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.
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”.