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On the ranking of chemicals based on their PBT characteristics: Comparison of different ranking methodologies using selected POPs as an illustrative example

Sailaukhanuly, Yerbolat, Zhakupbekova, Arai, Amutova, Farida, Carlsen, Lars
Chemosphere 2013 v.90 pp. 112-117
bioaccumulation, persistent organic pollutants, risk assessment process, toxicity, utility functions
Knowledge of the environmental behavior of chemicals is a fundamental part of the risk assessment process. The present paper discusses various methods of ranking of a series of persistent organic pollutants (POPs) according to the persistence, bioaccumulation and toxicity (PBT) characteristics. Traditionally ranking has been done as an absolute (total) ranking applying various multicriteria data analysis methods like simple additive ranking (SAR) or various utility functions (UFs) based rankings. An attractive alternative to these ranking methodologies appears to be partial order ranking (POR). The present paper compares different ranking methods like SAR, UF and POR. Significant discrepancies between the rankings are noted and it is concluded that partial order ranking, as a method without any pre-assumptions concerning possible relation between the single parameters, appears as the most attractive ranking methodology. In addition to the initial ranking partial order methodology offers a wide variety of analytical tools to elucidate the interplay between the objects to be ranked and the ranking parameters. In the present study is included an analysis of the relative importance of the single P, B and T parameters.