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”.


LIFE PERSUADED addressed the problem of human exposure to plasticizers, as environmental contaminants, and their effects on health focusing on the children population through the following approach:
Biomonitoring study to evaluate the exposure to di-2-ethylhexyl phthalate (DEHP) and Bisphenol A (BPA) in Italian children aged 4 to 14 years and their mothers through the biomonitoring study, in order to define exposure differences in relation to the area of residence, age and sex of children
Case-control studies to evaluate the relationship between DEHP and BPA exposure and childhood pathologies (precocious puberty, telarca and obesity) by correlating the levels of chemicals measured in urine samples with the biomarkers of effect (hormones, BMI, etc.) related to the pathologies, as proxy of potential adverse effects
Experimental study to study the effects and mechanisms of DEHP and BPA through the use of an animal model in a juvenile phase to which DEHP/BPA were administered at levels found in the children population.

Attached file


10 practical tips to limit the exposure to plasticizers in children and adults

10 practical tips to limit the exposure to plasticizers in  children and adults

LIFE PERSUADED project is focused on environmental contaminants of industrial origin, Bisphenol A (BPA), and di-2-ethylhexyl phthalate (DEHP), extensively used as plasticizers.

The main objective of the project was to evaluate the exposure to BPA and DEHP of the italian children population according to age (4-6; 7-10  and 11-14 years old) and sex and of their mothers. Moreover, data on lifestyle and food consumption habits, collected through a structured questionnaire, were used as determinant of exposure to associate
behaviours with a higher risk of exposure for mothers and children, or in some cases, only for one of the two groups.