Declaring life cycle inventory of toxicity related emissions in environmental product declarations of preservative treated wood products

IRG/WP 18-50339

L G F Tellnes, C Askham, P-O Flæte, M Klamer

Life cycle assessment (LCA) including impacts on toxicity for preservative treated wood has been shown to have large uncertainties. With the growing demand for verified LCA in environmental product declarations (EPD), the need for reliable data is crucial for realistic assessment of wood products. Uncertainty is caused by several issues such as service life prediction, leaching rates and calculation of the environmental impacts of leaching and other emissions, known as life cycle impact assessment (LCIA). The goal of this paper is to present suggestions for declaring life cycle inventory (LCI) results in EPD in the European context and to give recommendations for developing realistic methods for LCIA of these inventory results. The LCI should be based on existing methods used in risk assessments demanded for the Biocidal Products Regulation (BPR), but has to be calculated relative to the functional unit in the EPD. The minimum requirement should be that the LCI should include emissions arising from the manufacturing process and use. Information about the geographical, timing and metal speciation should also be documented, so that realistic characterisation factors can be developed for the LCIA. Generic characterisation factors for LCIA of preservative treated wood should not be used for LCA, as the results would have very high uncertainties. Further research should be performed to developed realistic characterisation factors for LCIA of toxicity related emissions from wood products.

Keywords: Life cycle assessment (LCA), toxicity, wood preservation, leaching, environmental product declarations (EPD)

Conference: 18-04-29/05-03 Johannesburg, South Africa

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