2nd Workshop on a pragmatic approach to address the risk from combined exposure to non-intentional mixtures of chemicals – REACH as an example

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A second workshop was hosted by the Swedish Chemicals Agency (KEMI) and the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management (Competent Authority on REACH), as a virtual meeting held on 27-28 October.

The workshop aimed at building on the outcomes of the first workshop that have been presented in CARACAL. The workshop provided a forum for discussion on how to introduce a Mixture Assessment Factor (MAF) in REACH. This aim was highlighted in the recently published EU’s Chemicals Strategy for Sustainability in which the European Commission details that it will “Assess how best and introduce (a) mixture assessment factor(s) in Annex I of REACH”, for the chemical safety assessment of substances.

Presentations on the EU Chemicals Strategy and the Commission Staff Working Document on combination effects provided the political framing for the discussions. Furthermore, a scientific case study on the sizing of the MAF and a preliminary analysis of impact on REACH registrations by ECHA as well as results of the pre-workshop questionnaire directed towards the questions at hand and provided an information base for discussions. The discussions focused on principles of deriving a generic MAF and whether there should be a unified, generic MAF for human health and environment; to what extent science could inform about the magnitude of the MAF; and the categories of REACH substances that should be covered. The workshop also touched upon the issue of where the factor should be applied although a more detailed discussion on this issue did not take place due to time limitations. As a general conclusion, the participants continued to support a MAF as a risk management tool for reducing the overall toxic pressure of chemicals in unintentional mixtures.

Chairman’s report can be found here.