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DEVELOPMENT OF THE METHOD AND U.S. NORMALIZATION DATABASE FOR LIFE CYCLE IMPACT ASSESSMENT AND SUSTAINABILITY METRICS
BARE, J. C., T. GLORIA, AND G. NORRIS. DEVELOPMENT OF THE METHOD AND U.S. NORMALIZATION DATABASE FOR LIFE CYCLE IMPACT ASSESSMENT AND SUSTAINABILITY METRICS. ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY. American Chemical Society, Washington, DC, 40(16):5108-5115, (2006).
Normalization is an optional step within Life Cycle Impact Assessment (LCIA) that may be used to assist in the interpretation of life cycle inventory data as well as, life cycle impact assessment results. Normalization transforms the magnitude of LCI and LCIA results into relative contribution by substance and life cycle impact category. Normalization thus can significantly influence LCA-based decisions when tradeoffs exist. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) has developed a normalization database based on the spatial scale of the U.S. 48 continental states, Hawaii, Alaska, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico with a one-year reference time frame. Data within the normalization database were compiled based on the impact methodologies and lists of stressors used in TRACI—the U.S. EPA’s Tool for the Reduction and Assessment of Chemical and other environmental Impacts (Bare et al. 2003). The new normalization database published within this article may be used for LCIA case studies within the U.S., and can be used to assist in the further development of a global normalization database. The underlying data analyzed for the development of this database are included within this paper to allow the development of normalization data consistent with other impact assessment methodologies as well.