Problems to be solved
BEAM addresses the risk assessment of chemical mixtures resulting from the joint occurrence of environmental pollutants. Despite extensive research into this field current procedures for the prospective or retrospective assessment of chemical risks still focus on single pure toxicants.
The incorporation of existing scientific evidences on the predictability of combination effects into regulatory strategies is hampered by two crucial gaps:
· There is too little knowledge available at the stage of risk assessment on how to use existing toxicity information for single substances in order to account for expectable combination effects.
· There is a lack of environmental realism in the existing scientific approaches to the assessment of mixture toxicities regarding both, the types of mixtures actually occurring and the suitability of methods for the purpose of a routine assessment. BEAM seeks to bridge both gaps. Thereby a sound basis for the inclusion of mixture toxicity assessments into EU-regulations (e.g. Water Framework Directive) shall be provided.
Scientific objectives and approach
The objectives of BEAM are:
· to achieve more environmental realism in the scientific hazard assessment of complex exposure situations,
· to provide new tools for mixture toxicity assessment,
· to explore the options for implementation of predictive mixture toxicity assessment into regulation. In an interdisciplinary effort BEAM will use expertise and methods from biometry, chemometry, analytical chemistry, experimental ecotoxicity research, mixture pharmacology and regulatory toxicology.
BEAM will deliver:
· a compilation of available and optional strategies in regulating risks from mixtures of toxicants,
· validated bio tests, chemo metrical and biometrical instruments that allow the identification and prediction of mixture toxicities,
· a protocol together with technically guiding documentation that allows the derivation of water quality targets for toxicant mixtures on the basis of toxicity information for the single components. Experts from European policy, regulatory advisors, and chemical industries will join a consulting group and participate in the development of implementation strategies.
The exploitation of BEAM results will allow to implement mixture toxicity assessment into EU regulations, ensuring better pollution management of water resources and the sustainable use of water bodies. This will indirectly improve quality of life, health and safety. BEAM will increase EU-competitiveness, knowledge and skills in the field of environmental risk assessment of chemical mixtures. The participation of a stakeholders consulting group will ensure the effectiveness of the exploitation process.
Funding SchemeCSC - Cost-sharing contracts
413 19 Goeteborg