Study in a Sentence: A new workshop report outlines nonanimal approaches that can be used to assess chemicals for their potential to cause acute lethality.
Healthy for Humans: The workshop presentations discussed problems inherent in the animal test, including documented unreliability of the results and their uncertain applicability to humans. Computational and predictive models can predict the potential toxicity of some pesticide products now; for other products, cell-based tests still need to be developed and accepted by regulatory agencies.
Redefining Research: One of the most common animal tests performed, the Lethal Dose 50 test, or LD 50, is meant to kill at least half of the animals used in the test. The use of a combination of nonanimal approaches—computational and in vitro—will provide the information government agencies need to understand chemical risks to workers, soldiers, and consumers without harming animals. The report makes recommendations to hasten the use of these approaches across industries.