USEtox characterisation factors for textile chemicals based on a transparent data source selection strategy
Artikel i vetenskaplig tidskrift, 2018

Purpose Life cycle assessments (LCAs) of textile products which do not include the use and emission of textile chemicals, such as dyes, softeners and water-repellent agents,will give non-comprehensive results for the toxicity impact potential. The purpose of this paper is twofold: (1) to provide a set of characterisation factors (CFs) for some of the most common textile chemicals and (2) to propose a data source selection strategy in order to increase transparency when calculating new CFs. Methods A set of 72 common textile-related substances was matched with the USEtox 2.01, USEtox 1.01 and the COSMEDE databases in order to investigate coverage and coherence. For the 25 chemicals that did not already have established CFs in any of these databases, new CFs were calculated. A data source selection strategy was developed and followed in order to ensure consistency and transparency,and USEtox 2.01 was used for calculations. The parameters that caused the most uncertainty were identified during the modelling and strategies for handling them were developed. Results and discussion Of the 72 textile-related substances, 48 already had calculated recommended or indicative CFs in existing databases, which showed good coherence. The main uncertainty identified during the calculation of 25 new CFs was the selection of input data regarding toxicity and degradation in water. However, for substances such as per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), the acid dissociation constant (pKa) and partitioning coefficients (Kow and KOC)also require special considerations. Other input parameters had less than one order of magnitude impact on the CF result for essentially all substances. Conclusions The paper presents a strategy for how to provide a complete set of toxicity CFs for a given list of substances. In addition, such a set of CFs for common textile-related substances is presented. The data source selection strategy provides a structured and transparent way of calculating additional CFs for textile chemicals with USEtox. Consequently, this study can help future LCA studies to provide relevant guidance towards environmentally benign chemical management in the textile industry.


Life cycle assessment (LCA)


Characterisation factor




Sandra Roos

Chalmers, Teknikens ekonomi och organisation, Environmental Systems Analysis


Hanna Holmquist

Chalmers, Teknikens ekonomi och organisation, Environmental Systems Analysis

Christina Jönsson


Rickard Arvidsson

Chalmers, Teknikens ekonomi och organisation, Environmental Systems Analysis

International Journal of Life Cycle Assessment

0948-3349 (ISSN) 1614-7502 (eISSN)

Vol. 23 4 890-903


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