Assessment of chemicals

Introduction to Emission Scenario Documents


How is an Emission Scenario Document (ESD) developed?  Comments on published ESD  ESD) under preparation  Categories used in the EDS


What is an Emission Scenario Document?

Emission Scenario Documents (ESDs) describe the sources, production processes, pathways and use patterns. ESDs aim to quantify the emissions of a chemical into water, air, soil and/or solid waste. An ideal ESD should include the following stages:

  • (1) production
  • (2) formulation
  • (3) industrial use
  • (4) professional use,
  • (5) private and consumer use
  • (6) service life of product/article
  • (7) recovery, and
  • (8) waste disposal (incineration, landfill)

ESDs are used in risk assessments of chemicals to establish the conditions on use and releases of the chemicals. These are the basis for estimating the concentration of chemicals in the environment.

ESDs have been widely used in national and regional contexts. For example, European Chemicals Agency (ECHA)’s guidance document on environmental exposure estimation refers to existing ESDs developed by both OECD and the European Commission. Other OECD member countries have developed their own ESDs and the USEPA has developed a number of generic scenarios to be used as default release scenarios in risk assessment.

The OECD Task Force on Exposure Assessment therefore develops ESDs in order to reflect conditions on production, use etc. that are different between countries, and so avoiding duplicative efforts by Member countries and industry.

Further information;


How is an OECD ESD developed?

A project proposal specifying the industry categories and/or use categories from member countries is first submitted. Once approved by the Task Force on Exposure Assessment, the lead country drafts the document, which is then circulated to members of the Task Force for their comments. Taking the comments into account, the drafts are amended and published by the OECD.
Comments on published ESDs

Over 30 ESDs have so far been published under OECD Series on ESDs. Users are encouraged to provide comments and new or updated information regarding emission estimation of chemicals outlined in these published ESDs to the Secretariat. The OECD Task Force on Exposure Assessment reviews the comments received and considers the revision of ESDs.


ESDs under preparation

The following ESDs are currently being developed or updated; (as of September 2013)

  • Formulation and Application of Thermal and Carbonless Copy Paper
  • Chemical Vapour Deposition in the Semiconductor Industry
  • Use of Adhesives
  • Textile Dyeing
  • Use of industrial cleaners
  • Case study on plastic additives (a complementing document to the existing ESD on Plastic Additives)
  • Metals from waste disposal
  • Application of Paint Solvent to industrial coating (a complementing document or revision of existing ESD 22 Coating Industry)
  • Wood preservatives (Revision of the ESD number 2 published in 2000)


Categories used in the OECD ESDs

The industry categories and/or use categories shown below have been applied for the development OECD ESDs.

Recently the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) developed further detailed descriptors for describing the use pattern of chemicals, and the US and Canada have also developed harmonised use codes. The Task Force on Exposure Assessment has therefore developed mapping tables between the two sets of use descriptors.


Industry categories




 Agricultural industry


 Chemical industry (basic chemicals)


 Chemical industry (chemicals used in synthesis)


 Electrical/electronic industry


 Personal/ Domestic


 Public domain


 Leather processing industry


 Metal extraction, refining and processing industry


 Mineral oil and fuel industry


 Photographic industry


 Polymers industry


 Pulp Paper and board industry


 Textile processing industry (e.g. Dyestuffs, flame retardants)


 Paints, lacquers and varnishes industry


 Engineering industry: civil and mechanical

















Use Categories






 Absorbents and Adsorbents


 Heat transferring agents


 Adhesive, binding agents


 Hydraulic fluids and additives


 Aerosol propellants


 Impregnation agents


 Anti-condensation agents


 Insulating materials


 Anti-freezing agents




 Anti-set-off and anti-adhesive agents


 Laboratory chemicals


 Anti-static agents


 Lubricants and additives


 Bleaching agents


 Non-agricultural pesticides


 Cleaning/washing agents and disinfectants


 Odour agents


 Colouring agents


 Oxidising agents


 Complexing agents


 pH-regulating agents


 Conductive agents




 Construction materials additives




 Corrosion inhibitors






 Process regulators


 Dust binding agents


 Reducing agents


 Electroplating agents


 Reprographic agents














 Fixing agents




 Flame retardants and fire preventing agents


 Surface-active agents


 Flotation agents


 Tanning agents


 Flux agents for casting


 Viscosity adjusters


 Foaming agents


 Vulcanising agents


 Food/foodstuff additives


 Welding and soldering agents






 Fuel additives






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