A joint article “Current EU research activities on combined exposure to multiple chemicals” was recently published in Environment International by experts from the five EU-funded research projects, i.e. EDC-MixRisk, EuroMix, EU-ToxRisk, HBM4EU and SOLUTIONS, and European Commission Services and EU Agencies. The paper aims to map current progress, gaps and remaining challenges for the assessment of chemical mixtures.

The paper provides an overview of the various research projects’ activities, as well as the activities of European Food Safety Authority and Joint Research Centre in the area of mixture risk assessment. It describes how the ongoing projects and initiatives are bringing new knowledge and developing tools and approaches for facilitating and improving mixture risk assessment.

In addition, the paper highlights that despite the progress in the area and increased knowledge for taking combined exposures into account, several gaps prevail. These gaps are especially linked to lack of data on toxicological properties of chemical substances and realistic co-exposure scenarios hampering thus the efforts for carrying out proper mixture risk assessment.

Furthermore, different uses and different types of chemicals are regulated by different agencies and sectors, which is hindering the cross-talk and more holistic considerations of unintentional mixtures.

The paper concludes that more harmonised approaches are needed in order to make progress in combined exposure and combination effects of multiple chemicals. The needs for harmonization range from terminology, grouping, data formats, and methodology to the harmonization of regulatory approaches. Also legislative requirements are brought up in the paper.

Further information:

Bopp, S., et al. (2018):
Current EU research activities on combined exposure to multiple chemicals”,
Environment International. Vol. 120. Pages 544-562.
doi.org/10.1016/j.envint.2018.07.037