Health utility metrics in chemicals impact assessment

ECHA commissioned a study to explore the potential for quantifying human health impacts related to substances of very high concern (SVHCs) using quality-adjusted life years (QALYs) and disability-adjusted life years (DALYs).

The study defines what QALYs and DALYs are, including how they are calculated, the methods through which the utility/disability weights are elicited, and some of the issues which arise in their derivation and use. It also provides a review of 85 SVHCs and identifies 41 health effects associated with exposure to these substances.

Based on the study, ECHA prepared a guidance document on how to use QALYs/DALYs in socio-economic analyses. The document highlights key methodological and analytical issues which SEA practitioners will need to be aware of when applying QALYs/DALYs.