All posts by Sophie Jensen

The Chemical Cocktail Challenge

On 26 March 2019 two Horizon2020-funded projects, EDC-MixRisk and EuroMix, held a joint stakeholder workshop, entitled The Chemical Cocktail Challenge, at Thon Hotel EU, Brussels. This workshop was organised to gather key scientists, researchers, policy makers, and stakeholders from authorities, industry and civil society. The aim of the workshop was to highlight the main results and conclusions from the two projects, and their implications for future needs for chemical mixture risk assessment. Both projects presented key results and demonstrated new tools and approaches for risk assessment of combined exposure to multiple chemicals (mixtures) and how these could benefit future European food and chemical safety policy.

Sabine Jülicher
Director for food and feed safety, innovation in the Directorate General for Health and Food Safety at the European Commission.
Maria Pilar Aguar Fernandez
Head Of Unit Innovative tools, technologies and concepts in health research at the European Commission.

Abstracts from the joint morning session can be found here.

In total, 116 participants attended the joint stakeholder workshop with representation from the European Member States and the associated countries, as well as the USA, Canada and Japan.

Abstracts from the EuroMix afternoon session can be found here.

Press-release: EuroMix project advances risk assessment of chemical mixtures

Human biomonitoring studies show that people have a considerable number of human-made chemicals in their bodies. European regulations stipulate the need to consider the potential mixture effect in the nearby future. EuroMix has delivered an open web-based data and model platform for exposure, hazard and risk assessment.

EuroMix aimed to establish novel testing and assessment strategies for chemical mixtures, to develop appropriate mixture risk assessment methodology and to implement this in a well-accessible inter-operational data and model platform.

Eleven European Member States tested the EuroMix data and model platform by performing dietary exposure assessments including a large number of chemicals. They also carried out case studies addressing multiple exposure routes of bisphenols and pesticides. These case studies should be seen as a try-out and not as a real risk assessment at this stage. Many different stakeholders were trained on the use of the EuroMix models.  

Risk assessment of chemical mixtures is often hampered by a lack of data. The EuroMix consortium developed a test strategy aiming to be cost-effective and to reduce animal testing. EuroMix tested a large number of chemicals affecting three adverse outcomes; liver steatosis, skeletal malformation and endocrine disruption. The test data will become available via the web-based EuroMix data and model platform and can be used in risk assessment of chemical mixtures.

The results will be presented and discussed as part of a workshop, The Chemical Cocktail Challenge, at Thon Hotel EU, Brussels, on 26 March 2019. This workshop is organised jointly with the EDC-MixRisk project, highlighting the main results and conclusions from the two Horizon2020-funded projects, EDC-MixRisk and EuroMix, and their implications for future needs for chemical mixture risk assessment.

EuroMix training for stakeholders

EuroMix organised stakeholder training for European and national authorities, industry, NGOs and researchers in Amsterdam, Netherlands on March 11 and 12, 2019. Forty stakeholders participated in the training.

The aim of the training was to support understanding of the approach for improving risk assessment of chemical mixtures developed by EuroMix in line with international guidance and to give hands-on training in the use of the EuroMix toolbox for mixture risk assessment.

The participants performed exercises using the EuroMix toolbox on assessment of combined dietary exposure to a mixture. The possibilities in the toolbox to handle lack of toxicity data using TTC values and to use QSAR to identify substances to be included in the mixture assessment were tried out in practical exercises. The participants also calculated relative potency factors using benchmark dose modelling using the EuroMix toolbox.

The training was highly appreciated by the participants and they all reflected on how they can make use of the methodology and tools developed by EuroMix approach in the future.

Further training for stakeholders will also be given as webinars in April 2019.

For any questions on EuroMix training please contact:

Johanna Zilliacus, Horizontal activity leader for training in EuroMix, Karolinska Institutet. E-mail:

Legislation for risk assessment: the potential EuroMix contribution


EuroMix researchers have reviewed the current legislative requirements for risk assessment of combined exposure to multiple chemicals via multiple exposure routes, with a focus on human health and particularly on food-related chemicals. The aim was to identify regulatory needs and current approaches for this type of risk assessment as well as challenges of the implementation of appropriate and harmonized guidance at international level. The resulting overview of the current legal requirements has just been published in Critical Reviews in Toxicology. For details, check this link.



WHO calls for experts on dietary risk assessment of chemical mixtures

WHO has recently published a call for experts on dietary risk assessment of chemical mixtures.

The objective of this call is to identify qualified scientists willing to serve as experts in the forthcoming expert consultations on risk assessment of mixtures that will take place in WHO HQ – Geneva on 16 to 19 April 2019. The aim of the consultation is to analyse case studies, to report on the results and to develop appropriate guidance for dietary risk assessment of chemical mixtures at international level and recommendations to WHO Member States to allow a practical implementation.

For more details please access the call here.


EuroMix Continuing Education Course at EUROTOX 2018

The EuroMix project organised a Continuing Education Course about the EuroMix research emphasis and the EuroMix toolbox at the EUROTOX meeting in Brussels on the 2nd of September 2018. EUROTOX is the largest scientific meeting for toxicologists in Europe and this year almost 1500 people attended representing more than 60 countries.

This meeting attracts scientists as well as people working in regulatory agencies and industry. The course was one of six courses that were offered and in total 51 people attended the EuroMix course. The course was held between 10:30 -16:00, so there was enough time to present some of the work in more detail and to offer hands-on demonstration of Monte Carlo Risk Assessment (MCRA 8.2).

Roland Solecki, Jacob van Klaveren, Marc Kennedy, Cecile Karrer and Hubert Dirven from the EuroMix project presented the project as well as Heli Hollnagel who works as toxicologist for the Dow Chemical company.

Presentations were well received and there was good interaction with participants through questions and discussions. Many people were interested in receiving additional training in MCRA. These courses will be offered in 2019.



ISES – ISEE 2018

EuroMix activities were presented at the joint meeting of the International Society of Exposure Science (ISES) and the International Society of Environmental Epidemiology (ISEE), which took place from August 27 – 30 in Ottawa, Canada.

The EuroMix related session was titled  «Aggregate Exposure and Cumulative Risk Assessments in the EuroMix project».

It was chaired by Natalie von Goetz (ETH Zurich and Swiss Federal Office of Public Health, Switzerland) and Cecile Karrer (ETH Zurich, Switzerland).

The following topic were presented:

«Identification of Key Mixtures in European Countries and Assessment of Consequential Exposures»,  presented by Amélie Crépet, French Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health & Safety (ANSES), France.

«Verification of Aggregated Exposure to Bisphenols from Diet and Cosmetics – The Human Biomonitoring Study from the Eu Project Euromix». This topic should have been presented by Monica Andreassen, Norwegian Institute of Public Health (NIPH), Norway. Due to illness this was changed and the presentation was held by Cecile Karrer.

«Aggregate Exposure and Cumulative Risk Assessment of the Bisphenols BPA, BPS, BPF, and BPAF for the French Population», presented by Cecile Karrer, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH), Switzerland:

«Aggregate and Cumulative Exposure to Pyrethroids of French Population», presented by Marie Vanacker, ANSES, French Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health and Safety, France:

«Taking Account of Variability and uncertainty in Cumulative Risk Assessment», presented by Waldo de Boer, Wageningen University & Research, The Netherlands.

About 40 attendants listened to the talks and there were several questions and comments, which showed the broad interest in the topic.



The Belgian Society of Toxicology and Ecotoxicology (BelTox) will organize the 54th Congress of the European Societies of Toxicology from 2 to 5 September, 2018, in Brussels. The theme for 2018 is “Toxicology Out of the Box”. More information and registration can be found here. Please find detailed programme here.

The 2018 EUROTOX Brussels congress not only offers you an innovative scientific programme, but also Continuing Education Courses (CEC) to help you accelerate your career. One of these CECs (CEC1 – Exposure, hazard and risk assessment of mixtures of pesticides / chemicals in food using the tools developed in the  EuroMix project) is organised by EuroMix. The agenda for the course can be found here.






Joint Workshop Discusses Ways Forward in Assessment of Chemical Mixtures

Five EU-funded H2020 and FP7 research projects i.e. EDC-MixRisk, EuroMix, EU-ToxRisk, HBM4EU and SOLUTIONS, are working together to address different aspects of the impacts of chemical mixtures and combined exposure. The projects have engaged into an exchange between the consortia, European Commission Services and relevant EU Agencies in order to identify remaining gaps in mixture research and policy. As a result of this effort, a joint workshop entitled “Advancing the Assessment of Chemical Mixtures and their Risks for Human Health and the Environment” was organised at Joint Research Centre, Ispra, 29-30 May 2018. The workshop brought together around 60 experts working in the field of chemical mixtures.

The workshop provided a great forum to discuss the latest advancements in science as well as research and policy needs in order to make progress in mixture risk assessment and management. The topics of the workshop included hazard and exposure assessment, data and tools, and risk analysis and governance. The international horizons and developments outside the EU were covered by keynote speakers from USA, Japan and OECD.

Although much progress has been achieved over the recent years, the participants stated that it is evident that more needs to be done to better address the combined exposure of multiple chemicals, both in terms of intentional (e.g. pesticides and cosmetic products) and unintentional mixtures (e.g. contaminants via air). One of the major gaps continues to be the lack and availability of data. The Information Platform for Chemical Monitoring, IPCHEM is addressing the gap for chemical monitoring data. However, another big challenge remains in the accessibility and quality of data on (eco)toxicological properties and on the types of use of chemicals.

In the group and plenary discussions, ideas were brought up on improving governance aspects to better protect public health and environment from hazardous chemical mixtures. The proposals from many project participants included e.g. encouraging policymakers to look into the opportunities of establishing clear legal mandates for mixture risk assessment within EU chemicals and environmental legislation and across the regulatory silos. It was also suggested that “protection goals” should be established for human health, applying the idea and concept from the Water Framework Directive which requires good chemical and ecological status for European water bodies. For humans, similar type of “protection goals” could be set for good chemical and health status. Furthermore, it was raised that there is a need for developing uniform principles and harmonised approaches for performing human and environmental mixture risk assessments. In practice, also procedures should be piloted and put in place to enable more holistic and systematic mixture risk assessments, across regulatory bodies and sectors. It was concluded that interdisciplinary and international collaboration as well as dialogue between scientists, regulators and policy-makers are essential to make progress in the mixture efforts.

The workshop outcome and future research needs will be published later in 2018.

JRC has published recently a news item on chemical mixtures and safety of combined exposures here.

JRC has also published a related Policy Brief: “Something from nothing? Ensuring the safety of chemical mixtures”.