Hotspot Scan A SYSTEMATIC SCREENING TOOL FOR POTENTIAL HOTSPOTS IN THE LIFE CYCLE OF INNOVATIVE PRODUCTS
The Hotspot Scan is a public tool that allows a systematic and efficient assessment of potential hotspots in the life cycle of innovative products. To perform a full LCA can be a time-consuming and challenging task, the HotSpotScan provides an intermediate assessment focusing on the strongest human health and environmental impacts based on establishing all the material flows.
The Hotspot Scan, originally created in FutureNanoNeeds, has been augmented in the Perocube project to a tool that allows to scan for hotspots in the life cycle of innovative products.
The approach of life cycle thinking is important to minimize the human health and environmental burdens associated with products or product portfolios throughout their entire life cycle and value chain. These human health and environmental burdens can be assessed by means of Life Cycle Assessment (LCA). However, to perform a full LCA can be a time-consuming and challenging task. Instead, the hotspot scan provides an intermediate assessment focusing on the strongest human health and environmental impacts based on establishing all the material flows.
Estimating the emissions of and exposure to hazardous substances over the life cycle of a product can be a tedious and difficult task. The HotSpotScan greatly eases this process and provides the user with data used in REACH. By answering relatively simple questions the user builds the product's life cycle and selects the proper emission data. The result is a flow chart showing environmental emissions and worker exposure.
The HotSpotScan (HSS) assists the user in building a product's life cycle with different phases like substance production, formulation, use, service life and end-of-life. By answering questions on the substance and process properties the relevant release factors used in EUSES (European Union System for the Evaluation of Substances), the tool for estimating emissions in REACH dossiers, are used to predict emissions and indoor exposure. Furthermore, release factors from the specific environmental release categories (spERCs) provided by industries are also integrated into the tool. The user is able to overrule these factors and provide own values for the factors.
The HSS was initially developed in the FutureNanoNeeds FP7 project, and has been further developed in peroCUBE, a Horizon 2020 project focussing on the development of perovskite devices. It can be applied to a broad range of applications.
Several industrial categories are included in the tool, among them Adhesives and Sealants, Construction Chemicals, Electrical/Electronic Industry, Solvents and more. After selecting one of these categories you build your product's life cycle phase by phase. The tool uses by default a reference amount of 1000 kg of a substance in the product at its use phase. Based on that, amounts in the upstream phases are automatically adjusted using the efficiencies of use of the substance in those phases.
The HSS shows the emissions to the environmental compartments air, water and soil. If relevant the emissions to indoor air are also shown. Additionally the amounts of solid waste created in each phase and waste going to a wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) are presented. After the use/service life phase the End-of-Life phase is shown, here further emissions are currently not shown. The division among Recycling, Incineration, Landfill and WWTP are shown instead. The tool is especially helpful for developers of technologies that are in an early stage of development. With the HSS you can assess where most likely emissions of hazardous substances may occur in the life cycle and so further design the technology to reduce environmental burdens and human exposure.