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Biology Articles » Methods & Techniques » No more test tubes on four feet? EPA moves toward animal-free toxicity tests

No more test tubes on four feet? EPA moves toward animal-free toxicity tests

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) plans to switch to a new generation of animal-free tests for predicting the toxicity of chemicals to humans, according to an article scheduled for the June 22 issue of Chemical & Engineering News, ACS’ weekly newsmagazine. C&EN associate editor Britt Erickson points out that there are more than 80,000 chemicals on the market, with about 700 more added each year. Over the next ten years, EPA plans to increasingly rely on so-called toxicity-based pathways to evaluate these substances. This approach involves using human cell cultures to screen newly marketed chemicals for adverse effects. The new tests will produce results in a fraction of the time now required with animal studies.   But the switch won’t be easy, the C&EN article notes. Some experts question the validity of these next-generation tests. Meanwhile, new technologies for predicting toxicity may emerge and complement conventional animal tests, according to the article. -- News release courtesy of The American Chemical Society

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