Critical assessment and integration of separate lines of evidence for risk assessment of chemical mixtures

Antonio F. Hernandez, Aleksandra Buha, Carolina Constantin, David R. Wallace, Dimosthenis Sarigiannis, Monica Neagu, Biljana Antonijevic, A. Wallace Hayes, Martin F. Wilks, Aristidis Tsatsakis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

78 Scopus citations


Humans are exposed to multiple chemicals on a daily basis instead of to just a single chemical, yet the majority of existing toxicity data comes from single-chemical exposure. Multiple factors must be considered such as the route, concentration, duration, and the timing of exposure when determining toxicity to the organism. The need for adequate model systems (in vivo, in vitro, in silico and mathematical) is paramount for better understanding of chemical mixture toxicity. Currently, shortcomings plague each model system as investigators struggle to find the appropriate balance of rigor, reproducibility and appropriateness in mixture toxicity studies. Significant questions exist when comparing single-to mixture-chemical toxicity concerning additivity, synergism, potentiation, or antagonism. Dose/concentration relevance is a major consideration and should be subthreshold for better accuracy in toxicity assessment. Previous work was limited by the technology and methodology of the time, but recent advances have resulted in significant progress in the study of mixture toxicology. Novel technologies have added insight to data obtained from in vivo studies for predictive toxicity testing. These include new in vitro models: omics-related tools, organs-on-a-chip and 3D cell culture, and in silico methods. Taken together, all these modern methodologies improve the understanding of the multiple toxicity pathways associated with adverse outcomes (e.g., adverse outcome pathways), thus allowing investigators to better predict risks linked to exposure to chemical mixtures. As technology and knowledge advance, our ability to harness and integrate separate streams of evidence regarding outcomes associated with chemical mixture exposure improves. As many national and international organizations are currently stressing, studies on chemical mixture toxicity are of primary importance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2741-2757
Number of pages17
JournalArchives of Toxicology
Issue number10
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2019


  • Chemical mixtures
  • Integration of evidence
  • Risk assessment
  • Toxicity testing


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