Mixtures methodology equips EFSA for multiple chemicals

EFSA has developed a harmonised framework to use across its scientific panels when evaluating the potential “combined effects” of chemical mixtures in food and feed. The approach gives EFSA’s scientists the tools to follow a mixtures approach when needed, which complements the current EU regulatory requirements for assessing single substances.

People, animals and the environment can be exposed to multiple chemicals from a variety of sources. Understanding how combined chemicals behave is complex and the number of combinations is potentially infinite, so EFSA’s Scientific Committee has developed a practical scientific tool for risk assessors that also supports and informs risk managers.

Low public awareness

An EFSA research study from 2018, also published today, shows that overall in the EU awareness of chemical mixtures among the general public is quite low. EFSA has developed a new interactive multimedia tool to help people understand some of the main issues and concepts, such as “combined exposure” and “combined toxicity”.

The EU single-use plastics campaign

To raise awareness of the sustainable alternatives to single-use plastic products, on 5 June 2018 the European Commission launched a public communication campaign. It began on World Environment Day, which this year had the theme ”Beat Plastic Pollution”. The campaign focuses on the impact that different kinds of single-use plastics cause, highlighting sustainable, available and affordable alternatives that form the key to tackling the problem.

The campaign shines a spotlight on different categories of single-use plastics items , including cotton buds, carrier bags, coffee cups and their lids, straws, cutlery, lollipop sticks and sweet wrappers, and plastic bottles.