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Selected Integrated Testing Strategies (ITS) for the risk assessment of chemicals

Teststrategieen voor de risicobeoordeling van chemicalien


RIVM's investigation of integrated testing strategies (ITS) to reduce the use of experimental animals in the risk assessment of chemical substance focuses on the application of alternative and improved test methods. This research is highly desirable for the contribution it can make to the successful implementation of the new EU legislation for industrial chemicals, REACH, as of June 1, 2007. In this way RIVM will contribute to EU and OECD research into testing strategies. Integrated, or Intelligent, Testing Strategies (ITS) are strategies for the effective testing of the hazards of chemical substances. Such strategies show what tests or mathematical methods should be used for a particular substance, and in what order. ITS are intended as an answer to the ever-increasing demand for testing in regulations for a great number of substances with limited databases. The focus of ITS is especially on the development of strategies on the basis of test methods at cellular level (in vitro) and mathematical methods (in silico). The mathematical methods are needed for the assessment of exposure and of the relation between effects and chemical structure. Some tests with experimental animals (in vivo) will also remain necessary. Knowledge on the effects of chemical substances can be derived with sufficient certainty by smartly coupling these methods with each other. In this way, the expectation is that chemical substances will be assessed cheaper and faster, with less use of experimental animals. The report first describes how to deal with uncertainties in the results of tests and methods used in each step of a particular ITS. Next it focuses on testing strategies for the assessment of: 1) environmental degradation 2) sensitization and 3) adverse effects on fertility and progeny.

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