Chemical emissions from the processing and use of materials: The need for an integrated emissions accounting system

Stigliani, W.M. (1990). Chemical emissions from the processing and use of materials: The need for an integrated emissions accounting system. Ecological Economics 2 (4) 325-341. 10.1016/0921-8009(90)90019-Q.

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This paper explores the need for a comprehensive emissions accounting system for environmentally harmful chemicals. Such a system requires the availability of economic statistics as a necessary complement to environmental data. A classification scheme is suggested that identifies environmental emissions at particular stages in the life cycle of chemicals as they flow through the industrial economy. Emissions are categorized as point- source emissions related to energy and industrial production, diffuse-source emissions from agricultural production, and consumption-related emissions. The latter are subdivided into emissions occuring during use of the product (dissipative emissions), and emissions occuring after disposal. The results of recent analyses are presented which suggest that in advanced industrial societies consumption-related and diffuse-source emissions are becoming increasingly important sources of chemical pollution relative to point-source emissions. Such sources are more difficult to regulate than are point sources, and our information base for identifying and quantifying the emissions is largely lacking. What is required is a more thorough understanding of the way our industrial system works with respect to chemical pollution. Studies in ‘industrial metabolism’ are recommended as a first step in seeking this understanding. Such studies should be complemented by strategies for reducing consumption- related emissions, a major component of which is emphasis on environmentally safe design of consumer products.

Item Type: Article
Research Programs: Industrial Metabolism (IND)
Depositing User: Romeo Molina
Date Deposited: 11 Apr 2016 14:07
Last Modified: 11 Apr 2016 14:07

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