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ECHA: progress in use of alternative methods by REACH registrants to generate info on chemical safety

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Jun 03, 2014

Industry has increasingly used in vitro methods, built categories and predicted substance properties by read-across

Every three years ECHA, the key European institution for the implementation of the EU's chemicals legislation, reports to the European Commission on the use of methods to generate information which has been used instead of tests on animals. The 2011 report had shown that many companies already used alternatives to animal testing. 

ECHA’s second report, issued yesterday (see below), highlights that in 2010-2013 REACH registrants have widely used alternative methods to generate information required by REACH to ensure the safe use of chemicals. Most registrants conform with the data sharing obligations and industry has increasingly used in vitro methods, built categories and predicted substance properties by read-across approaches in up to 76% of analysed dossiers for at least one toxicological effect (endpoint). Registrants also started to take-up in vitro methods using cells, tissues and organs: the total number of in vitro studies submitted for skin and eye irritation has tripled since 2011.

ECHA report’s analysis is based on over 38 000 registration dossiers submitted for the 2010 and 2013 registration deadlines. Next report is due in 2017. ECHA will use the results of this report to promote the use of alternative methods in support of registrants aiming for the 2018 registration deadline.

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