Toxic potency of complex chemical mixtures in diet, environment and products

A limited number of industrial chemicals is tested for their potential toxic properties, while even less is known about the vast number of natural chemicals. Nevertheless, we are mostly exposed to complex mixtures of all of those compounds. Biological effects by mixtures are typically hard to predict from data on the limited number of well-characterized chemicals, since these cover only a part of the compounds actually present. Direct measurement of the total potency of toxic, or bioactive components in the mixture using CALUX® reporter assays solves these issues in the following ways

  • CALUX® assays directly measure the combined effects by the total mixture that is analysed. Results are therefore independent of prior toxicological knowledge on the individual constituents of a mixture.
  • Specificity of the assays and extensive quality controls avoid assay interferences that may typically occur in less well defined and validated assays.
  • If desired, a combination of chemical analytical and biology-based techniques can be used to identify whether observed effects can be attributed to specific compounds or fractions.
  • BDS works together with key stakeholders to incorporate assays in relevant legislation, including the definition of standard operational procedures and thresholds of adversity.

In the next sections several important applications of CALUX® methods are described in brief.