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Workshop on Thresholds of Toxicological Concern (TTC) and chemicals in food contact materials

On 17 October HEALer Lisette van Vliet participated at this workshop organised by the Food Packaging Forum in Zurich, which provided relevant scientific background information to understand the concept, and initiate a wider discussion.

The Threshold of Toxicological Concern (TTC) is a concept for assessing the risk of single chemical exposure to human health. It establishes generic exposure thresholds below which chemicals are assumed to be safely used over a whole life time.

TTC is already being used by some agencies and there are possibilities that it may be used in Europe under REACH for some chemical dossiers. The TTC is therefore of interest to HEAL and why it was important for HEAL to participate at such a workshop.

The workshop participants held a wide discussion about the usefulness and limits of the TTC for chemical risk assessment, including beyond risk assessment of food contact materials.

Some scientists have attempted to do analyses of the reliability of the TTC in terms of it delivering a really protective threshold. EFSA former employees and associated consultants / specialists stated that when compared with alternative methods of examining thresholds, the TTC levels are shown to be protective.

Although the discussion was open, it seems that there were some enduring significant differences of view in how much the TTC can be improved with respect to the challenges of endocrine disrupting chemicals and the need to deal with mixtures effects, low dose effects, and nonlinear effects.

For HEAL and for some other participants, the protectiveness of the TTC given that it draws on sources of information about chemicals that do not adequately take endocrine disrupting properties and endpoints into account, is problematic.

More information available here

The presentations are available here

Last updated on 28 November 2013

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