Neurotoxicological hazard assessment without animal testing
Using animal-free methods to assess the hazard potential of chemicals to the nervous system of unborn children? An international research team including scientists from PARC have developed a testing battery based on human cells that has the potential to replace traditional methods for assessing developmental neurotoxicity.
The development of the nervous system in the womb and during the first years of life is vulnerable, for example, to the harmful effects of environmental toxicants, such as certain pesticides or flame retardants. However, fewer than 200 substances worldwide have been tested for their developmental neurotoxicity (DNT) in accordance with the official guidelines of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) – despite the high relevance of such data for consumer safety. This is because the cost for DNT studies conducted in animals are enormous.
Alternative methods to classical animal testing in toxicology are referred to as “new approach methods” (NAMs), which are an important part of current concepts of next generation risk assessment – by both scientific and regulatory bodies.