2012 Annual General Meeting and Annual Technical Meeting

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2012 Annual General Meeting
22 May 2012, 12:30-16:00

Sheraton Brussels Airport Hotel, Brussels, Belgium

For Members only

2012 Annual Technical Meeting
06 June 2012, 09:30-17:00

Radisson Blu Royal Hotel

Rue du Fossé-aux-Loups 47 / Wolvengracht 47

B-1000 Brussels

Topic: Chemical exposure for risk assessment: Present problems and future solutions

For Members or by invitation only

For this year‘s Annual Technical Meeting, ECETOC chose to bring forward the topic of “Exposure‘. Looking at the hazard-side of risk assessment, test methods are already well-developed, and continue to be improved, and a large pool of chemical-specific data available. But exposure is often somewhat orphaned. The programme of the ATM, “Chemical Exposure for Risk Assessment: Present Problems and Future Solutions‘, brought together enlightening speakers and stimulated an insightful debate. The lunchtime poster session provided time for networking amongst participants.

The meeting started with the keynote speech by José Tarazona of ECHA on the importance of exposure assessment, in particular under REACH and the CLP regulation. He reviewed how exposure is applied in the chemical registration and evaluation steps, and described how exposure scenarios are being defined through the use descriptors, operational conditions and risk management measures. He also pointed out where he sees the current specific needs to improve exposure assessments, namely on refined methods and tools to address aggregate exposure to multi-constituent and UVCB substances, as well as to address combined exposure to different substances. Thereby, it was important to understand realistic exposure and co-exposure levels.

Four speakers covered “the present‘.

Gerard Swaen (Dow) gave his thoughts about “exposure as a limiting factor in epidemiology research‘ mainly due to poor quality data on exposure.

Andrew Sweetman (Lancaster University) addressed “environmental persistence and exposure assessments‘ showing that regulatory approaches can present an unrealistic scenario by only looking at single media degradation half-lives.

Kim Travis (Syngenta) spoke about the work of the recently completed task force on “combined exposures at low doses‘ whereby exposure concentrations played a critical role, which is often not the case in mixture toxicology.

Marike Kolossa (German UBA) presented current bio-monitoring projects in Germany that are designed to establish “real‘ environmental exposure levels to priority pollutants.

“The future‘ was addressed by another four speakers.

Jonathan Goodman (Cambridge University) in his talk on “chemical informatics for risk assessment‘ showed how molecular information can provide valuable information for toxicology and for an understanding of exposure.

Tim Pastoor (Syngenta) provided an overview of the Risk 21 project that, amongst other topics, postulates the paradigm shift in risk assessment whereby problem formulation begins with exposure estimates rather than toxicity hazard data.

Sylvia Jacobi (Albemarle) reviewed the work of another recently completed task force on risk assessment of PBT which described refined methods for their exposure assessments and also identified further research needs.

Jacqueline van Engelen (RIVM) talked about methods and databases to “understand the nature of consumer exposures to mixtures‘ and where information needs still lay.

Finally, participants from industry (member and non-member companies), academia and governmental research institutes discussed in two breakout groups where they see research needs to advance exposure science towards improving human and environmental risk assessment. Constructive broad ideas for new activities that ECETOC (or LRI) could undertake emerged. These will be further discussed within the ECETOC Scientific Committee to distil specific project proposals.