On July 8, 2016 the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre (JRC) published a technical report on potential risks from exposure to chemical mixtures. “Humans and wildlife can be exposed to an infinite number of different combinations of chemicals in mixtures via food, consumer products and the environment, which might impact health,” JRC states. In their report, authors Stephanie Bopp and colleagues reviewed 21 case studies on human and environmental risk assessment of chemical mixtures. The studies covered several classes of compounds and environmental media, such as pesticides, phthalates, parabens, polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), pharmaceuticals, food contact materials (FMCs), dioxin-like compounds, anti-androgenic chemicals, contaminants in breast milk, mixtures of contaminants in surface water, ground water and drinking water, and indoor air. “Several of the case studies revealed a concern due to combined exposure for certain chemical classes especially when considering specific vulnerable population groups,” the report reads. The authors note that this information needs to be interpreted with caution and the related assumptions, model parameters and related uncertainties should be considered. Further, the report identified several parameters possibly leading to an over- or underestimation of risks. “However, there is clear evidence that chemicals need to be further addressed not only in single substance risk assessment and that mixtures should be considered also across chemical classes and legislative sectors,” the report concludes.

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JRC (July 8, 2016). “Assessing potential risks from exposure to chemical mixtures – case study review.


Bopp, S.K. et al. (2016). “Review of case studies on the human and environmental risk assessment of chemical mixtures.JRC