EPA and NIH commence new challenge to improve chemical testing methods
The challenge is seeking innovative technologies and methods to improve chemical safety screening in terms of relevancy and predictability. The EPA is working in conjunction with the NIH’s National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS) and the NIH’s National Toxicology Program (NTP), which is administered by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS). The challenge will provide up to $1 million throughout its three stages to promote new and improved methods.
The EPA and NIH currently use high-throughput screening (HTC) methods to assess the potential health impacts of a vast array of chemicals, but their current tests are not able to account for chemical metabolism. This means there may be chemicals that have been approved for use that are transformed within the body into a compound toxic for humans. The organizations created the challenge to enlist more developers in finding a way to efficiently and quickly test large numbers of chemicals for these dangers.
The EPA and NIH are currently accepting applications for the first stage, which will see up to 10 winners receive $10,000 to support their projects as they advance to stage 2. The deadline for the first stage is April 8.