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Scientific journal publication

The Emissions Fractions Approach to Assessing the Long-Range Transport Potential of Organic Chemicals

Breivik, Knut; McLachlan, Michael S.; Wania, Frank

Publication details

Journal: Environmental Science and Technology, vol. 56, 11983–11990, 2022

Arkiv: hdl.handle.net/11250/3018856
Doi: doi.org/10.1021/acs.est.2c03047

The assessment of long-range transport potential (LRTP) is enshrined in several frameworks for chemical regulation such as the Stockholm Convention. Screening for LRTP is commonly done with the OECD Pov and LRTP Screening Tool employing two metrics, characteristic travel distance (CTD) and transfer efficiency (TE). Here we introduce a set of three alternative metrics and implement them in the Tool’s model. Each metric is expressed as a fraction of the emissions in a source region. The three metrics quantify the extent to which the chemical (i) reaches a remote region (dispersion, ϕ1), (ii) is transferred to surface media in the remote region (transfer, ϕ2), and (iii) accumulates in these surface media (accumulation, ϕ3). In contrast to CTD and TE, the emissions fractions metrics can integrate transport via water and air, enabling comprehensive LRTP assessment. Furthermore, since there is a coherent relationship between the three metrics, the new approach provides quantitative mechanistic insight into different phenomena determining LRTP. Finally, the accumulation metric, ϕ3, allows assessment of LRTP in the context of the Stockholm Convention, where the ability of a chemical to elicit adverse effects in surface media is decisive. We conclude that the emission fractions approach has the potential to reduce the risk of false positives/negatives in LRTP assessments.