An article published on June 13, 2016 in The Parliament Magazine, describes an animal testing-free approach for the generation of scientific evidence in support of the substitution of endocrine disrupting substances of very high concern (SVHCs), including both known (phthalates and bisphenols) and suspected (parabens) endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs). This work is undertaken within the project LIFE-EDESIA initiated in 2013 (FPF reported), coordinated by Alberto Mantovani and Stefano Lorenzetti from the Istituto Superiore di Sanita (ISS, Institute of Public Health), Rome, Italy.
To evaluate the safety of potential chemical substitutes, a two-step tiered approach was employed, incorporating computational screening methods followed by in vitro functional assays focusing on biomarkers considered predictive of adverse effects of EDCs in humans.
In silico tools used chemical structure information to evaluate the receptor-binding capacity and important SVHC-related properties such as mutagenicity/genotoxicity, persistence, and bioaccumulation.
The panel of in vitro tests included the assessment of several biomarkers in three human cell lines (fetal hepatocytes, trophoblasts, prostate epithelium). In addition, chemicals’ transactivation potential for estrogen receptor (ER), androgen receptor (AR), and peroxisome-proliferator activated receptors (PPARs) was evaluated.
Delivery of a validated list of substitute chemicals is expected by December 2016.
LIFE-EDESIA (2016). “LIFE-EDESIA: Endocrine disruptors in silico/in vitro – Evaluation and substitution for industrial applications.” The Parliament Magazine, Issue 439, p. 45 (pdf)