The European Chemical Industry Council (CEFIC) and the German Chemical Industry Association (Verband der Chemischen Industrie: VCI) have jointly developed a method that enables quick and reliable estimation of the dangers posed by mixtures of substances in terms of exposure scenarios. The developers have asked KFT Chemicals Service and others to test the Lead Component Identification (LCID) method and suggest any improvements. “We are delighted to be allowed to work as pioneers here. Use of the method significantly simplifies the creation of exposure scenarios for mixtures,” says Dr. Nicolas Heidrich, REACH expert and LCID tester.
Of course, the REACH Regulation requires chemical safety reports for all substances that are subject to registration and are manufactured in quantities of 10 tons or more. A dangerous substance or a substance of very high concern also requires exposure scenarios. The scenarios provide a good estimate of the danger of individual substances.
Assessment of mixtures of substances, however, involves much more effort, and the creation of exposure scenarios is accordingly much more extensive. For a long time, exposure scenarios were required for all the components of a mixture. The LCID method enables consolidation of the exposure information on individual substances in the mixture to be consolidated in appropriate scenarios, which describe the risks related to use of the mixtures very well. Crucial to the assessment are lead substances – risk substances that require handling with special safety measures, such as adequate ventilation or wearing gloves.
For Dr. Heidrich, the advantages of the new method are obvious. “On the one hand, we can quickly determine which exposure scenarios are truly important. That makes the assessment more targeted and means less effort. On the other hand, the additive effects of individual components are considered as best as possible.”
Heidrich estimates that the LCID method could be released for use in just a few weeks. But first, a group of experts will evaluate the test results and work out the details in the next weeks as part of an ENES (Exchange Network on Exposure Scenarios) workshop. That’s when an announcement will be made about when and where the method will be published.