On May 7, 2020, the Food Packaging Forum held a webinar featuring a presentation from Martyn Smith, a professor of toxicology at the University of California Berkeley, on recent research into understanding key characteristics (KCs) to help identify hazardous chemicals. Smith is part of a working group of 90 international scientists who have been working on KCs of carcinogens, male and female reproductive toxicants, and endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs). In his talk, Smith introduces a set of key peer-reviewed publications on the topic that have proposed sets of KCs.

To support evaluating the large number of chemicals on the market, KCs are increasingly being seen as a standardized way to help identify hazards and prioritize additional assessments on chemicals. The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) first gathered a group of scientists in 2012 to determine KCs for carcinogens, and scientists have since then continued work to identify KCs for additional toxicants. Smith explains that a next step needed within the field is to develop a comprehensive set of biomarkers and assays that can be used to measure KCs in chemicals under evaluation.

The recorded webinar is available to watch, and links to the key publications referenced in the presentation are provided on the event’s page.

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Food Packaging Forum (May 7, 2020). “Key characteristics for identifying hazardous chemicals.”