Further work from ECETOC on the performance of the TRA risk assessment screening tool – conservatism confirmed and refinements proposed

Brussels, 4 October 2023 – The ECETOC TRA-Worker Task Force has published further work on their comparisons of modelled results from the Targeted Risk Assessment (TRA) tool with actual measured data.

Since 2010, ECETOC’s TRA tool has been widely used by companies in Europe to create screening level exposure assessments for the dossiers of chemical substances that are required under the EU’s REACH regulation. The tool calculates the risk of exposure to chemicals for workers, consumers and the environment. It was built to be pragmatic and conservative.

ECETOC’s TRA-Worker Task Force has recently compiled databases of measured inhalation and dermal exposure data, taken from previously published studies examining the TRA tool performance, in order to assess the tool’s performance.

The Task Force’s recently published Technical Report (TR) No. 141 compares measured short-term (typically 15 minutes) inhalation exposure data, as well as dermal exposure data (for up to a full working shift of 8 hours), with the modelled estimates from version 3.1 of the TRA tool (TRAv3.1). The results of this analyses show that the TRAv3.1-tool overestimates exposure in most of the exposure situations, as has also been recently demonstrated for full-shift (typically 4-8 hours) inhalation exposure data (Savic et al., 2023).

The measured data on short-term inhalation and dermal exposure were limited compared to the data available on full-shift inhalation exposure. However, together with the results from the analysis of the full-shift inhalation, the data from the current analysis were sufficient to refine the TRAv3.1 tool. A new version of the TRA Worker tool (v3.2) is set to be launched shortly, including a few targeted changes, described in TR No. 141, that further increase the conservatism of the tool.