A new commentary published in the January 2015 issue of the peer-reviewed journal Environmental Health Perspectives (EHP) offers recommendations on how to strengthen the scientific engagement in biological pathway-based chemical testing approaches. The ToxCast, short for Toxicity Forecaster, is one of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) main initiatives contributing to the Tox21 program (previously reported on by the FPF). ToxCast is based on in vitro high-throughput screening and identifies compounds with potential toxicity. Such testing programs may allow the evaluations of thousands of chemicals faster and cheaper than ever before, the authors from the Environmental Defense Fund stated in their commentary. McPartland and colleagues recommend a broader scientific engagement in the ToxCast initiative. Firstly, they suggest a series of workshops engaging both the EPA and outside researchers. Secondly, the authors recommend to strengthen the mutually beneficial research partnerships between the EPA and academic institutions. They support their recommendations with previous examples of how such successful collaborations could work in practice.

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Arnold, C. (2015). “ToxCast™ wants you: recommendations for engaging the broader scientific community.Environmental Health Perspectives (News), 123, A20.

McPartland, J. et al. (2015). “Building a robust 21st century chemical testing program at the U.S. environmental protection agency: recommendations for strengthening scientific engagement.Environmental Health Perspectives (Commentary), 123, 1-5.