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Is the EU Ecolabel DID List a Useful Environmental Evaluation Tool for Detergent-like Consumer Products?

Ist die DID-Liste des EU Ecolabels ein sinnvolles Umweltbewertungstool für Waschmittel-ähnliche Konsumentenprodukte?
  • L. Nitschke , I. Malcomber , C. Tibazarwa and J. Steber

Abstract

For comparing the environmental relevance of household and personal care products, the Critical Dilution Volume (CDV) originally developed for the EU Ecolabel of detergents is an often used key criterion. The EU Ecolabel Detergents Ingredient Database (DID) is a publicly available information basis for derivation of product CDV by providing data on key descriptors for the environmental fate and effects of chemical substances used in consumer products. The alterations of the CDV-relevant descriptors in the revised DID list (2004) have led, in many cases, to an unrealistic depiction of the environmental behaviour of product ingredients and to inadequate product evaluations. The paper reports on the framework of and the experiences with a novel DID list developed by an expert group of the German Hauptausschuss Detergentien (HAD) enabling an environmentally more realistic comparison of products.

Kurzfassung

Der ursprünglich für das EU Ecolabel von Waschmitteln entwickelte Parameter „Kritisches Verdünnungsvolumen“ (CDV) wird oftmals als Bewertungskriterium beim Vergleich der Umweltrelevanz von Konsumentenprodukten verwendet. Die Detergent Ingredient Database (DID) des EU Ecolabels stellt die für Produkt-CDV-Berechnungen notwendigen ökologischen Informationen zu Verbleib und Wirkung der Produkt-Inhaltsstoffe zur Verfügung. Die mit der Revision der DID-Liste in 2004 verbundenen Änderungen in den CDV-relevanten Parametern führten vielfach zu einer unrealistischen Charakterisierung des Umweltverhaltens von Inhaltsstoffen und damit zu unangemessenen Produktbewertungen. Die vorliegende Arbeit beschreibt die Rahmenbedingungen einer von Experten des deutschen Hauptausschusses Detergentien erarbeiteten neuen DID-Liste und die damit gemachten positiven Erfahrungen.


Caritas Tibazarwa, Procter & Gamble Eurocor, Strombeek-Bever, Belgium, Tel.: +3224566002, Fax: +3225683565. E-mail:

Dr. Lutz Nitschke studied chemistry at the Humboldt-University zu Berlin. He did his PhD-thesis in the field of analytical chemistry at the Humboldt-University in 1989. He joined the former Bavarian State Agency for Water Research in 1990. There he dealt with the trace analysis of surfactants in the environment and with the ecological assessment of detergent ingredients. In 2006 he joined the Bavarian Health and Food Safety Authority.

Ian Malcomber holds a BSc (Hons) in Biological Sciences from University of Leicester, UK; a MSc in Ecotoxicology of Natural Populations from University of Reading, UK; and a PGDip in Environmental Management for Business from University of Hertfordshire, UK. After 2 years working for a Contract Research Organisation conducting ecotoxicity and biodegradation studies he worked for 5 years for SC Johnson as an environmental advisor. As an Environmental Risk Assessor he has been working in the Unilever Safety & Environmental Assurance Centre for 4 years.

Caritas Tibazarwa, earned a PhD in Molecular Biology & Biotechnology from the University of Brussels, Belgium; prior to that she earned a MSc in Food & Agricultural Biotechnology from the University of Reading, England, and a BSc. (Hons) in Microbiology from the University of Bristol, England. She joined Procter & Gamble in 2000, and is currently holding a position as a Senior Scientist in the Central Product Safety Department. Main areas of expertise are in environmental risk assessment, chemical management in the detergents sector with over 6years experience working on ecolabels.

Josef Steber holds a diploma in biology and obtained his PhD in microbiology/biochemistry at the University of Munich in 1976. He joined the Department of Ecology at Henkel in 1978. Since 1990 he is in charge of this department and is member of numerous international working groups dealing with the environmental safety assessment of chemicals.


References

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Received: 2007-01-18
Published Online: 2013-04-02
Published in Print: 2007-06-01

© 2007, Carl Hanser Publisher, Munich

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