JRC News

  1. 15 Jun 2007

    The European Commission has today released IUCLID 5 as part of its preparation for REACH and the new European Chemicals Agency (ECHA). It is a key software application essential for chemical industry to comply with the new legislation, which entered into force on 1 June 2007. The freely downloadable tool will assist chemical companies globally in fulfilling their obligation to submit data to the Agency under the Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) legislation from 1 June 2008.

  2. 2 Sep 2008

    A delegation from the Joint Research Centre travelled to Iceland and Norway from August 26-29th. The purpose of the mission was to visit key research institutes, as well as to organise two public information events presenting examples of the JRC's customer-driven scientific and technical support in response to European policy challenges. Potential partnerships and further collaboration were also explored in both countries.

  3. 8 May 2009

    A new international study by JRC's Institute for Reference Materials and measurements (IRMM) suggests that the majority of laboratories around the world are capable of effectively testing for the presence of melamine in food. The study's results show that levels of the harmful substance in food samples can be accurately measured by the majority of laboratories tested, suggesting that the global response to the Chinese contaminated milk scare of 2008 has been effective.

    114 analytical laboratories from around the world volunteered to put their measurement competence to the test for the study, which was organised and carried out by the JRC at the request of the European Commission's Directorate-General for Health and Consumer Protection. Carefully prepared samples of contaminated milk powder and baking mix were sent to the laboratories for testing without revealing the known levels of melamine present. Participating laboratories measured the melamine content of these 'blind' samples to the best of their abilities and reported their results back to the JRC.

    Laboratories from 31 countries participated in the test, including Australia, China, India, Japan, New Zealand, the United States of America, as well as 21 of the 27 EU Member States.

  4. 18 Jun 2009

    The European Commission has presented on 12 June draft legislation to achieve a higher level of protection of health and environment. This proposal aims at significantly increasing the safety of biocide products used and placed on the market in the European Union. It proposes to phase out the most hazardous substances, particularly those that may cause cancer, and to introduce new rules for articles such as furniture and textiles treated with biocides, which are not covered by existing legislation. It introduces simplified legislation, whilst providing new incentives for companies to develop safer products against harmful pests and germs. The Helsinki-based European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) will be involved in the authorisation of some of these products through a centralised approach. The proposal should enter into force in 2013.

  5. 22 Jul 2010

    Bisphenol A (BPA) is extensively used in the synthesis of plastics and resins, implying a widespread consumer exposure through various products coming in contact with food, such as baby bottles or food cans. Despite several risk assessment studies performed over the last ten years by different regulatory bodies worldwide, there is so far no agreement about the impact of BPA on human health. The review report "Bisphenol A and baby bottles: challenges and perspectives", published by the JRC Institute for Health and Consumer Protection (IHCP), provides an overview of the issues at the base of the on-going debate and highlights some areas of uncertainty, which may be the subject of future investigations.

  6. 6 Oct 2010

    The JRC Institute for Health and Consumer Protection (IHCP) and the National Centre for Computational Toxicology (NCCT) of the United States Environmental Protection Agency have signed an agreement to facilitate exchange of research materials and results useful for the development of integrated methods for predicting chemical toxicity.

  7. 8 Oct 2010

    On 30 September and 1 October, the JRC Institute for Health and Consumer Protection (IHCP) organised a workshop on the applicability of QSAR (Quantitative Structure-Activity Relationship) models and other non-testing approaches in risk assessment. These theoretical models can be used to predict the physicochemical, biological and environmental fate properties of molecules. The careful use of such approaches can reduce and focus experimental efforts, and in particular reduce the need for animal experimentation.

  8. 21 Dec 2010

    The protection of animals used in scientific procedures such as safety testing of chemicals or cosmetics is of great concern to European citizens. Taking up this concern, the European Commission has launched several regulations that underline the European Union's commitment to improve animal welfare (e.g. Cosmetics Directive, REACH chemicals legislation) by promoting the use of alternatives to animal testing. A strong and continuous dialogue with key stakeholders in this area is recognised as pivotal for progress.

  9. 28 Feb 2012

    When assessing the safety of chemical substances, knowledge on absorption, distribution (including the bioaccumulative potential), metabolism and excretion is essential. A lot of this information can be generated through in vitro and in silico test methods at tissue, cell or sub-cellular level. This information can be used as input parameters for physiologically-based toxicokinetic modelling (PBTK). Such computer modelling can help reducing the numbers of animal experiments by better targeting critical parameters. It has the potential to contribute to the replacement of animal tests in future.

  10. 2 Apr 2013

    An expert group, chaired by the JRC, confirms that the scientific identification of endocrine disrupting substances should be based on the demonstration of both endocrine activity and an adverse effect caused by it. A wide range of substances are under scrutiny for endocrine disrupting properties, such as plastic additives in consumer goods, a number of industrial chemicals, cleaning agents, pesticides and by-products of industrial processes like dioxins.