Download Dropsie Avenue: The Neighborhood by Will Eisner PDF

By Will Eisner

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7 and in more detail in Chapter 10. 3 In vitro studies The role of in vitro genotoxicity studies in hazard identification is well established. They are used, mainly in a non-quantitative fashion, as an indication of a potential to cause inheritable changes either in the germ cells, which could lead to genetic abnormalities in the offspring, or in the somatic cells, a possible initial event in development of cancer. Although it cannot be certain that this genotoxic potential would be expressed in humans consuming low levels of a substance, it is clearly an undesirable property for a substance that is to be added to food, either directly or as a contaminant from packaging material.

Within this scheme are many factors subject to genetic control with potential to cause differences between species and individuals. In addition, the capacity for metabolism and repair may be modified by many other factors such as age, hormonal status, disease status and exposure to other chemicals in the diet or environment. 3 Schematic representation of hazard characterization. FOOD CHEMICAL RISK ASSESSMENT 29 Hazard assessment for food chemicals, as with any other class of chemical, would ideally be based upon a comprehensive and scientifically relevant package of toxicokinetic and toxicodynamic studies in experimental animals and in vitro systems, complemented by controlled studies in volunteers and epidemiological investigations.

No risk assessment technique can give a guarantee of absolute safety. There is always a small residual risk associated with uncertainties in the process. However, cases where food chemicals have been directly implicated as causes of human illness are very rare indeed. Nevertheless, this cannot be used as an excuse to avoid further innovation and the development of better risk assessment techniques. It is important to distinguish between chemicals which can cause acute effects which have their effect soon after eating the food, and those causing chronic effects where exposure over a long period of time, perhaps several decades, is necessary for effects to develop.

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