one of the early reports. (1990). Later this statement was withdrawn by IPCC, with the motivation that the uncertainty was too large. In the EPS context however, omitting it would create a larger error than including it, so the equivalency factor 11 will still be used.

Calculation of pathway specific characterisation factor

The characterisation factor of CO2 for YOLL was determined to 7.93E–07 YOLL/kg CO2 . The characterisation factor of formaldehyde for YOLL will therefore be 11*7.93E–07 = 8.72E–06 YOLL/kg formaldehyde.

Model 3, oxidant formation pathway

The characterisation factor is determined by an equivalency method using ethylene as a reference.

Equivalency factor

The POCP (Photo Oxidant Creation Potential) for formaldehyde is 0.424 (Lindfors et al.,1994)

Calculation of characterisation factor

The characterisation factor of ethylene for YOLL is 1.20E-05 YOLL/kg ethylene. This
means that the characterisation factor for formaldehyde will be 0.424*1.20E-05 = 0.509E-06 YOLL/kg.

Calculation of characterisation factor

The resulting characterisation factor from adding the three pathways is 5.07E-05 +
8.72E–06 + 5.09E-07 = 5.99E-05 YOLL/kg formaldehyde.

Literature Reference:
1. Lindfors, L.G.,Christiansen, K., Hoffman, L., Virtanen, Y., Juntilla, V. Leskinen, A., Hanssen, O-J., Rønning, A., Ekvall, T. and Finnveden, G., LCA-Nordic, Technical report No 10, Tema Nord 1995:503, Nordic Council of Ministers, Copenhagen 1994. 2. Houghton, J.T Jenkins, G.J. and Ephraums, J.J., (Ed.) (1990) Climate change – The IPCC scientific assessment. Cambridge University Press
Methodological Range:
Including emissions from anywhere at the globe 1990 and considering a residence time of several days for formaldehyde and its reaction products, the environmental system will also be global. As formaldehyde causes cancer, there is a reason for using a 20-year system border, but as we use a linear dose-response model, we restrict the system borders to the year 1990. In terms of qualitative system borders, we look at human health issues and ecosystem production capacity. No effects on resources or aesthetics are included. For the global warming pathways, the same system borders as for CO2 is relevant, i.e. 100 years.
Notes:

Existing Characterisation Factors of Formaldehyde impact on YOLL
Characterisation Parameter Category Indicator Impact Indication Principle Aspect Substance Quantity Unit Notes
CFactor YOLL EPS/2000
Type = Emission
Direction = Output
Media = Air
Geography = *
Formaldehyde 5.99E-05 p yr/kg 3 pathways