Animals, Costs Saved With Predictive Tools, Trade Group Says

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By Pat Rizzuto

Oct. 7 — Cleaning product manufacturers prevented the sacrifice of more than 100,000 test animals and saved about $50 million dollars in chemical testing costs by using predictive computer and analytic tools to provide data on high production volume chemicals, a study by the American Cleaning Institute found.

“Research methods that used innovative non-animal techniques for filling hazard data gaps for 261 high production volume chemicals eliminated the need for over 1,200 animal research studies that would have sacrificed 115,000 to 150,000 animals,” the institute said Oct. 4 as it announced publication of a study summarizing its analysis.

The research also showed companies saved between $50 million and $70 million through testing costs avoided. The institute’s scientists that prepared the analysis said it was the first published quantification of benefits resulting from avoided tests through the use of:

  •  read-across approaches, a well-established method of using data from one or more chemical studies to predict the same outcome for a structurally similar chemical; and
  •  in silico methods, which use of computer models to predict, in this case, hazard characteristics.
Institute scientists calculated the animal and financial savings based on toxicity and physico-chemical data that the trade association’s members provided the Environmental Protection Agency and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. Beginning in the late 1990s, the agency and international organization began to collect basic information about chemicals produced in volumes of one million pounds or more.

The Dow Chemical Co. makes a wide variety of commercial chemicals. It uses read-across strategies and alternative toxicity tests to support chemical registrations globally when scientifically justified, spokesman Jarrod Erpelding told Bloomberg BNA Oct. 7.

Dow has not quantified its cost savings or animal use reductions resulting from alternative tests, but maintains these approaches “would result in a significant increase in the number of animals used and our costs,” he said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Pat Rizzuto in Washington at prizzuto@bna.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Larry Pearl at lpearl@bna.com

For More Information

The American Cleaning Institute’s study, published in Regulatory Toxicology and Pharmacology, is available at http://src.bna.com/je5.

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