Implementation of new risk assessment methodologies



Probabilistic exposure models are used to refine risk assessments of chemicals in food. Additionally, probabilistic models are used to estimate the cumulative exposure to chemicals. Cumulative exposure is the exposure to groups of chemicals known to affect the same human organ. As part of this activity, RIVM National Institute for Public Health and the Environment will develop a technical document on probabilistic modelling and provide training to experts of the Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives (JECFA) and the Joint FAO/WHO Meeting on Pesticide Residues (JMPR) on how to perform these assessments using the MCRA programme. MCRA has been developed for RIVM by Biometris (Wageningen University & Research Centre).


Apart from more realistic exposure estimates, RIVM has also expertise to derive health-based guidance values, which are used in risk assessments. RIVM has developed a tool, PROAST, to derive these values using bench-mark dose modelling. Values derived using this technique are scientifically more robust and provide a better understanding of the seriousness of the toxic effect. The advantages of BMD modelling are endorsed by the WHO. As part of this activity, RIVM will provide a training on the use of PROAST by JECFA and JMPR experts.

Use of both models will result in more realistic and informative risk assessment of chemicals in food and thus in more scientifically based safe legal limits of adverse chemicals in food.