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New study reveals additive effects of chemicals in food
Date Published：3/24/2015 08:03:16 PM
The findings of Denmark’s four-year research could improve food chemical cocktail risk assessment
EVEN small doses of chemicals in food can have significant negative effects if they are present together, according to a new study by the National Food Institute of the Technical University of Denmark.
The recently completed, four-year research, the largest such project in Denmark, establishes the additive effect of two or more chemicals appearing together in food. The study also enables the prediction of chemical cocktails effects using information from single chemicals.
The findings try to address concerns stemming from the traditional way of assessing the potential harmful effects of chemicals, which only takes the individual chemicals into account and does not factor in the possible effects of the chemicals being present at the same time. Knowing that substances can amplify each other’s effects such that the combined effect is greater than that of individual chemicals exacerbates this concern.
The research project used a risk assessment toolbox that takes into account the cocktail effects of chemicals. The toolbox contains a computer program and a step-by-step procedure for assessing and calculating the risk of cocktail effects. With toxicological data on chemical contaminants generally lacking, several of the tools are specially designed to generate more knowledge about the harmful effects of chemicals.
A research team developed a mathematical model to reliably calculate the cocktail effect of chemical mixtures using the established or estimated effect and dose of single chemicals. More comprehensive and robust data on the harmful effects of chemicals yields more reliable calculation. Calculations adopting this method suggest the chemical exposure for Danes may be harmful to overall health, particularly for groups with the highest exposure.
According to Professor Anne Marie Vinggaard of the National Food Institute, “Our research shows that indeed, little strokes fell great oaks also when it comes to chemical exposure. Going forward this insight has a profound impact on the way we should assess the risk posed by chemicals we are exposed to through the foods we eat.”