EDF Health

Selected tag(s): in vitro

Chemical safety evaluation: Limitations of emerging test methods

Jennifer McPartland, Ph.D., is a Health Scientist. Richard Denison, Ph.D., is a Senior Scientist.

Parts in this series:      Part 1     Part 2     Part 3     Part 4

This is the fourth in a series of blog posts on new approaches that federal agencies are exploring to improve how chemicals are evaluated for safety.  In this post, we’ll discuss a number of current limitations and challenges that must be overcome if the new approaches are to fulfill their promise of transforming the current chemical safety testing paradigm.  Read More »

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Testing for endocrine disruption: Are we there yet?

Cal Baier-AndersonCal Baier-Anderson, Ph.D., is a Health Scientist.

After long delays, the EPA’s Office of Pesticide Programs recently issued endocrine disruptor screening test orders for dozens of high-priority pesticide ingredients.  Endocrine disruptors are chemicals capable of interfering with the action of hormones that regulate biological processes such as development, growth, reproduction and metabolism.  The test orders require pesticide manufacturers to evaluate their chemicals using a specific battery of tests.

Identifying which chemicals are endocrine disruptors can help protect people and the environment from harmful exposures.  So, with test orders now in the hands of pesticide manufacturers, will we finally get the data we need? Read More »

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Talk about over-reaching: Anti-REACH screed gets nearly everything wrong

Richard Denison, Ph.D., is a Senior Scientist.

In an opinion piece titled “Chemical regulators have overreached” in the August 27, 2009 issue of Nature, two prominent animal welfare advocates claim that vastly larger numbers of chemicals will have to be tested under the European Union’s REACH regulation than previously estimated, and hence that 20 times more laboratory animals will be sacrificed.  They call for a moratorium on some animal tests.  Well, a closer look reveals that it’s the opiners themselves that have greatly overreached.

[Update 8/28:  The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) has just issued this press release also disputing the findings of this new study.]

Read More »

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Using ChAMP to Advance Alternative Testing Technologies

Cal Baier-Anderson, Ph.D., is a Health Scientist and Richard Denison, Ph.D., is a Senior Scientist.

Many of the screening-level hazard data being collected and analyzed under ChAMP that pertain to human health are derived from traditional laboratory animal studies.  The National Academy of Sciences (NAS) recently offered a “new paradigm for toxicity testing” in its 2008 report Toxicity Testing in the 21st Century: a Vision and a Strategy.  Can ChAMP hazard data be used to facilitate the development of new testing strategies?  Read More »

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The Next Mile Marker on the Road to High Throughput In Vitro Screening?

John BalbusJohn Balbus, M.D., M.P.H., is Chief Health Scientist.

A new paper by Shaw et al., published in May in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, “suggests a generalizable and scalable method for the systematic characterization and comparison of novel nanomaterials” using high throughput in vitro tests.  Does this mean that the National Academy of Sciences’ vision for toxicity testing in the 21st century – proposed for conventional chemicals – is already here for nanomaterials?  Not quite.  Read More »

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In Vitro Risk Assessment for a Nano Fuel Additive: Tanks or No Tanks?

John BalbusJohn Balbus, M.D., M.P.H., is Chief Health Scientist.

The history of health and environmental impacts of fuel additives is not a pretty one.  From tetra-ethyl lead to methyl tert-butyl ether (MTBE), we’ve learned the hard way that what goes in the tank ends up in our bodies and the environment sooner or later.  Getting a thorough understanding of the potential risks of a new fuel additive at an early stage is essential to avoid a lot of harm, suffering, and economic costs down the line.

A new study by Park et al. has assessed the potential respiratory risks of a fuel additive called Envirox (nanoparticulate cerium oxide), giving it a clean bill of health based only on in vitro tests.  Is this the vision of the future of risk assessment?  Should we feel safe? Read More »

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