2nd Workshop on International Harmonisation

Second workshop on international harmonisation on the risk assessment of combined exposures to chemicals

The EuroMix consortium organised the second of a series of workshops to discuss international harmonisation of approaches to the risk assessment of combined exposure to chemicals on 17th May 2017.  The workshop was held at the Thon Hotel EU, Brussels, Belgium.  The 19 participants at the workshop were drawn from a range of geographical and regulatory areas, with risk assessors and risk managers from several continents (Europe, USA, Canada and Brazil) and authorities (DG SANTE, DG ENV, EFSA, JRC, OECD, Codes Alimentarius, WHO, US EPA, US FDA, RIVM, BfR) present.

The main aims of this workshop were to understand current and upcoming legislative needs for cumulative risk assessment of chemicals (with a focus on the diet); how this varies across chemical sectors (e.g. pesticides, additives) and the extent to which this might be harmonized; how this varies across geographical region and the opportunities for harmonization; the role that scientific research, and particularly that of EuroMix, might play in the development and implementation of legislation in this area.

Risk managers in the areas of pesticides, food additives, chemical contaminants and chemicals in general provided perspectives on the need for cumulative risk assessment; practicalities of implementing risk management of combined exposures to chemicals within and across sectors; the degree of precaution necessary in current and future approaches; what do risk managers need from science? Participants in the EuroMix project outlined the approaches they proposed, including tiered assessment, the EuroMix toolbox, and the EuroMix approach to assessing chemical grouping using AOP-wise methods and uncertainty quantification.

Participants reached a number of general conclusions. Currently there is no overarching approach to cumulative risk assessment in Europe (or elsewhere) but work in now ongoing to explore this, for example at OECD and EFSA. Approaches to cumulative risk assessment vary across sectors and with geography. The most common approach for grouping chemicals is based on common structure and/or co-occurrence and/or designed function. EuroMix will explore the implications of different exposure and toxicology choices in grouping chemicals to enable harmonization where appropriate and desirable.

The conclusions of the workshop will be written up in the minutes of the meeting and will be explored further at the 3rd workshop in the series, to be held late 2017 or early 2018.

Participants at the Second EuroMix Workshop on the International Harmonisation of Approaches to the Risk Assessment of Combined Exposure to Chemicals, 17th May, 2017. Thon Hotel EU, Brussels, Belgium. Not shown are Alan Boobis, Peter Korytar, Jiri Sochor and Frans Verstraete.

Report of EuroMix Second Workshop on International Harmonisation
on the Risk Assessment of Combined Exposures to Chemicals.