An exposure scenario describes how the exposure of humans and the environment to the substance can be controlled to ensure its safe use. An exposure scenario refers to an identified uses such as formulation, processing or production and describes the operational conditions and risk management measures that ensure safe use of the substance for that use.
As most catalysts are mixtures, Catalysts Europe have devised set of generic exposure scenarios for REACH Consortia and Registrants to include in their REACH Dossiers for specific substances. The goal is for the safety data sheet for a catalyst containing different substances such as molybdenum and nickel will have coherent exposure scenarios.
The generic exposure scenarios development involved creating a list of all expected activities, which have been linked to exposure scenarios.
Manufacture – Where a new substance is manufactured such as nickel metal to nickel nitrate
Formulation – Where a substance is manipulated such as zeolite coated in nickel nitrate and then calcined to nickel oxide. In this case, the nickel oxide is considered to be manufactured and the zeolite does not change.
Downstream Use – Use of the final substance in a catalyst process.
Each contributing activity was assigned a process category (PROC), duration, personal protective equipment (PPE), containment, work pattern and potential route of exposure. These could then be bought into complete exposure scenarios providing the complete use descriptor list which are detailed in an Excel spreadsheet. All of the identified exposures are industrial related to workers as there is no consumer or professional use.