Related Resource

Toxicity Testing in the 21st Century: A Vision and a Strategy (June 2007)

Report in Brief

Advances in molecular biology and toxicology are paving the way for major improvements in the evaluation of the hazards posed by the large number of chemicals found at low levels in the environment. The National Research Council was asked by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to review the state of the science and create a far-reaching vision for the future of toxicity testing. The report finds that developing, improving, and validating new laboratory tools based on recent scientific advances could significantly improve our ability to understand the hazards and risks posed by chemicals. This new knowledge would lead to much more informed environmental regulations and dramatically reduce the need for animal testing because the new tests would be based on human cells and cell components. Substantial scientific efforts and resources will be required to leverage these new technologies to realize the vision, but the result will be a more efficient, informative and less costly system for assessing the hazards posed by industrial chemicals and pesticides.