Next-generation chemical risk assessment

Fraunhofer IBMT is part of the European Partnership for the Assessment of Risks from Chemicals (PARC)

Press Release /

The European Partnership for the Assessment of Risks from Chemicals (PARC), launched on 1st of May 2022, will develop a next-generation chemical risk assessment in order to better protect human health and the environment based on a “One Health” approach. It will support the EU’s Chemical Strategy for Sustainability and the European Green Deal’s “zero pollution” ambition. “PARC” is coordinated by the French Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health & Safety (ANSES), and brings together nearly 200 scientific partners from 28 countries as well as 3 EU agencies. “PARC” is funded on an equal basis by Horizon Europe, the 9th EU research and innovation framework programme, and the partnership’s participants with a funding volume of €400 million. The Fraunhofer Institute for Biomedical Engineering IBMT is involved in the project with its expertise in the fields of human biomonitoring, biobanking and toxicology.

“PARC” involves nearly 200 partners from 28 countries and the European Environment Agency (EEA), the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) as well as the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) and hence unites many public partners across the continent. Five Directorates-General of the European Commission (DG-RTD, DG-GROW, DG-ENV, DG-SANTE, and JRC) and the ministries of the countries are contributing to the governance of PARC and will monitor its activities.

Its overarching goal is to advance research, share knowledge, and improve skills in chemical risk assessment. For this reason, “PARC” focuses on the generation of new, easily accessible and relevant data, along with the development of new assessment methods and tools. Results of this partnership will help launch European and national strategies to reduce exposure to hazardous chemicals and their impact on human health and the environment. The partnership is coordinated by the French Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health & Safety (ANSES) and will run for seven years. “PARC” has a total funding volume of €400 million, with funding equally shared by the European Commission and the respective partner countries. The partnership will build on previous work, in of the European Joint Programme “HBM4EU” (Human Biomonitoring for Europe), and the European projects and programmes e.g., the EURION and ASPIS clusters, EU-ToxRisk, and EuroMix.

Several Fraunhofer Institutes involved

The Fraunhofer Society for Applied Research is involved in “PARC” with its institutes Fraunhofer IBMT, IME, ITEM and IVV. The Fraunhofer IBMT´s task in “PARC” is to support the monitoring of human exposure to chemicals by harmonizing methods (study designs, questionnaires, fieldwork and sampling protocols) and therewith building the basis for new survey designs (multitrack model) and setting standards for joint assessment of existing data. The Fraunhofer IBMT will be involved in conducting Human Biomonitioring (HBM) studies in Germany and in aligning HBM studies with Health Examination Surveys (HES) to optimize resources dedicated to exposure monitoring.

Furthermore, the Fraunhofer IBMT is involved in the development of integrated approaches to testing and assessment (IATA) for toxicity and the development or improvement of methods for the hazard assessment of human health