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Improving exposure scenario definitions within REACH: A comparative study of sources to aggregate exposure in Korea and in Denmark

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In recent years, the paradigm of chemical management system has changed from being toxicity oriented and media based to being risk oriented and receptor based. This trend is evident not only regarding environmental quality standards, but also for industrial chemical regulations. Political instruments to support a precautionary chemicals management system and to protect receptor’s health have also been increasing. Since 2007, the European Union adopted REACH (the Regulation on Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals): REACH makes industry responsible for assessing and managing the risks posed by industrial chemicals and providing appropriate safety information to their users (EC, 2007). However, to ensure a high level of protection of human health and the environment, there is a need to consider ‘aggregate exposure’ including background exposures from environment which varies in different regions. It is also needed to include information about the sustainable level of industrial emissions in REACH reporting system; this is in order to prevent chemicals from accumulating in the environmental media and biota. New approaches and frameworks are therefore needed to accomplish the goals of REACH, these at the same time can decrease historical background exposure for humans and ecosystem. A comparative review about the environmental management system such as quality goals, relevant organizations and environmental monitoring systems of hazardous chemicals in Denmark and Korea will be presented. Furthermore, the actual concentrations of selected substances (metals and POPs) in environmental media will be compared between the two countries with reference to the amount of chemicals emitted to environment by industries as reported in the national PRTR registers. Comparing the different background exposure between two countries allows in fact the definition of a common framework for improving exposure scenarios within REACH system, for monitoring environmental health, and for increasing degree of circularity of resource and substance flows.

1. European Commission Environment Directorate General, Oct.2007, REACH in brief

REACH, Aggregate exposure, Background exposure, Exposure scenario
Original languageEnglish
Publication year2012
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 2012
Event6th SETAC World Congress / SETAC Europe 22nd Annual Meeting: Securing a sustainable future: Integrating science, policy and people - Estrel hotel, Berlin, Germany
Duration: 20 May 201224 May 2012


Conference6th SETAC World Congress / SETAC Europe 22nd Annual Meeting
LocationEstrel hotel

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