New European Network for the Assessment of Risk from Chemicals
The name of the new EU programme is the Partnership for the Assessment of Risk from Chemicals (PARC), with a focus on chemical risk assessment.
The partnership programme will establish an EU-wide competence network to support risk assessment and risk management authorities with current, trending and future challenges related to chemical safety.
The PARC programme will develop shared and improved chemical risk assessment practices that can be applied in administrative chemical risk assessment.
“We need best possible and cohesive practices to identify the risks of chemicals posed by both new and already longer in use,” says Arja Rautio, Professor of the University of Oulu, Finland. She is the expert in the research of environmental chemicals in the Arctic areas, and works in the monitoring of environmental chemicals in those northern regions.
“In a risk assessment, it is important to consider the combined effects of different similarly acting substances and combined exposures from multiple sources, such as work-related exposures and exposure related to nutrition and consumer products. This support also EU “one substance one assessment” goals,” continues Research Professor Tiina Santonen from the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health, who specialises in occupational toxicology.
An additional goal is to improve the flow of information from institutions that carry out risk assessments to authorities and decision-makers. This supports the protection of the environment and public health in Europe. The programme also makes it possible to reinforce the public’s trust in organizations responsible for risk assessments and risk management.
The network will be launched as part of the Horizon Europe programme. The network consists of about 200 organizations throughout Europe. The project is co-ordinated by the French Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health & Safety (ANSES).
Activities in Finland are co-ordinated by the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, and the partners involved are Finnish Institute of Occupational Health and Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (THL). The University of Oulu, the Finnish Food Authority, the Finnish Environment Institute and the Finnish Safety and Chemicals Agency will also take part.
“Having agencies and research organizations involved so extensively increases our national intellectual capital related to chemical risk assessment,” says Tiina Santonen from the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health.
Contacts in the University of Oulu: Prof. Arja Rautio, e-mail: