PARC - Partnership for the Assessment of Risks from Chemicals
The EU's partnership programme PARC – Partnership for the Assessment of Risks from Chemicals – aims to ensure safe chemicals management and strengthen dialogue between researchers and government agencies. IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute is involved in various parts of PARC.
PARC builds on several large EU projects focussed on risk assessment of chemicals. Several government agencies have expressed a need for tools for effective risk assessment of chemicals, and PARC is to address this.
As regards Sweden, the national hub includes the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency, the Swedish Chemicals Agency, the Swedish National Food Agency, and Formas (a Swedish research council for sustainable development). IVL is participating in the work to develop a more integrated environmental monitoring scheme for the EU, improvements in the risk assessment of chemicals, implementation of Safe and Sustainable by Design, and the creation of an early warning system.
PARC will continue for seven years, with some 200 organizations participating. It is a massive project with a budget of EUR 400 million; half of this will come from the EU, and half from the participant countries.
There are work packages for measuring and monitoring chemicals and our exposure to these, by way of environmental sampling as well as from in urine, plasma and serum samples from humans. In this context, new strategies with non-target screening will be evaluated, and will hopefully be better utilized than they are today.
Further, a foundation is to be created for better integrated chemical monitoring in Europe, with improved collaboration as regards measurement series, biobanks and environmental samples. Other packages will focus on enhancing risk assessment for chemicals, in order to implement new tools and improve the capability to risk-assess groups of substances, and to improve hazard assessment of chemicals, both for testing and modelling.
Platforms for storage and management of data in accordance with the FAIR Principles are to be established. Safe and Sustainable by Design is to be implemented, as is an early warning system for identifying new chemical risks, as well as a network of laboratories and sample banks.
PARC is the first of the EU's partnership programmes to get started. In all, some 50 partnership programmes will commence, in various fields where it is perceived that there is a large societal challenge that needs to be solved.