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A screening method for ranking and scoring chemicals by potential human health and environmental impacts

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Abstract

Potential impacts of chemical releases are often evaluated by regulators, industry, and others to set regulatory action priorities, to make business decisions, and to target pollution prevention efforts. A chemical ranking and scoring method entitled “Chemical Hazard Evaluation for Management Strategies” (CHEMS-1) has been developed as a screening tool to provide a relative assessment of chemical hazards to human health and the environment. The purpose of this method is to place chemical release data into perspective by evaluating both the toxic effects of chemicals and the potential exposure to those chemicals. This is done by combining measures of chemical toxicity pertaining to both human health and the environment with chemical release amounts and information on environmental persistence and bioaccumulation. The CHEMS-1 was initially developed to select priority chemicals for assessing safer substitutes for major product and process uses, where chemicals were selected from Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) data and annual pesticide usage data. A two-tiered approach was adopted with CHEMS-1 presented here representing the first, or screening-level, tier.

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