On March 10, 2016 the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) announced the release of a report on the joint expert workshop held together with the World Health Organization (WHO) in December 2014. This workshop focused on the Threshold of Toxicological Concern (TTC), and application of this approach in chemical risk assessment. The workshop report also summarizes the results of a public consultation carried out by EFSA and the WHO after the workshop (FPF reported).
It was concluded that “the TTC approach is fit for purpose as a screening tool to assess low-dose exposure to chemical substances and identify chemicals for which further data are necessary to assess risks to human health.” Several proposals on improving and expanding the TTC approach were made by the attending experts, and it was also recommended to merge existing databases to create a “permanent repository” for data on TTC and the Cramer classification scheme. Currently, EFSA is “considering how best to incorporate the recommendations of the expert group into its risk assessment practice.”
In an article published on March 17, 2016 by regulatory news provider Chemical Watch, reporter Emma Davies points out that significant concerns still remain, despite the “green light to TTC” given by EFSA/WHO. The experts cited by Chemical Watch criticize the use of high-dose toxicity data to predict the effects of low-dose exposures and highlight the insufficient knowledge on long-term effects of exposures encountered during early development and the potential for misuse of the TTC approach in full risk assessment.
EFSA (March 10, 2016). “EFSA/WHO report makes recommendations on Threshold of Toxicological Concern approach.”
Emma Davies (March 17, 2016). “EFSA/WHO report gives green light to TTC approach.” Chemical Watch
EFSA/WHO (March 10, 2016). “Review of the Threshold of Toxicological Concern (TTC) approach and development of new TTC decision tree.” (pdf)