WHO Chemical Risk Assessment Network

Jacob van Klaveren will present EuroMix at the 2nd meeting of the WHO chemical risk assessment network that will be hosted by the European food safety authority (EFSA) 20-22 June 2017 in Parma, Italy. This meeting is part of the ongoing WHO-EFSA network activities.

The agenda for the meeting can be found here.

For more information on the network, click here.

 

 

 

Fresenius MIXTOX Conference

2nd International Fresenius MIXTOX Conference “Toxicity of Chemical Mixtures: Risk, Hazard and Exposure Assessment”

8 Jun – 9 Jun 2017, Park Inn by Radisson Köln City West, Cologne/Germany

EuroMix participants are giving talks at this conference.

For more information click here.

EuroMix Workshop – International harmonisation

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

Thon Hotel EU, Rue de la Loi 75, 1040 Bruxelles, Belgium

17 May 2017

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.


 

 

 

First EuroMix Workshop on the International Harmonisation of Approaches to the Risk Assessment of Combined Exposure to Chemicals

The EuroMix consortium organised the first of a series of workshops to discuss international harmonisation of approaches to the risk assessment of combined exposure to chemicals over 20-21 October 2016. The workshop was held at the Hammersmith Campus of Imperial College London, the partner tasked with coordinating this activity within EuroMix. The 15 participants at the workshop encompassed wide geographical and regulatory coverage, with scientists from several continents (Europe, North America, South America, Asia, Australasia, Africa) and authorities (EFSA, OECD, JRC, US EPA, APVMA (Australia), FAO, RIVM, BfR) present.

The focused discussions covered a number of the key scientific issues that will need to be resolved to enable international harmonization of the approaches used. Aspects included the importance of explicit and transparent problem formulation, which categories of chemicals should be covered, what is meant by co-exposure, what factors (biological and/or exposure) should determine assessment groups, the role of detailed information on adverse outcome pathways/modes of action and how this might be obtained, whether there was a need to address the possibility of synergy, and probabilistic exposure assessment, including the need for common reporting formats.

Participants identified a number of areas where there was general agreement and those areas where further discussion would be necessary before harmonisation would be possible. The conclusions of the workshop will contribute to developing the agenda for the 2nd workshop in the series, to be held 17th May, 2017.

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Participants at the First EuroMix Workshop on the International Harmonisation of Approaches to the Risk Assessment of Combined Exposure to Chemicals, 20-21 October, 2016. Hammersmith Campus, Imperial College London.

Here is the report of “EuroMix First Workshop on International Harmonisation on the Risk Assessment of Combined Exposures to Chemicals”.


 

EuroMix Stakeholder Workshop

Towards Harmonisation of Implementation of Test Strategies for Chemical Mixtures in Europe

The first EuroMix Stakeholders’ Workshop was held on 18 May 2017 at the Thon Hotel EU in Brussels, Belgium.

This workshop was organised to inform stakeholders on the progress made in the EuroMix project on the test strategy and the tools that will be released for future testing and risk assessment of mixtures. It also aimed to obtain feedback regarding the needs of stakeholders as well as which further steps can be taken to ensure project relevance to them.

In total, 72 participants attended the workshop, 50 stakeholders and 22 representatives from the beneficiaries. The participants came from the European Member States and the associated countries well as the USA, Canada Brazil and Japan.

The programme and presentations of the workshop can be found here.

A few photos from the event can be found here.


 

 

Stakeholder survey – opinion on tools and concepts

On a daily basis we are exposed to a mixture of multiple chemicals via food intake, inhalation and dermal contact. The risk to human health that may result from this, depends on how the effects of different chemicals in the mixture combine, and whether there is any synergism or antagonism between them. The number of different combinations of chemicals in mixtures is infinite and an efficient test strategy for mixtures is lacking. Furthermore, there is a societal need to reduce animal testing, which is the current practice in safety testing of chemicals.

The EuroMix project will deliver a mixture test strategy and test instruments using novel techniques. The tests will result in data needed for refining future risk assessment of mixtures relevant to different stakeholders. Ultimately, this will provide information for future risk management decisions on the safety of chemicals in mixtures to be taken by the European Commission and the Codex Alimentarius.

More information on the EuroMix concepts and tools can be found in this presentation.

Therefore, we would like to hear your opinion on the tools and concepts under investigation within EuroMixa and are inviting you to participate in our stakeholder survey.

Seventeen questions have been selected to evaluate our concepts and tools acceptance and understandability.

If you have attended one of the EuroMix training workshops or information sessions, please click here.

If you have NOT received any EuroMix training or taken part in information sessions, please click here.

 

5th consortium meeting

The 5th EuroMix consortium meeting was held April 4th – 6th, 2017 in Ljubljana, Slovenia. It consisted of work package (WP2-10) meetings, plenary consortium meetings and a general assembly meeting.

The main aims of the 5th consortium meeting were the following:

  1. To finalise test protocols for the animal study;
  2. To finalise the discussion on A, B (similar MoA) and A, C (dissimilar MoA) chemicals based on available in vitro test results;
  3. To set the next step in kinetic modelling;
  4. To discuss the concept (retain & refine, infrastructure, AOP-wise testing, modelling approaches, case studies in tier 1 and tier 2);
  5. To discuss and to prepare the first EuroMix stakeholder meeting.

 

EuroMix training

EuroMix project organised training for stakeholders from industry, authorities and NGOs in February-March 2017.

Three training sessions have been organised. The first one was held at the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) in Parma, Italy on February 21 2017 and twenty-three scientists from different EFSA units participated in the training.

Two sessions were held in Amsterdam, Netherlands on March 15 and 16 2017  for authorities, universities, NGOs and industry. Forty-two stakeholders participated in the training.

The aim of the training was to support understanding of the strategies for testing and risk assessment of mixtures that are developed in EuroMix. The focus was on how Adverse Outcome Pathways (AOPs) and QSAR can contribute to testing and risk assessment of mixtures as well as on how the mixtures can be selected based on exposure and hazard information. The participants also got hands on experience of the MCRA tool for assessment of combined exposures and of QSAR models.

This was a one-day training and the draft training programme is available here.

For any questions on EuroMix training please contact:

Johanna Zilliacus, Horizontal activity leader for training in EuroMix, Karolinska Institutet. E-mail: johanna.zilliacus@ki.se

Tel: +46-8-52483544

EuroMix human cohort (WP7) – news

Recruitment of participants to the EuroMix human cohort (WP7) – news

On the 9th of January 2017, The Norwegian Institute of Public Health (NIPH) launched the EuroMix human cohort web page www.fhi.no/euromix (in Norwegian). The objective is to gather all information on the EuroMix human cohort study relevant for both existing and new participants, including the project description, invitation letter, questionnaires and diaries, frequently asked questions (FAQs) and contact information. The web page will also be used for future dissemination of milestones and results.

Furthermore, on the 20th of January 2017, a recruitment campaign was held at NIPH to recruit new participants to join the EuroMix human cohort. With banners and pamphlets, the project group members promoted the human cohort study during an internal meeting for all employees at NIPH. For visualisation, cylinders with “ping-pong balls” represent study participation (white balls = females, orange balls = males). So far, 45 out of 140 participants have been recruited.

The EuroMix human cohort study in short: The main purpose is to study selected biomarkers of exposure and effect to the mixture of interest and their variability in a human cohort of 140 participants (preferably 70 females and 70 males, aged 18-70). The study includes 24-hour food- and cosmetic diaries as well as biological samples collected at the end of the 24-hour period. Selected biomarkers of exposure to the mixture in serum and/or urine samples will be analysed using appropriate and validated state-of-the art analytical methods.

ISES 2016

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Multiple route exposure to multiple chemicals, the cocktail effect

EuroMix activities were presented at the International Society of Exposure Science (ISES) 2016 Annual Meeting in Utrecht, NL, October 9-13, 2016.

Four members of the EuroMix consortium presented results from Work Package 5 (aggregated and cumulative exposure assessment). The theme of the symposium was to explain the development of an efficient test strategy for mixtures of potentially large groups of chemicals, which is practical yet general enough to account for multiple classes of compounds and diverse exposure pathways. A large set of compounds defined as a Cumulative Assessment Group (GAG) for a given health effect can be reduced to a much smaller subset by considering the combinations of compounds that populations are actually exposed to. The talks included real examples currently being developed within the project and demonstrated practical implementation in the Monte Carlo Risk Assessment (MCRA) software. Overall the message from these presentations was that EuroMix is developing a flexible and practical system that can also build on, and link to, work developed in external models and link to external data collection.

Corinne Sprong (RIVM) was the first speaker and introduced the general concepts and motivation for developing a new system for mixture testing. Corinne also provided details of the practical implementation in MCRA and the mixture selection from a dietary source.

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Marc Kennedy (Fera) introduced the additional methods being used to incorporate non-dietary sources of exposure, which can also involve multiple compounds. Examples were presented combining the Browse software (EU FP7 grant 265307) with UK pesticide usage data to generate exposure distributions associated with the resident or operator population. The generated files were subsequently used as an input to MCRA.

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Cecile Karrer (ETHZ) continued with a different example of non-dietary exposure (Bisphenol A), showing the flexibility of the EuroMix approach. Multiple sources were considered including consumer products (e.g. cosmetics/personal care) with exposures calculated using the PACEM model, together with other sources (thermal paper, dust and air). This example demonstrated the ability to incorporate different classes of compounds and to generate uncertainty realisations.

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Amélie Crepet (Anses) finished the session with a detailed explanation of the methods and examples of the EuroMix strategy to identify important mixtures based on an exposure driven approach. These could then be prioritised for toxicological mixture testing. PBPK models to aggregate exposures and link external with internal exposures were also explained. The examples presented are illustrative of the concepts and are not intended as real risk assessments. With further data collection and software improvements, more detailed and complete case studies will be presented later in the project.

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We would especially like to thank Bernadette Ossendorp for chairing the session.

Here is the abstract book and for more information visit the ISES 2016 website.

25th EPICOH Conference

25th EPICOH – Scientific Committee  on Epidemiology in Occupational Health,                            4-7 September 2016.

epicoh25th-banner

Jacob van Klaveren gave a presentation at the annual congress of epidemiology.

“Exposure assessment to multiple chemicals and future mixture testing”.

Here is the full presentation. The key message of the presentation: “In daily life we are exposed to many chemicals via various exposure routes such as food, the environment and the use of consumer products. Risk assessment should account for mixture effects and EFSA has started to group pesticides in cumulative assessment groups. Epidemiological studies might help to confirm that the risk assessment is sufficiently conservative or might provide information on the real exposure of humans to mixtures of pesticides. A link between the EFSA work, the EuroMix and the new European Biomonitoring (HBM4ME) Initiative was discussed during the 25th annual congress of the EPICOH congress.”

Accepted abstracts have been published as a supplement of Occupational and Environmental Medicine and the Book of Abstracts is available here.