New Chemical-Testing Approach Could Save Thousands of Animals
Thousands of animals could be spared painful chemical tests if the Environmental Protection Agency were more open to accepting existing data on hormonal interactions, according to a scientific article co-authored by PCRM toxicologist Kristie Sullivan, M.P.H.
The article in September’s Toxicological Sciences, the official journal of the Society of Toxicology, focuses on the EPA’s Endocrine Disruptor Screening Program. This EPA program currently requires pesticide and chemical manufacturers to conduct 11 cell and animal tests to determine whether a substance interacts with or disrupts hormonal systems in humans or other animals.
The EPA was directed by the White House to use other scientifically relevant information, if available, instead of ordering new tests. But the agency has rejected nearly all existing information submitted by the public or by companies because the data were not generated in exactly the same way as the tests the EPA prefers.
Taking one substance—atrazine—as an example, Sullivan and her co-authors show how the EPA, if it followed a more realistic and flexible approach, could integrate existing data into the program. That could save hundreds of animals for every chemical at issue. The EPA has issued test orders for 67 chemicals and plans to order tests for more than 100 others.