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Testing of Industrial Chemicals: Strategies that Save Animals
Starting with the testimony of Neal Barnard, M.D., to Congress in 1999, PCRM has worked to prevent the deaths of animals in large testing programs such as the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) High Production Volume Chemical Challenge Program (HPV Program), which gathered data on industrial chemicals produced or imported into the U.S. in excess of 1 million pounds. By working together with other animal protection scientists to evaluate testing plans, PCRM was able to save thousands of animals.
PCRM promotes the concept of “thoughtful toxicology”: Instead of doing a list of tests for each chemical, you examine all of the information available on a chemical and can very frequently decide that testing can be avoided. For example, if a chemical, because of its properties, will not be absorbed through the skin, animal tests that assess toxicity by skin exposure should not be conducted.
Over the course of the HPV program, PCRM helped assess hundreds of testing plans—and we won some big victories. PCRM scientists presented the principles behind these victories at scientific conferences in Seattle, San Diego, Austin, Washington, D.C., Berlin, and Tokyo, spreading them to other scientists worldwide. In the fall of 2008, the EPA plans to continue the program for new HPV chemicals and Medium Production Volume (MPV) chemicals, as the Chemical Assessment and Management Program (ChAMP). Earlier this year, PCRM sent comments to the EPA detailing additional animal protection principles EPA should adopt in this new program in order to save animal lives.
As a result of PCRM’s work, the American Chemistry Council has invited PCRM’s director of toxicology and research, Chad Sandusky, Ph.D., to participate in an expert panel. Dr. Sandusky and his team will assess each testing plan submitted to the panel by HPV and MPV manufacturers and suggest ways in which animal testing can be avoided or minimized while still protecting health and the environment.
For more information on PCRM’s work to stop animal testing of industrial chemicals and a historical perspective on the HPV program, see below. You can also read more about alternatives to animal testing here.
- PCRM Testimony Before Congress on Prioritizing Chemicals for Safety Determination. Nov. 17, 2009 (PDF).
- The Availability of HPV Chemical Data: A Comprehensive Report
- Testimony on High Production Volume Chemical Tests to the House Subcommittee on Energy and the Environment by Neal Barnard, M.D.
- Analysis of the HPV Challenge: Industry Violations and EPA Negligence
- "Strategies to Reduce Animal Testing in US EPA’s HPV Program" by Chad Sandusky, Ph.D., Megha Even, M.S., Kristie Stoick, M.P.H., Jessica Sandler, M.S.
- "Systemic Testing by the Dermal Route Can Be Precluded by New Non-animal Percutaneous Absorption Strategies" by Kristie Stoick, M.P.H., Ken Nitschke, Ph.D., Chad Sandusky, Ph.D.
- PCRM Letter to EPA on ChAMP
- ChAMP Animal Welfare Guidance Developed by PCRM
- PCRM Shares Views with Society of Toxicology on Leading the Field of Toxicology Into the 21st Century
- PCRM scientists are constantly working to promote nonanimal toxicity testing methods. Recently, as members of the Society of Toxicology, Chad Sandusky, Ph.D., and Kristie Sullivan, M.P.H., shared their views with SOT President Kenneth Ramos, who will be responsible for leading the field of toxicology into the 21st century.
- PCRM Scientists and a PCRM Member ask CSPI President Michael Jacobson, Ph.D., to Learn How Carcinogenicity Testing Can Be Made More Human-Relevant, and More Humane
- The Center for Science in the Public Interest has a good track record of promoting healthful eating and good federal nutrition policy. Unfortunately, the organization recently caught the attention of PCRM scientists and member doctors for asking the federal government to make carcinogenicity testing longer, beginning while the animals are still in utero and continuing for the animals’ entire lives, until they die. Not only would such testing not mirror actual human exposure to environmental agents, it would use more animals and be more cruel than the current protocol. PCRM scientists and a PCRM member who is an oncologist have sent CSPI president Michael Jacobson, Ph.D., this letter, explaining their concerns. The letter also asks Dr. Jacobson to begin a dialog with PCRM, to learn about the how carcinogenicity testing can be made more human-relevant, and more humane, using 21st-century toxicology.
- 21st-Century Chemical Regulation: Ensuring Protective Chemical Regulations That Avoid Animal Testing