A new review published in the November 2014 issue of the peer-reviewed scientific journal Environmental Research intends to start a dialogue on key determinants of accurate toxicity testing. In the review, Vito Buonsante of Client Earth and colleagues from other non-governmental organizations point to the lack of sensitivity regarding important endpoints of studies complying with the Organisation of Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) testing guidelines (TGs). In particular, the authors point out the lack of realistic dose levels and the failure to include disease latency into the TGs. Academic studies on the other hand are not constrained by these methods and have conducted different toxicity studies. The authors assert based on a review of 30 risk assessments that this has resulted in a de facto ban of most academic toxicity testing from regulatory risk assessment. According to their research, current risk assessment dossiers include less than 25% of published toxicity studies. With their review, Buonsante and colleagues intend to start a dialogue on determinants of accurate toxicity testing and their implementation between academia and regulators. This shall allow regulators to eventually include academic toxicity testing in their risk assessments.

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Buonsante, V. et al. (2014). “Risk assessment’s insensitive toxicity testing may cause it to fail.Environmental Research 135, 139–147.