Integrating a life cycle perspective in the exposure and impact assessment of conventional and emerging pollutantscase studies on biocides and engineered nanomaterials

Supervised by:
  1. Miren Pilare Cajaraville Bereziartua Director

Defence university: Universidad del País Vasco - Euskal Herriko Unibertsitatea

Fecha de defensa: 11 July 2022

  1. Zoología y Biología Celular Animal

Type: Thesis

Teseo: 743205 DIALNET lock_openADDI editor


The main objective of the present thesis has consisted in implementing a life cycle-oriented perspective when assessing the risks associated to synthetic chemicals including biocides and engineered nanomaterials (ENMs) as examples of conventional and emerging contaminants, respectively.In the case of biocidal products, in general, once used, biocidal active substances can easily reach aquatic compartments where they are transformed in metabolites, degradation and transformation products. However, the hazard of such substances towards trophic levels representative of the freshwater compartment is less known than that of the parent compounds.For EMNs, the different processes that nanotechnology enabled products and/or applications (NEPs/NEAs) undergo throughout their life cycle need to be simulated in a controlled environment for the assessment of their potential release and associated exposure to their released forms. We have developed two nano-release assessment studies selecting (i) a NEA in solid state, generally aimed to be used at industrial scale at the indoor compartment (polypropylene based nanocomposite samplesintegrating different types of (nano)fillers) and (ii) a NEP in liquid state, aimed to be used by consumers at the indoor compartment (nano-additivated inkjet printing ink).We have demonstrated that under a holistic, life cycle-oriented perspective that includes use and end of life stages, novel risks differing from those derived from the manufacturing stage occur.Finally, we have evaluated the possibility to derive new characterization factors for human respiratory and ecotoxicity of one of the case studies for ENMs in order to account for the specific impacts of these emerging chemicals in the life cycle assessment framework according to ISO 14040.