ENVIRONMENTAL RISK ASSESSMENT OF CHEMICALS

ENVIRONMENTAL RISK ASSESSMENT OF CHEMICALS

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iten
Code
94661
ACADEMIC YEAR
2020/2021
CREDITS
5 credits during the 2nd year of 10553 ENGINEERING FOR NATURAL RISK MANAGEMENT (LM-26) SAVONA
SCIENTIFIC DISCIPLINARY SECTOR
ING-IND/24
LANGUAGE
English
TEACHING LOCATION
SAVONA (ENGINEERING FOR NATURAL RISK MANAGEMENT)
semester
1° Semester
modules
This unit is a module of:
Teaching materials

AIMS AND CONTENT

LEARNING OUTCOMES

The purpose of this course is to disseminate the basic principles and methods to characterize the nature and magnitude of health risks to humans and of ecological risk to organisms and receptors due to chemical contaminants that may be present in the environment, and released during Natural Events or from Human and Industrial Activities. Common environmental investigation scenarios are discussed together with the evidence collection strategies. Models to evaluate the transport and fate of pollutants in different environmental matrices and source/ pathway/receptor models are presented. Different methods for assessing risk (HHRA and ERA), with particular attention to the exposure assessment step, are discussed and compared (Tier I,II,III,IV level).

AIMS AND LEARNING OUTCOMES

The purpose of this course is to disseminate the basic principles and methods to characterize the nature and magnitude of health risks to humans and the nature and magnitude of ecological risk to organisms and receptors due to chemical contaminants that may be present in the environment and released during Natural Events or from Human and Industrial Activities.

Attendance and active participation in the proposed training activities (lectures, field and lab activities) and individual study will allow the student to:

- define environmental investigation scenarios and evidence collection strategies;

- design on-line monitoring campaigns;

- develop models to evaluate the transport and fate of pollutants in different environmental matrices;

- develop source/ pathway/ receptor models;

- discriminate between different methods for assessing risk at different levels (Tier I,II,III,IV level);

- assess risk due to chemicals and define strategies for risk prevention.

 

Teaching methods

The course provides lectures (with the help of slides provided by the teacher) and laboratory activity.

Theoretical contents alternate exercises and lab activity aimed at encouraging the learning and discussion of specific critical risk situations involving the analysis of different scenarios and the use of different risk assessment approaches.

Transversal competences as autonomy of judgment will be acquired during the development of the proposed project, to be carried out in a group, communication skills will be acquired during the oral examination (presentation of the project and discussion about methods and tools adopted to assess risk).

SYLLABUS/CONTENT

ENVIRONMENTAL RISK ASSESSMENT OF CHEMICALS 1: METHODS

  • Practical Environmental Risk Assessment & Environmental Forensics
  1. Environmental Crime: Definitions; Hazards and Risks - how a Hazard becomes a Risk.; Classification of the sources - natural release, controlled release during operation, continuous / discontinuous release during start-up, accident; Difference between known or unknown sources.
  2. Investigation Scenarios: Scheme to design investigations;  Procedure to define possible scenarios; How to organize investigations; Analysis of different pollution scenarios.
  3. Evidence Collection Strategies: How and where to collect samples; Blank sample and monitoring approaches, Chemical analysis and legislation; How to write a report.
  • Theoretical Environmental Risk Assessment & Environmental Forensics
  1. Assessment of Contamination: Definitions of Environmental Risk Assessment (EnvRA) , Human Health Risk Assessment (HHRA) and Ecological Risk Assessment (ERA); The main four steps of EnvRA; Different approaches between EPA and EU; Definitions of sources, receptors, pathways, effects.
  2. Risk Assessment: Multi-tiered approaches;  Definition of Reference Dose and Slope factor; Definitions and differences between Hazard Index (HI), Hazard Quotient (HQ), Cancer Risk (CR); Exposition Routes; Receptors; Pathways; Methods for computing HI, HQ, PNEC; EC50 and LC50.
  3. Pollution Source Identification: Tier I,II,III,IV level for known sources; deterministic inverse problems, Principal Component Analysis (PCA), Neural Networks (NN) for unknown sources.

 

ENVIRONMENTAL RISK ASSESSMENT OF CHEMICALS 2: MODELS

  • Mathematical models for the study of fate and transport of reacting chemical pollutants in Surface Water, Groundwater and Soils, Marine Water, Air
  • Mathematical models for the study of diffusion of chemicals in packages, food, skin, organs.

RECOMMENDED READING/BIBLIOGRAPHY

Course handouts and slides supplied by the teacher (full bibliography is also contained)

  • INTERPOL - Pollution Crime Forensic Investigation Manual – vol. 1, 2014
  • INTERPOL - Pollution Crime Forensic Investigation Manual – vol. 2, 2014

TEACHERS AND EXAM BOARD

Ricevimento: On thursdays 1 - 2 pm; 5 - 6 pm (Savona Campus) On mondays and wednesdays on request, by sending email (Genoa)

LESSONS

Teaching methods

The course provides lectures (with the help of slides provided by the teacher) and laboratory activity.

Theoretical contents alternate exercises and lab activity aimed at encouraging the learning and discussion of specific critical risk situations involving the analysis of different scenarios and the use of different risk assessment approaches.

Transversal competences as autonomy of judgment will be acquired during the development of the proposed project, to be carried out in a group, communication skills will be acquired during the oral examination (presentation of the project and discussion about methods and tools adopted to assess risk).

LESSONS START

September 2019

EXAMS

Exam description

Written test (multiple choice questions), written exercise (project carried out in group, on a field experience or Environmental Risk Assessment study) and oral examination (discussion of the written exercise).

Assessment methods

Written test: questions about theory and definitions.

It is used to evaluate the ability of the student to discriminate between models to evaluate the transport and fate of pollutants in different environmental matrices, to correctly define source/ pathway/receptor models and to correctly choose among different methods for assessing risk at different  level.

Written exercise: a real problem about risk assessment of chemicals (field campaigns carried out by the students or data acquired by public authority) is posed  and must be solved in team.

It is used to evaluate the ability of the students to design experimental campaigns and discuss investigation strategies, to obtain information from them and to assess risk due to chemicals.

Oral examination: questions about the written exercise

It is used to evaluate the contribute of each student inside the team work and about the application of theory to a case study.