Chemical substitution with a life cycle perspective: The case of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances in durable water repellents
Doktorsavhandling, 2020

The aim of the research presented in this thesis was to support the process of substitution of side-chain fluorinated polymers in durable water repellents (DWRs), that give rise to emissions of hazardous per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs). The focus was on: i) the provision of improved decision support regarding the environmental and human health performance of alternatives, and ii) public readiness for substitution and what messages can motivate consumers to voluntary substitution.

This research explored the applicability of life cycle assessment (LCA) for the provision of a life cycle perspective in chemical alternatives assessment (CAA). To improve the relevance of LCA in the CAA of DWR alternatives, contributions were made to the life cycle impact assessment (LCIA) of (eco)toxicity, and characterisation factors were calculated (Papers II and III). Case study results (Paper IV), together with a literature review (Paper V), showed that LCA can provide relevant information for CAAs. Potential problem-shifting was identified between DWR alternatives, and the scenario assessment in the LCA provided useful input to the CAA. The hazard assessment (Paper I) together with the LCA support the recommendation to phase-out all non-essential use of PFASs in DWR.

Performing such a phase-out through regulation can be a slow process. The potential to accelerate a phase-out by motivating consumers to voluntary substitution was investigated using a web-survey experiment. This study (Paper VI) found that Swedish readiness to voluntarily act to substitute hazardous fluorinated chemicals is already high and that detailed information on the hazards associated with these chemicals can raise this potential even higher.

The present research strengthens the potential for LCA to be used in CAA and identifies its limitations. The work will help policy makers and analysts who are faced with challenges such as prioritising regulatory and design interventions for substitution and shaping information campaigns to encourage voluntary substitution.

CAA

DWR

LCA

LCIA

PFAS

Online
Opponent: Professor Matthew MacLeod, Stockholm University

Författare

Hanna Holmquist

Chalmers, Teknikens ekonomi och organisation, Miljösystemanalys

Properties, performance and associated hazards of state-of-the-art durable water repellent (DWR) chemistry for textile finishing

Environment International,; Vol. 91(2016)p. 251-264

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USEtox characterisation factors for textile chemicals based on a transparent data source selection strategy

International Journal of Life Cycle Assessment,; Vol. 23(2018)p. 890-903

Artikel i vetenskaplig tidskrift

An (Eco)Toxicity Life Cycle Impact Assessment Framework for Per- And Polyfluoroalkyl Substances

Environmental Science & Technology,; Vol. 54(2020)p. 6224-6234

Artikel i vetenskaplig tidskrift

Hanna Holmquist, Sandra Roos, Steffen Schellenberger, Christina Jönsson and Gregory M. Peters. Life cycle assessment to support substitution of hazardous highly fluorinated chemicals in durable water repellents on outdoor garments

Review of Environmental Assessment Case Studies Blending Elements of Risk Assessment and Life Cycle Assessment

Environmental Science & Technology,; Vol. 49(2015)p. 13083-13093

Artikel i vetenskaplig tidskrift

When it is discovered that chemicals used in industrial applications or consumer products are hazardous, others with less hazardous properties can be substituted in their place. For the substitution to fulfil its purpose it must reduce the overall hazard, in other words, it must reduce the potential for all types of environmental and human health impacts. To address such a complex scope, a life cycle perspective is needed. The aim of the research presented in this thesis was to support the process of substitution of hazardous per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) in durable water repellents (DWRs). DWRs are used on outdoor garments and other applications. This research explored the applicability of life cycle assessment (LCA) for the provision of a life cycle perspective in the substitution assessment. The research incorporated method development and case studies and the results support a phase-out of PFASs in all non-essential DWR uses.

Performing such a phase-out through regulation can be a slow process and the potential to accelerate it was investigated in a Swedish survey experiment. The survey showed that Swedish readiness to voluntarily act to substitute hazardous PFASs is already high and that detailed information on the hazards associated with these chemicals can raise this potential even higher.

The present research will help stakeholders who are faced with challenges such as prioritising regulatory and design interventions for substitution and shaping information campaigns to encourage voluntary substitution.

Subsitution i praktiken av prioriterade flourkemikalier för att eliminera diffusa källor (SUPFES)

Stockholms läns landsting, 2017-01-01 -- 2020-12-31.

Formas, 2013-01-01 -- 2017-12-31.

Drivkrafter

Hållbar utveckling

Ämneskategorier

Annan naturresursteknik

Miljöledning

Miljövetenskap

ISBN

978-91-7905-299-7

Doktorsavhandlingar vid Chalmers tekniska högskola. Ny serie: 4766

Utgivare

Chalmers tekniska högskola

Online

Online

Opponent: Professor Matthew MacLeod, Stockholm University

Mer information

Senast uppdaterat

2020-05-18