Determining Relevant Low-Level Chemical Exposures for Safety Assessments of Consumer Products

May 20–22, 2019

The Hotel Brussels
Brussels, Belgium

Summary and Scope of the Workshop

Planned as a 2.5 day workshop, organized under the principles and with the assistance of The Toxicology Forum, this meeting intends to progress towards a broadly accepted framework to assess and position the safety of trace chemicals exposure from consumer products, and in particular from articles and assembled consumer goods.  Both experimental-analytical and computational approaches, and how their respective exposure data are realistic and relevant for safety assessments, will be in scope.

Workshop Scientific Program Sessions and Goals

The workshop is split into five themes that are noted below. Sessions are scheduled covering the main themes. Each session will be comprised of a mix of invited keynote speakers, with the remaining slots determined through an open call for presentation opportunity for all interested participants.  The workshop should allow for different stakeholders with potentially opposing views to present their opinion and lead to a constructive scientific debate.

View the Detailed Meeting Agenda

Platform and Poster Abstract Submissions Accepted: (See below for More Details)

Topic #1: Advances in Analytical Methods: How to Detect and Quantify Relevant Low-Level Chemical Exposure from All Routes?

  • Novel methods for specific constituents and contaminants
  • Detecting and quantifying IAS and NIAS
  • Test set up that closely mimics in-use exposure (dermal/inhalation/oral)
  • Matrix effects
  • Extractables and leachables from poorly studied/documented consumer goods and materials
  • NIAS and substances formed in situ
  • Analytical methods for bio-monitoring
  • Approaches for ensuring accuracy and understanding limitations/uncertainties with low-level exposure testing

Topic #2: Experimental and/or Modeling Approaches?

  • Use and limitations of both approaches
  • Frameworks that combine analytical work with modeling
  • High-throughput approaches
  • Advances in exposure modeling and validation
  • Extraction media/conditions for physiologically relevant extractions
  • Proposals for standardized test design and set up
  • Sectoral views & Supply chain analysis

Topic #3: Global Databases for Exposure Information

  • Public exposure databases and initiatives in different geographies – what’s available?
  • Harmonization of information and formats
  • Use of large datasets for population modelling
  • Obtaining more data from industry

Topic #4: Guidance for Practitioners, Recommendations for Policy Work and Public Communication

  • Consumer perception of information on chemical presence (trend for organics/naturals/’chemical-free’)
  • Risk versus hazard communication
  • Information and transparency requirements for industry on presence of chemicals
  • Media guidance

Topic #5: Towards a Risk Assessment Best Practice Framework

  • Exposure and risk assessment for consumer goods without accepted framework methodologies
  • Application of the TTC concept
  • Read-across and reapplication among (regulatory) frameworks
  • Towards some best practice guidance applicable across consumer good categories
  • Regulatory initiatives in different geographies
  • Voluntary guidelines from industry
  • Benchmarking low-level exposures
  • Relevance of analytical measurements to human exposure
  • Implications of chronic low-dose consumer exposures to human health risk and mode-of-action

Poster and Platform Abstract Submissions Open to All Attendees

All interested individuals may submit abstracts for consideration for presentation as either posters or platform presentations in conjunction with the scheduled sessions centered around the scientific themes of the meeting.


Join our mailing list to ensure that you receive the latest communications about The Toxicology Forum.


Registration for the meeting is currently open. Please use the online system linked to below in order to register for the meeting. A brief breakdown of registration prices appears below. The registration fee includes access to all meeting sessions, meals, receptions, etc. scheduled during the meeting. Please contact Kevin Merritt with any questions or concerns regarding meeting registration.


Registration Rates: (Rates in parentheses reflect pricing after the early registration deadline of April 20, 2019)

Member: $600 / ($700)
Nonmember (Gov., Academic, Non-Profit): $850 / ($1000)
Nonmember (Corporate): $1100 / ($1400)
Speaker (non-Invited): $350
Student/Postdoc: $100 / ($150)

Housing Reservations

Reserve Now!

Housing for the meeting is now open. The Toxicology Forum has reserved a limited blocked of discounted rooms for meeting attendees. Reservations are booked based on a first come first served basis. Please visit the Brussels Meeting Housing Reservations page for additional information on rates and booking.

Workshop Background and Importance

Increasingly, toxicologists in both industry and regulatory agencies are challenged to address low-level exposures to chemicals in consumer products. While there have been significant advances in the area of exposure assessment, and some widely recognized frameworks exist (such as those used to evaluate the potential for packaging chemicals to migrate into food, or for building material and medical devices), there are currently no broadly accepted methods for evaluating and quantifying potential consumer exposure from several other consumer products such as textiles, toys, furniture, absorbent hygiene products. Having a basic framework recognized by the global scientific community will provide clarity and transparency in how ‘best practice’ exposure assessments are to be done.

Manufacturers of consumer products are regularly requested to share information on the compounds contained in their products, including providing assurance that certain ingredients and contaminants are not present.  Also the increased use of recyclates in support of a ‘circular economy’ may increasingly trigger such questions.  This can result in significant challenges for complex formulations/products, especially for chemicals that are not intentionally added (NIAS), or were not disclosed as contaminants by suppliers, but nonetheless could be found when non-physiological extraction and sensitive analytical methods are employed.

Quantifying relevant exposure associated with use of a range of products, and especially solid articles, can require advanced sampling approaches and analytical capability that reasonably mimic those conditions that might occur with actual and foreseeable consumer use. By contrast, some regulatory schemes make extensive use of in-silico (computational) approaches to perform a screening risk assessment. This also raises the question of how analytical and mathematical modelling data can be compared or combined. For both approaches it should also be better defined what are ‘most realistic’, ‘reasonably conservative’ versus ‘exaggerated’ or ‘not practically relevant’ conditions.

Who Should Attend and Participate

Individuals involved in quality assurance, analytical, and safety experts from chemical suppliers and producers of consumer good and articles, regulators involved consumer exposure and public health topics, academic experts in exposure and analytical chemistry, contract laboratories, exposure modelers, those interested in risk assessment, risk management, mode-of-action, and/or human relevance of analytical exposure measurements.  We also welcome the participation of NGOs and consumer associations, science journalists and social science experts. 

Meetings of The Toxicology Forum are open to all interested participants. 

Products and Materials in Scope

The workshop organizers recognize that certain product categories such as medical devices and foods contact materials already have a great deal of guidance and practice associated them.  The  organizers hope to address in particular those categories where frameworks are currently less developed or non-existing. These will include; electric/electronic equipment and appliances, household and personal care products, home improvement products, air fresheners, clothes/fabrics/textiles, furniture, toys, 3D-printing materials, recyclates.


Organizing Committee

The organizing committee is comprised of a number of individuals from the United States and the European Union representing government, academia, and industry.

View Committee Member Biosketches

John Bartzis, PhD
University of Western Macedonia


Silvia Campos, PhD
The Coca Cola Company
Wolfgang Dekant, PhD
University of Wuerzburg
Kathie Dionisio, PhD
United States

Suzanne Fitzpatrick, PhD, DABT, ERT
United States

Eddy Goelen, PhD
Bruno Hubesch, PhD
Brussels, Belgium
Kristin Isaacs, PhD

United States
Stylianos Kephalopoulos, PhD
European Commission

Pim Leonards, PhD
Free University Amsterdam
Marusia Popovech, PhD, MPH
ExxonMobil Biomedical Sciences
United States
Amy Roe, PhD, DABT
Procter & Gamble (USA)
United States
Diederik Schowanek, PhD
Procter & Gamble (BE)
Belgium (Chair)
John Wambaugh, PhD
United States