LCA: Is it covering the main environmental and human health issues?
When analysts do LCAs for some products or processes there can be that nagging feeling that the main environmental or human health issues are not properly covered by a standard LCA. The risk of toxic impacts or microbial effects is an example of this problem.
Robin Harder of Chalmers University of Technology in Sweden collaborated with several other academics, including a group of current and former UNSW researchers (Nicholas Ashbolt, Stuart Khan and Greg Peters) to examine this problem, particularly as it applies to the recycling of wastewater and biosolids (sewage sludge).
The first of these papers is a detailed look at how to model metallic and organic contaminants in LCA.
Click here to read the full paper, published online by the International Journal of Life Cycle Assessment.
The second examines the broader issue of how to combine the use of LCA and quantitative risk assessment to inform decision makers, to ensure that both local and global environmental issues are considered.
Click here to read the full paper published online by the journal Microbial Risk Analysis.