[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The aim of this article is to help confront uncertainty in life cycle assessments (LCAs) used for decision support. LCAs offer a quantitative approach to assess environmental effects of products, technologies, and services and are conducted by an LCA practitioner or analyst (AN) to support the decision maker (DM) in making the best possible choice for the environment. At present, some DMs do not trust the LCA to be a reliable decision-support tool—often because DMs consider the uncertainty of an LCA to be too large. The standard evaluation of uncertainty in LCAs is an ex-post approach that can be described as a variance simulation based on individual data points used in an LCA. This article develops and proposes a taxonomy for LCAs based on extensive research in the LCA, management, and economic literature. This taxonomy can be used ex ante to support planning and communication between an AN and DM regarding which type of LCA study to employ for the decision context at hand. This taxonomy enables the derivation of an LCA classification matrix to clearly identify and communicate the type of a given LCA. By relating the LCA classification matrix to statistical principles, we can also rank the different types of LCA on an expected inherent uncertainty scale that can be used to confront and address potential uncertainty. However, this article does not attempt to offer a quantitative approach for assessing uncertainty in LCAs used for decision support.
Journal of Industrial Ecology 01/2014; · 2.28 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Consumer products and building materials emit a number of semivolatile organic compounds (SVOCs) in the indoor environment. Because indoor SVOCs accumulate in dust, we explore the use of dust to determine source strength and report here on analysis of dust samples collected in 30 U.S. homes for six phthalates, four personal care product ingredients, and five flame retardants. We then use a fugacity-based indoor mass-balance model to estimate the whole house emission rates of SVOCs that would account for the measured dust concentrations. Di-2-ethylhexyl phthalate (DEHP) and di-iso-nonyl phthalate (DiNP) were the most abundant compounds in these dust samples. On the other hand, the estimated emission rate of diethyl phthalate (DEP) is the largest among phthalates, although its dust concentration is over two orders of magnitude smaller than DEHP and DiNP. The magnitude of the estimated emission rate that corresponds to the measured dust concentration is found to be inversely correlated with the vapor pressure of the compound, indicating that dust concentrations alone cannot be used to determine which compounds have the greatest emission rates. The combined dust-assay modeling approach shows promise for estimating indoor emission rates for SVOCs. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Passenger cars in the United States (U.S.) rely primarily on petroleum-derived fuels and contribute the majority of U.S. transportation-related greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Electricity and biofuels are two promising alternatives for reducing both the carbon intensity of automotive transportation and U.S. reliance on imported oil. However, as standalone solutions, the biofuels option is limited by land availability and the electricity option is limited by market adoption rates and technical challenges. This paper explores potential GHG emissions reductions attainable in the United States through 2050 with a county-level scenario analysis that combines ambitious plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) adoption rates with scale-up of cellulosic ethanol production. With PHEVs achieving a 58% share of the passenger car fleet by 2050, phasing out most corn ethanol and limiting cellulosic ethanol feedstocks to sustainably produced crop residues and dedicated crops, we project that the United States could supply the liquid fuels needed for the automobile fleet with an average blend of 80% ethanol (by volume) and 20% gasoline. If electricity for PHEV charging could be supplied by a combination of renewables and natural-gas combined-cycle power plants, the carbon intensity of automotive transport would be 79 g CO2e per vehicle-kilometer traveled, a 71% reduction relative to 2013.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Energy use is central to human society and provides many health benefits. But each source of energy entails some health risks. This article reviews the health impacts of each major source of energy, focusing on those with major implications for the burden of disease globally. The biggest health impacts accrue to the harvesting and burning of solid fuels, coal and biomass, mainly in the form of occupational health risks and household and general ambient air pollution. Lack of access to clean fuels and electricity in the world's poor households is a particularly serious risk for health. Although energy efficiency brings many benefits, it also entails some health risks, as do renewable energy systems, if not managed carefully. We do not review health impacts of climate change itself, which are due mostly to climate-altering pollutants from energy systems, but do discuss the potential for achieving near-term health cobenefits by reducing certain climate-related emissions. Expected final online publication date for the Annual Review of Public Health Volume 34 is March 17, 2013. Please see http://www.annualreviews.org/catalog/pubdates.aspx for revised estimates.
Annual Review of Public Health 01/2013; · 3.27 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Exposure to environmental chemicals results from multiple sources, environmental media, and exposure routes. Ideally, modeled exposures should be compared to biomonitoring data. This study compares the magnitude and variation of modeled polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) exposures resulting from emissions to outdoor and indoor air and estimated exposure inferred from biomarker levels. Outdoor emissions result in both inhalation and food-based exposures. We modeled PAH intake doses using U.S. EPA's 2002 National Air Toxics Assessment (NATA) county-level emissions data for outdoor inhalation, the CalTOX model for food ingestion (based on NATA emissions), and indoor air concentrations from field studies for indoor inhalation. We then compared the modeled intake with the measured urine levels of hydroxy-PAH metabolites from the 2001-2002 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) survey as quantifiable human intake of PAH parent-compounds. Lognormal probability plots of modeled intakes and estimated intakes inferred from biomarkers suggest that a primary route of exposure to naphthalene, fluorene, and phenanthrene for the U.S. population is likely inhalation from indoor sources. For benzo(a)pyrene, the predominant exposure route is likely from food ingestion resulting from multi-pathway transport and bioaccumulation due to outdoor emissions. Multiple routes of exposure are important for pyrene. We also considered the sensitivity of the predicted exposure to the proportion of the total naphthalene production volume emitted to the indoor environment. The comparison of PAH biomarkers with exposure variability estimated from models and sample data for various exposure pathways supports that both indoor and outdoor models are needed to capture the sources and routes of exposure to environmental contaminants. (C) 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Indoor residence times of semivolatile organic compounds (SVOCs) are a major and mostly unavailable input for residential exposure assessment. We calculated residence times for a suite of SVOCs using a fugacity model applied to residential environments. Residence times depend on both the mass distribution of the compound between the "mobile phase" (air and dust particles settled on the carpet) and the "non-mobile phase" (carpet fibers and pad) and the removal rates resulting from air exchange and cleaning. We estimated dust removal rates from cleaning processes using an indoor-particle mass-balance model. Chemical properties determine both the mass distribution and relative importance of the two removal pathways, resulting in different residence times between compounds. We conducted a field study after chlorpyrifos was phased out for indoor use in the U.S. in 2001 to determine the decreases in chlorpyrifos air concentrations over a one year period. A measured average decrease of 18% in chlorpyrifos air concentrations indicates the residence time of chlorpyrifos is expected to be 6.9 years and compares well with model predictions. The estimates from this study provide the opportunity to make more reliable estimates of SVOCs exposure in the indoor residential environment.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Vehicular air pollutant emissions are characterized by a high degree of spatial variability that is correlated with the distribution of people. The consequences of the spatial association between emissions and exposed populations have not been fully captured in lifecycle and other impact assessments. The intake fraction (iF) quantifies aggregate air-pollutant exposures attributable to sources. Utilizing source–receptor (S–R) relationships derived from the US Environmental Protection Agency's AERMOD steady-state plume model, we quantify the intake fraction of conserved pollutants emitted from on-road mobile sources and report here the first characterization across approximately 65,000 census tracts of the conterminous United States. Considering exposures out to 50 km from the source, the population-weighted mean iF is 8.6 parts per million (ppm). The population-weighted median generally increases with geographic scale, from 3.6 ppm for census tracts to 4.2 ppm for counties, and 5.1 ppm for states, while the population-weighted interquartile range (IQR) progressively narrows as geographic scale increases: 0.85–8.8 ppm for census tracts, 1.5–8.5 ppm for counties, and 3.2–7.5 ppm for states. Across the four US Census regions, the population weighted median iF varies from 2.2 ppm (South) to 7.5 ppm (West), and the census-tract IQR spans an order of magnitude in each region (2.1–17 ppm in the West; 0.55–6.9 ppm in the Midwest; 0.45–5.5 ppm in the South; and 1.8–18 ppm in the Northeast). The population-weighted mean intake fraction for populous urban counties is about two orders of magnitude greater than for sparsely populated rural counties. On a population-weighted average basis and considering the 50 km analysis range, 75% of the intake occurs in the same county as emissions.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Reliable exposure-based chemical characterization tools are needed to evaluate and prioritize in a rapid and efficient manner the more than tens of thousands of chemicals in current use. This study applies intake fraction (iF), the integrated incremental intake of a chemical per unit of emission, for a suite of indoor released compounds. A fugacity-based indoor mass-balance model was used to simulate the fate and transport of chemicals for three release scenarios: direct emissions to room air and surface applications to carpet and vinyl. Exposure through inhalation, dermal uptake, and nondietary ingestion was estimated. To compute iF, cumulative intake was summed from all exposure pathways for 20 years based on a scenario with two adults and a 1-year-old child who ages through the simulation. Overall iFs vary by application modes: air release (3.1 × 10(-3) to 6.3 × 10(-3)), carpet application (3.8 × 10(-5) to 6.2 × 10(-3)), and vinyl application (9.0 × 10(-5) to 1.8 × 10(-2)). These iF values serve as initial estimates that offer important insights on variations among chemicals and the potential relative contribution of each pathway over a suite of compounds. The approach from this study is intended for exposure-based prioritization of chemicals released inside homes.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Human exposure to preformed dialkylphosphates (DAPs) in food or the environment may affect the reliability of DAP urinary metabolites as biomarkers of organophosphate (OP) pesticide exposure. We conducted a study to investigate the presence of DAPs in indoor residential environments and their association with children's urinary DAP levels. We collected dust samples from homes in farmworker and urban communities (40 homes total, n=79 samples) and up to two urine samples from resident children ages 3-6 years. We measured six DAPs in all samples and eight DAP-devolving OP pesticides in a subset of dust samples (n=54). DAPs were detected in dust with diethylphosphate (DEP) being the most frequently detected (≥60%); detection frequencies for other DAPs were ≤50%. DEP dust concentrations did not significantly differ between communities, nor were concentrations significantly correlated with concentrations of chlorpyrifos and diazinon, the most frequently detected diethyl-OP pesticides (Spearman ρ=-0.41 to 0.38, P>0.05). Detection of DEP, chlorpyrifos, or diazinon, was not associated with DEP and/or DEP+diethylthiophosphate detection in urine (Kappa coefficients=-0.33 to 0.16). Finally, estimated non-dietary ingestion intake from DEP in dust was found to be ≤5% of the dose calculated from DEP levels in urine, suggesting that ingestion of dust is not a significant source of DAPs in urine if they are excreted unchanged.
Journal of Exposure Science and Environmental Epidemiology 07/2012; 22(6):559-68. · 3.19 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: From 1991 to 2009, U.S. production of ethanol increased 10-fold, largely due to government programs motivated by climate change, energy security, and economic development goals. As low-level ethanol-gasoline blends have not consistently outperformed ethanol-free gasoline in vehicle performance or tailpipe emissions, national-level economic and environmental goals could be accomplished more efficiently by concentrating consumption of gasoline containing 10% ethanol (i.e., E10) near producers to minimize freight activity. As the domestic transportation of ethanol increased 10-fold in metric ton-kilometers (t-km) from 2000 to 2009, the portion of t-km potentially justified by the E10 blend wall increased from less than 40% to 80%. However, we estimate 10 billion t-km took place annually from 2004 to 2009 for reasons other than the blend wall. This "unnecessary" transportation resulted in more than $240 million in freight costs, 90 million L of diesel consumption, 300,000 metric tons of CO(2)-e emissions, and 440 g of human intake of PM(2.5). By 2009, the marginal savings from enabling Iowa to surpass E10 would have exceeded 2.5 g CO(2)-e/MJ and $0.12/gallon of ethanol, as the next-closest customer was 1600 km away. The use of a national network model enables estimation of marginal transportation impacts from subnational policies, and benefits from policies encouraging concentrated consumption of renewable fuels.
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Note: First Runner-up, Top 2012 Environmental Policy Paper in ES&T (http://pubs.acs.org/doi/full/10.1021/es401684v)
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Environmental health information resources lack exposure data required to translate molecular insights, elucidate environmental contributions to diseases, and assess human health and ecological risks. We report development of an Exposure Ontology, ExO, designed to address this information gap by facilitating centralization and integration of exposure data. Major concepts were defined and the ontology drafted and evaluated by a working group of exposure scientists and other ontology and database experts. The resulting major concepts forming the basis for the ontology are "exposure stressor", "exposure receptor", "exposure event", and "exposure outcome". Although design of the first version of ExO focused on human exposure to chemicals, we anticipate expansion by the scientific community to address exposures of human and ecological receptors to the full suite of environmental stressors. Like other widely used ontologies, ExO is intended to link exposure science and diverse environmental health disciplines including toxicology, epidemiology, disease surveillance, and epigenetics.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 set an annual US national production goal of 39.7 billion l of cellulosic ethanol by 2020. This paper explores the possibility of meeting that target by growing and processing Miscanthus × giganteus. We define and assess six production scenarios in which active cropland and/or Conservation Reserve Program land are used to grow to Miscanthus. The crop and biorefinery locations are chosen with consideration of economic, land-use, water management and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reduction objectives. Using lifecycle assessment, the net GHG footprint of each scenario is evaluated, providing insight into the climate costs and benefits associated with each scenario's objectives. Assuming that indirect land-use change is successfully minimized or mitigated, the results suggest two major drivers for overall GHG impact of cellulosic ethanol from Miscanthus: (a) net soil carbon sequestration or emissions during Miscanthus cultivation and (b) GHG offset credits for electricity exported by biorefineries to the grid. Without these factors, the GHG intensity of bioethanol from Miscanthus is calculated to be 11–13 g CO2-equivalent per MJ of fuel, which is 80–90% lower than gasoline. Including soil carbon sequestration and the power-offset credit results in net GHG sequestration up to 26 g CO2-equivalent per MJ of fuel.
Environmental Research Letters 01/2012; 7(1):014011. · 3.58 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Art. No.: 019502
Export Date: 4 February 2013
, The following values have no corresponding Zotero field:
Author Address: Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of California, 760 Davis Hall, Berkeley, CA 94720, United States
Author Address: Earth Sciences Division, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, 1 Cyclotron Road, Berkeley, CA 94720, United States
Author Address: Environmental Energy Technologies Division, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, 1 Cyclotron Road, Berkeley, CA 94720, United States
Author Address: School of Public Health, University of California, 50 University Hall, Berkeley, CA 94720, United States
Environmental Research Letters 01/2012; 7(1). · 3.58 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Export Date: 4 February 2013
, The following values have no corresponding Zotero field:
Author Address: Environmental Energy Technologies Division, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkeley, CA 94720, United States
Author Address: Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720-1710, United States
Author Address: School of Public Health, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720-7360, United States
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The acknowledgment should additionally state: ‘We would like to thank Drs Caroline Taylor and Heather Youngs from the Energy Biosciences Institute for their help in this research.’
Environmental Research Letters 01/2012; 7(1). · 3.58 Impact Factor