The Importance of Dose

The most famous saying in toxicology is 'Dosage alone makes the poison', written by Paracelsus, the 'father of toxicology', in the 16th century. Any substance is potentially toxic if the dose and duration of exposure are high enough. People die from drinking too much water and from eating too much salt. There are many ways in which a chemical might affect the health of an organism. These include corrosive or irritant effects, acute and chronic toxicity, effects on the nervous system, impairment...

What are we Trying to Protect

The purpose of environmental risk assessment is to inform the decision-making process. Therefore the first and most fundamental question that must be addressed when embarking on an environmental risk assessment is 'What are the protection goals '. In other words, what are we trying to protect and over what temporal and spatial scales For human risk assessment, the protection goal is the individual human being. However, the focus of an environmental risk assessment may range from the survival of...

What is the EU Legislative Framework

Current EU chemicals legislation distinguishes between the 100,106 chemicals that were placed in the market before 1981 (i.e. 'existing' chemicals) and appoximately 2700 chemicals introduced since 1981 (i.e. 'new' chemicals). Whereas 'new' chemicals produced at volumes of 10 kg year must be assessed for possible risks to the environment, there are no such provisions for 'existing' chemicals. An assessment of environmental risk is required only for those 'existing' chemicals that are identified...