Journal article

IMPACT 2002+: A new life cycle impact assessment methodology

The new IMPACT 2002+ life cycle impact assessment methodology proposes a feasible implementation of a combined midpoint/ damage approach, linking all types of life cycle inventory results (elementary flows and other interventions) via 14 midpoint categories to four damage categories. For IMPACT 2002+, new concepts and methods have been developed, especially for the comparative assessment of human toxicity and ecotoxicity. Human Damage Factors are calculated for carcinogens and non-carcinogens, employing intake fractions, best estimates of dose-response slope factors, as well as severities. The transfer of contaminants into the human food is no more based on consumption surveys, but accounts for agricultural and livestock production levels. Indoor and outdoor air emissions can be compared and the intermittent character of rainfall is considered. Both human toxicity and ecotoxicity effect factors are based on mean responses rather than on conservative assumptions. Other midpoint categories are adapted from existing characterizing methods (Eco-indicator 99 and CML 2002). All midpoint scores are expressed in units of a reference substance and related to the four damage categories human health, ecosystem quality, climate change, and resources. Normalization can be performed either at midpoint or at damage level. The IMPACT 2002+ method presently provides characterization factors for almost 1500 different LCI-results, which can be downloaded at


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