Research Papers

A Schematic Method for Sustainable Material Selection of Toxic Chemicals in Design and Manufacturing

[+] Author and Article Information
Chris Y. Yuan1

Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, WI 53201cyuan@uwm.edu

David A. Dornfeld

Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94706-1740dornfeld@berkeley.edu


Corresponding author.

J. Mech. Des 132(9), 091014 (Sep 20, 2010) (7 pages) doi:10.1115/1.4002199 History: Received January 01, 2010; Revised July 19, 2010; Published September 20, 2010; Online September 20, 2010

Toxic chemicals used in product design and manufacturing are grave concerns due to their toxic impact on human health. Implementing sustainable material selection strategies on toxic chemicals can substantially improve the sustainability of products in both design and manufacturing processes. In this paper, a schematic method is presented for characterizing and benchmarking the human health impact of toxic chemicals, as a visual aid to facilitate decision-making in the material selection process for sustainable design and manufacturing. In this schematic method, the human health impact of a toxic chemical is characterized by two critical parameters: daily exposure risk R and environmental persistence T. The human health impact of a toxic chemical is represented by its position in the RT two-dimensional plot, which enables the screening and benchmarking of toxic chemicals to be easily made through comparing their relative positions in the characterization plot. A case study is performed on six toxic chemicals commonly used as solvents for cleaning and degreasing in product development and manufacturing.

Copyright © 2010 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figure 1

U.S. toxic release inventory in 2001

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Figure 2

Sustainable material selection process of toxic chemicals

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Figure 3

Human health impact of toxic chemical release

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Figure 4

Human health impact characterization concept

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Figure 5

Schematic benchmarking of human health impact of two toxic chemicals m and n for the human health impact: (a) Im>In, (b) Im=In, (c) Im>In, and (d) Im<In

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Figure 6

Human health impact characterization of six toxic chemicals with ED10

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Figure 7

Human health impact characterization of six toxic chemicals with ADI




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