Next generation of ECETOC targeted risk assessment tools

The ECETOC targeted risk assessment (TRA) task force reported in 2004 (Technical Report 93), and launched the supporting web-based tool shortly after. Since 2004, almost 2000 users have registered with ECETOC to gain an access to the tool and benefit from its abilities. As part of the process for maintaining the integrity and relevance of the TRA approach, ECETOC has also held a series of meetings and events with experts from member companies and regulatory authorities with the aim of identifying what further modifications may be either necessary or beneficial.

The TRA task force was re-convened in 2006 with the aim of reviewing the current basis for the approach and making recommendations for further improvements. The task force's initial recommendations were delivered to ECETOC's Scientific Committee in 2007 and were subsequently scoped in terms of the work effort required to integrate them into an updated version of the TRA tool. At the same time, the value of the TRA was recognised under the Commission's REACH activity on the developing Technical Guidance for Chemical Safety Assessments (CSAs). Specifically, the TRA has been seen as the preferred approach for evaluating worker health risks (at the Tier 1 level) as well as having the potential for evaluating consumer health risks. At the same time, the need to develop a more workable and pragmatic approach to environmental risk assessment using the principles laid down within the EUSES model was accepted.

Since the summer of 2007, ECETOC has developed the ideas and science underpinning the TRA and continued its dialogue with the Commission/EChA. The TRA task force has therefore worked over recent months to develop improved exposure estimation models for workers, consumer and the environment that carry forward the principles that were pioneered in the original TRA web tool whilst accommodating many helpful suggestions from the stakeholder processes.

The TRA task force held a members' workshop in February to beta-test the revised versions of the 3 exposure estimation models (environment, consumers and workers). Comments and feedback have been incorproated and the final versions have been presented at a fully-subscribed non-member workshop this 15 May.

At this event, ECETOC shared the new tools together with supporting user guides. This non-member workshop presented these key REACH tools that function to support the work of CSA and Exposure Scenario development within Consortia and SIEFs; and explained the rationale and key changes from 2004.

From end of June, the new models will be available to download from ECETOC will organise an additional workshop to provide interested users with an opportunity to get the most out of the tool if sufficient interest is expressed.