The toxicological impact of exposure to chemical mixtures is a matter of undisputed concern, but mixtures are only slowly making their way into regulatory risk assessment.
Critical knowledge gaps are which and how many chemicals drive mixture effects in the environment and in humans. Scientific uncertainty remains on the validity of the dose addition principle for complex mixtures of large numbers of chemicals at low concentrations as they occur in our bodies.
Develop a novel scientific framework to understand and quantify the risk of chemical mixture exposure across the environment-food-human continuum.
Evaluate the risk for human health posed by chemical mixtures by focusing on case studies of real-life scenarios.
Develop new concrete tools for mixture risk assessment that can help form the basis for new regulations.
Primary Areas of Interest
Study chemical mixtures can be extremely challenging due to the difficulties in linking a specific substance to a specific effect in the mix. A better way to tackle this problem is to focus on the adverse effect caused by the entire mixture and then work backwards to identify which chemical triggered it. This process is called effect-directed analysis and is based on the use of in vitro bioassays. Chemical mixtures are tested with these assays and the ones showing an adverse effect are re-analysed to pinpoint the substances present and how they cause the observed harmful outcome.
Publications on Effect-directed analysis:
“Receptor-based in vitro activities to assess human exposure to chemical mixtures and related health impacts”
Human cord blood
Every day we are exposed to a multitude of chemicals from many different sources. It is therefore normal that some of these substances remain in the human body and all children are born with a range of chemicals in their blood. To understand if this situation poses a risk for human health, chemical extracts of cord blood will be tested together with those of water and food. The cord blood samples arise from the Odense Child Cohort in Denmark and includes health information of the children from whom the blood was drawn years ago. By crossing the Odense Child Cohort with the tests on the cord blood, it will be possible to understand if some chemicals cause adverse health effects later in life.
Odense Child Cohort: read
In vitro bioassays
Chemical mixtures can contain dozens of chemicals at the same time and to understand their effect on biological organisms hundreds of tests are often necessary. In vitro analysis represents the best way to analyse large numbers of samples quickly and cheaply under various conditions. Each test focuses on a specific biological process and provides information on the effect of a particular mixture on that process.
Publication on In vitro bioassays: read
A case study is a in depth analysis that describes every relevant aspect of a specific real-life scenario. PANORAMIX project will include several case studies to better understand the effect of chemical mixture in real-life situations.
Effect-based trigger values
Effect-based trigger values can be used to determine at which concentration a chemical mixture from an environmental sample causes a problem or not. Effect-based triggers values indicate the level at which a chemical mixture becomes harmful, but right now have only been developed for water samples. PANORAMIX will expand the use of effect-based trigger values to other matrices such as food and human blood, developing a new tool for monitoring of chemical mixtures.
Publication on Effect-based trigger values: read
To ensure that the results of the project are taken up and used by the institutions responsible to set the safety levels for chemicals in our society, the PANORAMIX consortium will engage national and international regulatory agencies in the form of the Regulatory and Scientific Advisory Board and the Stakeholder forum to give their continuous feedback on the project.