23/12/2005

A tool for the qualitative assessment of toxicological interactions

The Canadian Institut de recherche Robert-Sauvé en santé et en sécurité du
travail (IRSST) has made a tool available on its Web site for evaluating the
risk of a mixture of several chemical substances in the workplace. Over the
last few years, researchers from the Department of Environmental and
Occupational Health at the Université de Montréal, the IRSST, and the CSST's
Toxicological Index have worked together to develop a database on the toxicity
of chemical mixtures that provides information for this tool, whose usefulness
is indisputable.

For several years now, workplace exposure to chemical mixtures has raised
questions. Standardization organizations and abundant legislation are proposing
that the presence of all contaminants with similar effects on the same organs
or systems of the human body be taken into account. In this case, it is
recommended that the exposures be added rather than considered individually,
unless established otherwise. Interactions must therefore be taken into
account. It is here that the database and its utility come into play.

This tool is the result of productive collaboration between scientists. The
information obtained on the additivity or interaction potential between
chemicals in a mixture in the workplace allows a qualitative assessment of the
nature of the interaction between contaminants, for each given situation.
Available in French and in English, the new tool provides access to better
knowledge on toxicological interactions.

The researchers stress the fact that this is a tool to help in decision-making
and that it cannot replace the enlightened judgement of an occupational health
and safety professional.

Further Information: 


AplusA-online.de - Source: European Agency for Safety and Health at Work