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ECN publication
Development of horizontally standardized leaching tests for construction materials: a material based or release based approach? : Identical leaching mechanisms for different materials
Published by: Publication date:
ECN 1-6-2004
ECN report number: Document type:
ECN-C--04-060 ECN publication
Number of pages: Full text:
56 Download PDF  


Currently,in the framework of the development of the Construction Products Directive (CPD),harmonized tests have to be selected or developed for the measurement and risk assessment of "dangerous substances"that may be released from building materials.It is generally recognized that the environmental risks associated with the use of materials for construction purposes is primarily the potential release of contaminants from the material into the environment,due to contact with water ("leaching").

There is a wide range of existing release-based tests that attempt to simulate individual field conditions for each specific material,instead of focusing on the common underlying mechanisms that control the release.Such test methods are typically "conditional",which means that the results of these tests cannot be compared to each other,which makes interpretation and regulation very inefficient.

This report comprises a first evaluation if the number of leaching tests can be reduced to a testing framework based on common leaching mechanisms,which allows quantification ofrelease from different construction products under different exposure conditions.The basic assumption is that the number of release controlling processes is limited and similar for a range of (construction)products.

Data and knowledge from previous EU projects and from literature indicate that the dominant factors can be identified and quantified in a limited number of test methods,suitable to answer questions of both regulators and producers,for a wide range of (construction)products and a wide range of application scenarios.A hierarchy in testing is suitable to distinguish the more detailed characterization tests from the simple compliance tests for every-day practice. Aspects such as test reproducibility and bandwidth are addressed,as well as the use of test data for environmental impact assessment.

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