Title: Testing in Aquatic Ecotoxicology - What Are the Scientific Conditions for the '3R' Concept?
Authors: PART PeterCASTANO ArgeliaBENGTSSON Bengt-Erik
Publisher: Springer
Publication Year: 2010
JRC N°: JRC56936
ISBN: 978-90-481-9427-8
URI: http://www.springer.com/law/environmental/book/978-90-481-9427-8
DOI: 10.1007/978-90-481-9428-5_7
Type: Articles in periodicals and books
Abstract: Europe is introducing a new regulatory system (REACH) for management of chemicals. The overriding objective is to ensure protection of human health and the environment and at the same time have a control of the flow of use of chemicals in the Society. An important component in REACH is extended hazard assessment for chemicals in use of more than 1 ton/year. Approximately 30.000 chemicals fall in this group. Information on toxicity and the biological behaviour of chemicals has therefore a central position in REACH. This need leads to an increasing demand on biological tests and test methods. However, already in the starting instructions of REACH (Commission White Paper on a new Chemical legislation, EC 2001) it was stated that REACH should not lead to an increased use of test animals. Instead, REACH should stimulate the development of alternative methods and approaches. These include in vitro methods, in silico methods (QSAR, SAR) and the optimal use of information from one method to another, so called ¿read across¿. An intensive development is currently going on, particularly in the industry, to meet the REACH testing requirements in a cost-effective manner. In this chapter, we will evaluate how and if a 3R based approach can be applied in testing of ecotoxicity of chemicals. The 3R approach (reduce-refine-replace) is a strategy to reduce or totally abolish the use of experimental animals in favour of alternative methods. We review the current status of alternatives in aquatic ecotoxicology and how well they perform in comparison with current in vivo methods. We will conclude that theoretically can alternative methods and approaches replace animal based testing but the way to reach this goal is long. A strong development of more sophisticated alternative methods is needed focusing on specific and physiologically/toxicologically representative endpoints. We underline the importance to gain more information on toxic mechanisms of chemicals. New exciting biochemical techniques are waiting around the corner, e.g. in the genomics area and they need to be integrated in future test paradigms.
JRC Directorate:Sustainable Resources

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