What is an Emission Scenario Document?

Created on:2021-09-27 12:05

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 Working Party 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.




Keywords:  risk assessments of chemicals, exposure assessment