EPA Releases Draft Policy to Reduce Animal Testing for Skin Sensitisation

The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released a draft Science Policy to reduce the use of animals in testing chemicals to evaluate whether they cause an allergic reaction, inflammation or sensitization of the skin. The draft policy is open for public comment until 9 June 2018. “This draft policy is another step toward achieving EPA’s goal of reducing the use of animals and increasing the use of cutting-edge science in chemical testing,” said EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt. The document, Draft Interim Science Policy: Use of Alternative Approaches for Skin Sensitisation as a Replacement for Laboratory Animal Testing, describes the science behind the non-animal alternatives that can now be used (in vitro, in silico, in chemico) to identify skin sensitisation. EPA currently requires these data to support pesticide registrations. Given the substantial scientific evidence and international activities supporting the new methodologies for skin sensitisation testing, EPA will begin accepting these approaches immediately under the conditions described in the draft policy document. This draft policy is the result of national and international collaboration between the Interagency Coordinating Committee on the Validation of Alternative Methods, the National Toxicology Program’s Interagency Centre for the Evaluation of Alternative Toxicological Methods, the European Union Reference Laboratory for Alternatives to Animal Testing and Health Canada’s Pest Management Regulatory Agency. Comments on the draft skin sensitisation policy must be submitted to docket #EPA-HQ-OPP-2016-0093 at www.regulations.gov on or before 9 June 2018. Under Administrator Pruitt’s leadership, the Agency has made strides to reduce the use of animal testing. Last month, EPA fulfilled another milestone in the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act, which amended the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), when it released a draft strategy to reduce or replace the use of vertebrate animals in tests of chemical substances manufactured, processed, or imported in the United States. Find the draft plan and how to comment on it here.

U.S EPA, 10 April 2018 ; http://www.epa.gov

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