The Commission publishes today its scientific committees’ opinion on the use of the ‘Threshold of Toxicological Concern’ (TTC) approach for risk assessment of chemical substances in cosmetics and consumer products.
The Threshold of Toxicological Concern (TTC) approach is a risk assessment tool. It uses available knowledge on the structure and toxicity of chemical substances to categorise them according to their toxic potency. For each category, safe exposure levels are defined. A chemical with similar chemical structure, but unknown toxicity, can then be compared with the chemical substances in these categories and a maximum exposure level which is likely to be safe can be derived.
The TTC approach is interesting as an alternative to costly and time consuming toxicological testing. However, there are two conditions which must be met for TTC to be used as a substitute:
1) where there is little or no information on the toxicity of a chemical substance and
2) where the human exposure is so low that adverse effects are very unlikely to happen.