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Identification of potential emerging chemical risks in food from REACH registered chemicals

: Bitsch, Annette; Bohlen, M.-L.; Escher, Sylvia E.; Kass, Georges; Licht, Oliver; MacLeod, M.; Merten, C.; Noteborn, H.; Oltmanns, Jan; Schwarz, M.; Silano, V.

The Toxicologist 168 (2019), No.1, Abstract PS 2637
ISSN: 0731-9193
Society of Toxicology (Annual Meeting) <58, 2019, Baltimore/Md.>
Fraunhofer ITEM ()

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) is responsible for risk assessment of all aspects of food safety, including the establishment of procedures aimed at the identification of emerging risks to food safety. Data available for REACH registered substances were evaluated by taking the following endpoints into account: (a) environmental release (derived from tonnage and ERC), (b) biodegradation (BIOWin predictions assessed in a battery approach), (c) bioaccumulation in food (modelled by ACC HUMANsteady) and (d) toxicity assessed by classification for mutagenicity, carcinogenicity, reprotoxicity and repeated dose toxicity. Two different approaches, weighting scenarios and Pivot table selections, were used to prioritise the potential of toxic chemicals to emerge in the food chain and, therefore, to represent a possible risk to food safety. Of the 2336 substances with relevant data available, 212 were identified as priority substances for further evaluation. To confirm the accuracy of this prioritization, 10 chemicals were selected for in-depth evaluation of information on occurrence, analytical methods and toxicology. The selection focused on chemicals that have not already been assessed in detail by other regulatory bodies and are not included in relevant lists (e.g. the Candidate List of the EU REACH Regulation). For four substances, data on the occurrence in the environment or in food/feed could be found. Enhanced monitoring in food/feed is recommended to better assess their relevance as emerging risks in the food chain. For the remaining six substances, no data on occurrence are available or existing data were considered uncertain. In these cases, monitoring in relevant environmental compartments is recommended to gain more insight into their relevance as environmental contaminants. This study also identified 517 substances for which non-prioritisation solely depended on the fact that they are not classified for the relevant toxicological hazards. If such hazards are identified in the future, these substances would qualify as priority substances within the framework as established in this study.