Science Inventory

LIFE CYCLE IMPACT ASSESSMENT WORKSHOP SUMMARY - MIDPOINTS VERSUS ENDPOINTS: THE SACRIFICES AND BENEFITS

Citation:

Bare*, J C., P Hofstetter**, D W. Pennington*, AND H. A. Udo de Haes. LIFE CYCLE IMPACT ASSESSMENT WORKSHOP SUMMARY - MIDPOINTS VERSUS ENDPOINTS: THE SACRIFICES AND BENEFITS. Walter Klopffer (ed.), INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF LIFE CYCLE ASSESSMENT. Ecomed Publishers, Ft. Worth, TX, 5(6):319-326, (2000).

Description:

On 5/25-26/2000 in Brighton, England, the third international workshop was held under the umbrella of UNEP addressing issues in Life Cycle Impact Assessment (LCIA). The workshop provided a forum for experts to discuss midpoint vs. endpoint modeling. Midpoints are considered to be links in the cause-effect chain (environmental mechanism) of an impact category, prior to the endpoints, at which characterization factors or indicators can be derived to reflect the relative importance of emissions or extractions. Common examples of midpoint characterization factors include ozone depletion potentials, global warming potentials, and photochemical ozone (smog) creation potentials. Recently, however, some methodologies have adopted characterization factors at an endpoint level in the cause-effect chain for all categories of impact (e.g., human health impacts in terms of disability adjusted life years for carcinogenicity, climate change, ozone depletion, photochemical ozone creation; or impacts in terms of changes in biodiversity, etc.) The topics addressed at this workshop included the implications of midpoint versus endpoint indicators with respect to uncertainty (parameter, model and scenario), transparency and the ability to subsequently resolve trade-offs across impact categories using weighting techniques. The workshop closed with a consensus that both midpoint and endpoint methodoligies provide useful information to the decision maker, prompting the call for tools that include both in a consistent framework.

Record Details:

Record Type: DOCUMENT (JOURNAL/PEER REVIEWED JOURNAL)
Product Published Date: 12/01/2000
Record Last Revised: 12/22/2005
Record ID: 65151

Organization:

U.S. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY

OFFICE OF RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT

NATIONAL RISK MANAGEMENT RESEARCH LABORATORY

SUSTAINABLE TECHNOLOGY DIVISION

SYSTEMS ANALYSIS BRANCH