EFSA and ECHA plead for efficient solutions for a more integrated and holistic assessment of chemicals

  • 15 maart 2021

Clearing the fog on chemical substances

Currently, risk assessment and risk management of the same chemical is carried out at different times for different uses by different bodies, under different legislation, often using different data and potentially leading to seemingly different outcomes. Examples of such substances, where the unaligned timing and data requirements of assessments may have created uncertainty for decision-makers and the public, include bisphenol A, a substance used to make plastics, resins and plastic coatings, and phthalates which soften or ‘plasticise’ plastics such as PVC.

For this challenge, the European Food Safety Authority EFSA and the European Chemicals Agency ECHA, propose solutions that support simplification, cost savings and improved regulatory predictability. Solutions for the more integrated and holistic assessment involve better coordination on or distribution between agencies of tasks concerning the hazard, risk assessment of the uses and the cumulative risks from all uses of the same chemical. A further solution is ‘open’ access to all available data in the same structured format for all EU authorities.

The position paper of the two authorities can be found on their websites: