Protocol eases search for mixture toxicity data

A protocol to address the thorny problem of predicting how different chemicals and environmental pollutants combine to increase or decrease toxicity has been published by a team of researchers from the U.K. and the European Commission (EC). Chemicals’ toxicity is often simply added to predict the overall toxicity of a mixture. But to better support regulatory efforts, EC’s Joint Research Centre (JRC) wanted to know how often this additive method is correct and how often overall toxicology deviated from the assumption. Olwenn Viviane Martin at Brunel University London and her colleagues, along with JRC experts, developed their protocol to review 10 years of research on how different toxic chemicals might interact and alter toxicity when present in the same environment (Zenodo 2018, DOI: 10.5281/zenodo.1319759). The search strategy they developed has 65 search terms. “Vocabulary around mixture toxicology is fiendishly unspecific,” Martin says. The protocol has revealed more papers reporting toxicity studies of mixtures than Martin and her colleagues expected, she says.

Chemical & Engineering News, 27 August 2018 ; http://pubs.acs.org/cen/news