Under REACH, the new chemicals policy in Europe, exposure scenarios form an essential basis for chemical risk assessment reports to show that chemicals can be used safely. This requires a tiered exposure assessment approach in which the first Tier is given by a conservative system and subsequent Tier(s) providing more refined exposure modelling for scenarios of concern. A case by case in-depth assessment requiring additional exposure measurements for each scenario of concern would be an extremely expensive process. Hence, a generic exposure assessment tool generating scientifically justified and realistic exposure estimates would significantly increase cost-effectiveness of REACH. Currently, such a model is lacking under REACH.
The Advanced REACH Tool (ART) should close this gap with respect to occupational inhalation exposure assessment (for vapours, mists, dust, and fumes from molten metals). The ART project started in January 2008 and has made substantial progress. The mechanistic model and Bayesian model has recently been finalised (Fransman et al. 2009; McNally et al., 2009). Some results have already been published in the open literature (Tielemans et al., 2007; Tielemans et al., 2008; Fransman et al., 2008) and a sequence of scientific papers on ART is anticipated to be published in 2010. The ART project has been conducted in close collaboration with a range of stakeholders from governments and industry. The use of ART for workers exposure assessment under REACH will be described in ECHA’ updated Guidance on ”Information Requirements and CSA”. ART will also be useful for other exposure assessment applications beyond REACH; the consortium has started to explore these other application areas with stakeholders.
The Advanced REACH Tool (ART) is publicly available at www.advancedreachtool.com.