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Chemical Testing Reform

Ensuring Protective Chemical Regulations That Avoid Animal Testing

The Physicians Committee spent more than a decade working with the federal government and industry to include reforms in the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) that reduce and replace animal testing.

TSCA requires a company to notify the Environmental Protection Agency when it plans to manufacture a chemical. The EPA then assesses the potential hazards this chemical might pose to humans or the environment.

On June 22, 2016, the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act was signed into law. The law updates TSCA to require chemical companies and the EPA to replace and reduce animal tests and increase the use of human-relevant methods which can help better predict human safety.

The Lautenberg Act does this in part by requiring the EPA to publish a strategic plan to reduce and replace vertebrate animal testing. On June 22, 2018, the EPA published its Strategic Plan to Promote the Development and Implementation of Alternative Test Methods Within the TSCA Program

The Lautenberg Act also reduces and replaces animal experiments by ensuring that the chemical industry “first attempt to develop the information by means of an alternative test method or strategy identified by the [EPA]… before conducting new vertebrate animal testing.” This language requires companies developing information to first use nonanimal testing method, if they are available, before conducting an animal experiment.

The Physicians Committee continues to work with the EPA and other federal agencies, as well as industry, on chemical testing reform and provides resources and trainings to increase the use and regulatory acceptance of nonanimal test methods required by the Lautenberg Act.

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Tail of Toxics: Improving Chemical Safety Without Animals

Learn about the flaws of animal tests and modern methods that will produce safer chemicals and a healthier environment.

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