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Threshold of Toxicological Concern - a tool for assessing substances of unknown toxicity present at low levels in the diet
  ILSI Threshold of Toxicological Concern.pdf (426.1 KB)
Document ID LIB51
Document type Scientific peer reviewed article
Issue date 09/05/2006
Document reference ISBN 1-57881-188-0
Original language of the document English
Full text available in EN (426.1 KB)
Document requested by ILSI Europe a.i.s.b.l. organisation visiting card
Document uploaded by Nico van Belzen
ILSI Europe a.i.s.b.l.
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Short description  Through diet, mankind is exposed to a large variety of chemicals, both of natural and man-made origin. Many of these, especially the man-made ones, have undergone extensive risk assessment to determine their safe exposure levels. Increased sensitivity of analytical instruments has led to the detection of compounds in food at concentrations that were previously too low to be detectable, and this development is expected to continue. To prioritise and test the safety of these chemicals, scientists from academia, government and industry jointly invest considerable time and resources, and sacrifice many animals. Nevertheless, it is clearly not feasible to test all known chemicals and probably unnecessary to apply full toxicological evaluation to all of them. Previous research has shown that most toxic effects only occur when a defined exposure dose, a ´threshold´, is exceeded. If, for different classes of chemicals, a general threshold could be established below which there would be no appreciable risk to human health, this would help to prioritise chemicals for safety evaluation, and provide guidance if a food component is discovered for which no toxicological information is available. This threshold is known as the ´Threshold of Toxicological Concern´ (TTC). This monograph describes the history and development of the TTC principle by ILSI Europe.
[toxicology],[risk assessment],[threshold]
Abstract (focusing on the key recommendations)  Man is exposed to thousands of chemicals whether naturally occurring or man-made. The human diet, for example, contains innumerable low molecular weight, organic compounds that could, at some level of intake, represent a risk to human health. Extensive toxicity studies, utilising many animals, are necessary to evaluate the safety of chemicals applied in food or to establish if contaminants to whic ...

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