Under ‘Towards a zero-pollution ambition for a toxic free environment’, the European Green Deal will propose a new Chemicals Strategy for Sustainability, aiming at better protection of both humans and the environment against hazardous chemicals. In addition, there is growing concern about the occurrence of pharmaceuticals in the environment.
Humans, wildlife and domestic animals are exposed to combinations of different chemicals via air, water (including the marine environment), food and feed, consumer products, materials and goods. The scientific understanding of combination effects has progressed in recent years and approaches for risk assessment and management of unintentional mixtures and combined exposures to chemicals are available.
In parallel with the development and implementation of regulatory approaches, there is a need to improve the scientific knowledge base. Current knowledge shows that exposures to combinations of chemicals pose risks to ecosystems and human health that may not be sufficiently managed under existing regulations. There is a need to advance regulatory science to provide policy-makers and risk assessors with validated and practically applicable approaches, methods and tools and to study the effectiveness and efficiency of different policy approaches. The effects of exposure of humans and the environment to combinations of chemicals should also be further explored.
This topic calls for applied research studies, demonstrating how new tools and methodological approaches from regulatory science that are workable in a regulatory context and are based on the latest scientific evidence, can be applied to identify, quantify and prevent harmful co-exposures to industrial chemicals and pharmaceuticals.
- Scientific evidence to enable prevention and/or mitigation of co-exposure to pharmaceuticals and industrial chemicals in the environment and the technosphere.
- Support the implementation of existing risk assessment and risk management approaches to reduce the most critical exposures, including the setting of limit values for exposures taking into account co-exposures..
- Support the assessment of new regulatory approaches such as, e.g. Mixture Assessment Factors
- Support activities on combined exposures as relevant for the Strategic Approach to Pharmaceuticals in the Environment2 and as to be defined in the forthcoming Chemical Strategy for Sustainability
26 January 2021