EDC-MixRisk was represented by Dr. Mattias Öberg (Karolinska Institutet/Swetox) at the WHO Chemical Risk Assessment Network meeting that was organized in Parma, Italy 20-22 June 2017.

The meeting, hosted by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), assembled 83 top organizations within the field of chemical risk assessment from all regions world wide. Development of a capacity building strategy was a major focus of the meeting, and other themes addressed included combined exposures to multiple chemicals, human biomonitoring, identifying new and emerging risks and new scientific approaches for regulatory safety assessment.

Furthermore, a new WHO publication titled “Chemical Mixtures in Source-water and Drinking-water” was launched at the meeting. The document provides an overview of available tools and practical recommendations to support the assessment and management of risks to human health associated with chemical mixtures in drinking-water and its sources.

WHO/IPCS also presented a report on public health impact of chemicals (2016), according to which it is estimated that 1.3 million lives and 43 million disability-adjusted life-years were lost in 2012 due to exposures to selected chemicals. However, data are only available for a small number of chemical exposures and people are exposed to many more chemicals every day.

A week before the network meeting, the issue of chemical health and environment was recognized at the highest political level. The Sixth Ministerial Conference on Environment and Health recently adopted the Ostrava Declaration (15 June 2017, Ostrava), aiming to e.g. promote actions on “minimizing the adverse effects of chemicals on human health and the environment; reducing the exposure of vulnerable groups to hazardous chemicals, particularly during the early stages of human development; strengthening capacities for risk assessment and research to secure a better understanding of human exposure to chemicals and the associated burden of disease; and applying the precautionary principle where appropriate”.

WHO Chemical Risk Assessment Network is a voluntary collaborative initiative whose overall goal is to improve chemical risk assessment globally through facilitating sustainable interaction between institutions on chemical risk assessment issues. The Network has been established to enhance global efforts to assess risks to human health from exposure to chemicals.

More information about the WHO network and its activities: