EFSA has already developed some approaches for assessing combined exposure to multiple pesticides and contaminants in humans and multiple pesticides in bees. Our scientists are developing new approaches and tools for harmonising how we assess risks to humans and the environment from multiple chemicals in the food chain: “chemical mixtures” and their “cocktail effects”.
January 2019 EFSA’s Scientific Committee addressed how to assess the genotoxicity of substances in chemical mixtures. Genotoxicity refers to a chemical’s ability to harm DNA. Our top scientific experts explain how to deal with mixtures containing known genotoxic substances, and also what to do when “unidentified” substances present in mixtures need assessing for genotoxicity.
This work complements EFSA’s guidance on genotoxicity testing strategies from 2011 and also the broader guidance on assessing combined exposure to multiple chemicals, which is called “MixTox”. The draft MixTox guidance underwent a public consultation in 2018 and following up on the high volume of comments we received has put back publication to early-mid 2019. The statement on genotoxicity of mixtures was also subject to public consultation in 2018.