The Commission has a well-established process in place to assess the potential risks that substances could pose to the environment and to people under the REACH regulation. Substances – on their own and as used in mixtures – are covered via the chemical safety assessment that considers the entire life cycle, including the use and the waste life cycle.
The idea was put forward that unintentional mixtures of chemicals – the so-called cocktail effect – could have unknown toxic effects on humans and the environment, even when it is ensured that all compounds are present at concentrations that are considered safe.
Under the Chemical Strategy for Sustainability, the Commission plans to put a system in place that covers the combination effects of unintentional chemical mixtures. Because of the complexity linked to regulating an almost infinite number of possible combinations of chemicals, the concept of a Mixture Assessment Factor (MAF) was launched.
ISOPA believes that a systematic introduction of a generic MAF or the applications of different MAFs is not the right approach to solve the issue of potential unintentional combined exposure.
MAFs are not scientifically justified and do not provide a proportionate answer to address potential combination effects of chemicals. Research projects indicate that the risk of combined exposure in Europe are driven by a very limited number of chemicals.