Cohort 4 researchers Luke Wilkinson and Pete De’ath recently attended the Royal Society of Chemistry’s conference ‘Assessing & Managing Real Life Risks from Chemical Mixtures’ at Burlington House, London.

The morning session consisted of two sections; ‘Human and Environmental Assessment of Mixtures – State of the Art Research’, and ‘Industry and Regulatory Approaches for the Management of Mixtures – State of the Art Tools’. The research section included presentations from Prof Stephen Holgate (University of Southampton) on why it is important to regulate chemical mixtures; Prof Greet Schoeters (VITO Belgium) on human biomonitoring and biomarkers and how they can be used to link exposure to environmental chemical mixtures; and Prof Paul Whitehead (Oxford University) on modelling and analysing mixtures in an aqueous environment. The second section consisted of presentations from Dr Tina Mehta (DOW Chemicals UK) on industry’s approach to assessing and managing chemical mixtures; Dr Stephanie Bopp (European Commission JRC, Italy) on the regulatory approach of assessing and managing chemical mixtures; and Prof Jacob van Klaveren (RIVN, Netherlands) on the future of European infrastructure of chemical mixture testing and assessment. While both sections were interesting, the first session being more research based was much more relevant and understandable. The second section was industry focused and was a lot more confusing as there were many undefined acronyms used, which made the presentations very hard to follow.

The afternoon session consisted of 4 breakout sessions. The session we attended was ‘Bridging from Science to Risk Management for Decision Making’ and included a range of people from various scientific, regulatory and industrial backgrounds. While it was interesting to hear the ideas and procedures from each of the people present, it was very difficult to contribute much as the session was very industry focused.

The most enjoyable part of the day was the start as the presentations were more interesting and relevant to our current research positions; however the later sessions were useful for exposure and an insight into areas outside of our current field.

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