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Title: Should the scope of human mixture risk assessment span legislative/regulatory silos for chemicals?
Authors: Evans, RM
Martin, OV
Faust, M
Kortenkamp, A
Keywords: Mixture toxicity;Mixture risk assessment;Risk assessment;Chemical toxicity;Chemicals regulation;Human health
Issue Date: 2016
Publisher: Elsevier
Citation: Science of The Total Environment, 543, Part A, pp. 757-764, (2016)
Abstract: Current chemicals regulation operates almost exclusively on a chemical-by-chemical basis, however there is concern that this approach may not be sufficiently protective if two or more chemicals have the same toxic effect. Humans are indisputably exposed to more than one chemical at a time, for example to the multiple chemicals found in food, air and drinking water, and in household and consumer products, and in cosmetics. Assessment of cumulative risk to human health and/or the environment from multiple chemicals and routes can be done in amixture risk assessment (MRA).Whilst there is a broad consensus on the basic science ofmixture toxicology, the path to regulatory implementation of MRA within chemical risk assessment is less clear. In this discussion piece we pose an open question: should the scope of human MRA cross legislative remits or ‘silos’?We define silos as, for instance, legislation that defines risk assessment practice for a subset of chemicals, usually on the basis of substance/product, media or process orientation. Currently any form of legal mandate for human MRA in the EU is limited to only a few pieces of legislation. We describe two lines of evidence, illustrated with selected examples, that are particularly pertinent to this question: 1) evidence that mixture effects have been shown for chemicals regulated in different silos and 2) evidence that humans are co-exposed to chemicals from different silos. We substantiate the position that, because there is no reason why chemicals allocated to specific regulatory silos would have non-overlapping risk profiles, then there is also no reason to expect that MRA limited only to chemicals within one silo can fully capture the risk that may be present to human consumers. Finally,we discuss possible options for implementation of MRA and we hope to prompt wider discussion of this issue.
ISSN: 0048-9697
Appears in Collections:Institute for the Environment

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