Saturday, February 29, 2020

EPA, Unilever team up to replace animal use in chemical testing

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Unilever announced on Tuesday that they are collaborating on research to phase out animal testing for chemical safety, using innovative new methods that would yield the same information.

“If successful, research from this collaboration will result in better ways to evaluate the potential human health effects of new ingredients and chemicals we currently know little about,” Dr. Russell Thomas, the director of the EPA's National Center for Computational Toxicology, said. “These methods could be used by both industry and governmental agencies to reduce the costs associated with safety testing and accelerate the pace of chemical risk assessment.”

The EPA and Unilever will work together on several measures, including developing case studies on commonly used chemicals, using automated screening technology, estimating exposure levels and providing reliable risk assessments.

“This research collaboration is strategically very important for Unilever’s long-held ambition to eliminate the need for any animal testing while also continuing to ensure the safety of consumers and our environment,” Unilever Safety and Environmental Assurance Centre Vice President Julia Fentem said. “If we had robust scientific tools to accurately and rapidly predict exposures to chemicals at the cellular and molecular levels within the human body, this would be a huge step forward in being able to conduct safety risk assessments without using animal data.”

Organizations in this Story

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

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