Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) - Environmental Impacts of a Medical Device Product
Each phase was further segmented into individual factors where readily obtained metrics of carbon dioxide emissions, water usage, and solid waste generated are assigned and attributed to specific activites common across multiple phases.
As expected the data indicate the majority of impacts occur within the manufacturing phase. However the largest carbon dioxide emission was unexpectedly found within the distribution phase, thus highlighting the significance of the transportation factor. Also of interest are the metrics found outside the boundary of the manufacturing facility where end-user waste generation and distribution comprise nearly half of the total impact of solid waste produced by one functional unit of Product X.
The stand-alone format of this LCA serves to establish a simplified baseline of environmental impact. LCA insight can deliver a beneficial perspective by providing a comprehensive impact assessment so that future generations of product can be designed, measured, and improved against the forerunner. Following such a practice by considering total life cycle perspective is a characteristic of sustainability.
Advisor:Rigling Gallagher, Deborah
School Location:USA - North Carolina
Source Type:Master's Thesis
Keywords:life cycle assessment medical device sustainability environmental impact lca
Date of Publication:08/26/2008