The RACE tool

The RACE tool is an online computer application (like EAST) that was developed by EFSA to support risk managers by RASFF notifications. A guidance document was published as an EFSA Technical Report. In this Report you will find background information about the science behind the tool. Appendix J of the Report describes how to use the tool. You have to login for this application. An username and password is required; these can be requested at the EFSA secretariat.

RACE performs an exposure assessment for a chemical compound that is found in foodstuffs. The tool will calculate the intake of a compound on the basis of the concentration in the food, and the quantity of the foodstuff being consumed. To select the consumption rates, the user must provide a description of the food commodity of interest. This commodity is converted by RACE into the appropriate EFSA FOODEX2 code. The RACE tool will then select the consumption quantities for various EU Member States from the EFSA food consumption databases. So it is assumed that the user of RACE is familiar with the FOODEX system.

The intake is compared by RACE with the maximal permissible exposure. The user should provide that value in RACE. Various databases with HBGVs are available on the Internet, but it need a toxicological expert to understand the information provided and to select the appropriate value. EFSA provides HBGVs from EFSA panels in the OpenFoodTox database. This database contains additional information on the genotoxicity of the compounds, and references to underlying documents (e.g. Opinions). Other lists with HBGVs can be found by the WHO, e.g. in the JMPR and JECFA databases, and IPCS INCHEM database. Other HBGVs are available from sources such as the IRIS database from US-EPA. This database does also provide "slope factors" that are to be used to evaluate cancer risks for humans who are exposed to chemical compounds.

It should be stressed, that some knowledge about HBGVs and their meaning is needed, to provide RACE with the correct data. In doubt, consult an expert (preferably a toxicologist), e.g. the developer of this website. Besides one can consider to use the EAST tool of this website for an exposure assessment as an alternative, as this tool provides you with the necessary data directly with no need to do an additional search for HBGVs and FOODEX codes.