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French Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health & Safety

Exposure to chemical mixtures: challenges for research and risk assessment

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News of 02/12/2013

Together, ANSES, DTU (the National Food Institute, Technical University of Denmark)  and BfR (Germany's Federal Institute of Risk Assessment) are organising a conference on Tuesday 10 and Wednesday 11 December to present an overview of research on the effects of exposure to chemical mixtures and risk assessment practices. The conference will bring together researchers and scientists from European and cross-Atlantic agencies to stimulate the international exchange of practices and research knowledge.


Humans are exposed to multiple substances in their surrounding environment, in food, water, air, soil and consumer goods. In the last decades the possible effects of chemical mixtures on humans and on the environment have become a major concern in many countries across the world. This is why scientific experts and risk managers are increasingly addressing this challenge, both by supporting research programmes and developing new methodologies to assess risks. 


The two-day conference will cover the following topics:

  • recent and current knowledge on the effects of chemical mixtures on human health, taking into consideration the various classes of chemical substances, different exposure routes and existing experimental data,
  • risk assessment methods for chemical mixtures, within a regulatory framework in particular, 
  • the sources of uncertainties and main knowledge gaps on which future research should focus,
  • the validity of models to predict combined effects, since experimental proof and practical applications are based on them,
  • opportunities for developing collaborative, cross-disciplinary projects.


To conclude the conference, a round table will be held in which scientists and stakeholders will participate; the discussions will address ways to more effectively take chemical mixtures into consideration in risk assessment, through European regulation in particular, and identification of the various challenges involved.

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