PETROTOX—CONCAWE’s ecotoxicity predictor for petroleum products

01 Oct 2006

CONCAWE has been conducting a voluntary programme assessing the risks to man and the environment of petroleum substances in anticipation of proposed legislation (REACH). The process by which the risk assessments are being conducted is based on the guidance issued by the European Union in a technicalguidance document (TGD) (EU, 2003). The TGD contains an extensive description of how to conduct a risk assessment for man and the environment, but was written primarily to address single pure substances. At the time the first TGD was written, CONCAWE proposed a technical framework to address complex petroleum substances referred to as the Hydrocarbon Block Method (Peterson, 1994; King et al., 1996). This approach was subsequently adopted as an Appendix to the TGD and applied to a risk assessment on gasoline. In the case of gasoline, the individual constituents can be readily identified and logically grouped into hydrocarbon blocks with similar fate and effect properties. It was recognised at the time that the Hydrocarbon Block Method required further adaptation in order to be applied to higher boiling substances where detailed information on the identity of individual constituents cannot be obtained.