European Union System for the Evaluation of Substances 2.0 (EUSES 2.0); background report

10-05-2004 | Publication

This report describes the second version of the PC-program 'European Union System for the Evaluation of Substances', EUSES 2.0. It completely replaces the EUSES 1.0 program and documentation.

EUSES 2.0 is designed to be a decision-support system for the evaluation of the risks of substances to man and the environment. The system is fully based on the EU Technical Guidance Documents for the risk assessment of new and existing substances and biocides. The documentation and program can be obtained from the European Chemicals Bureau, Ispra, Italy. EUSES is the result of a co-ordinated effort of EU Member States, the European Commission and the Europe-an Chemical Industry.

This risk assessment is transparent and easy to perform: EUSES is well documented and available as a user-friendly computer program. Risks to man pertain to consumers, workers and man exposed through the environment. Protection goals in the environment include sewage treatment plant populations of micro-organisms, aquatic, terrestrial and sediment ecosystems and populations of predators. This assessment includes the marine environment.

The risk assessment is carried out in a stepwise procedure starting with data input and estimation and further involving the estimation of emissions, the prediction of environmental distribution, the calculation of human and environmental exposure, the derivation of no-effect levels and the risk characterisation. Virtually all default settings can be changed and all estimated parameter values and intermediate results can be overwritten by measured data.

The exposure assessment in EUSES covers the whole life cycle of substances as well as their fate in all environmental compartments at three spatial scales: the personal scale for consumers and workers, the local scale for man and ecosystems near point sources and the regional scale for man and ecosystems exposed as a result of all releases in a larger region. Where appropriate, in the effects module no-effect levels are derived for all ecosystems and populations considered.

The human effects assessment covers all relevant endpoints for both threshold and non-threshold substances. The end-point of EUSES is a quantitative comparison per substance of the results of the effects and the exposure assessment. The resulting risk characterisation ratios (RCRs) can be regarded as indicators for the likelihood of adverse effects occurring.