On April 2, 2019, news provider Chemical Watch published an article informing about the release of a new report by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) that identifies potential emerging chemical risks in the food chain for substances registered within the EU’s REACH legislation. The EFSA study selected chemical substances that were fully registered under REACH, met certain criteria such as having a CAS number and SMILES notation, and were within the domain of the models used in the study. From an initial list of 15,000 substances, the selection was narrowed down to 2,336 substances, which were then assessed within the four blocks focused on: environmental releases (based on tonnage and use), biodegradation (using BIOWIN predictions), bioaccumulation in food and feed (based on ACC-HUMANsteady modeling), and toxicity (based on classification(s) for carcinogenicity, mutagenicity, reprotoxicity, and repeated dose toxicity).
A scoring system with weighting scenarios and pivot table selections then allowed for the “prioritization of substances for their potential to represent ‘emerging chemical risks’ in the food chain.” This led to the identification of 212 “potential emerging risks” posed by substances that were found to “(a) be released to the environment and/or poorly biodegraded, (b) bioaccumulate in food/feed and (c) represent a chronic human health hazard.” Ten chemicals that had not yet “been assessed by an EU regulatory body for their presence in food via the investigated exposure pathway” were prioritized for further evaluation. The report’s authors note that the selection of these 10 substances “does not imply that the remaining 202 potential emerging risks are of lower priority.”
Chemical Watch (April 2, 2019). “Efsa study looks at emerging chemical risks in food chain.”
EFSA (March 28, 2019). “Final Report: Applying a tested procedure for the identification of potential emerging chemical risks in the food chain to the substances registered under REACH ‐ REACH 2.” (pdf)