Integrating Emerging Technologies into Chemical Safety Assessment
The Expert Panel on the Integrated Testing of Pesticides
Traditionally, the regulatory risk assessment of pesticides has utilized a battery of animal-based (in vivo) tests to produce scientifically-based risk assessment conclusions and risk management strategies that will protect human health and the environment. Integrated testing, using data from diverse fields of study, represents an exciting means to augment toxicity testing and further improve the safety of pesticides and other regulated chemicals.
What is the scientific status of the use of integrated testing strategies in the human and environmental regulatory risk assessment of pesticides?
In 2009, the Minister of Health, on behalf of the Pest Management Regulatory Agency, requested that the CCA assemble an expert panel to examine the scientific status of the use of integrated testing strategies for the regulatory risk assessment of pesticides.
After examining the available evidence, the CCA’s Expert Panel concluded the issues inherent in the current approach to chemical testing are the lack of toxicity data for the majority of industrial chemicals, and the need to strengthen regulatory decisions based on the best available science. The Panel believes these challenges can be met by adopting an integrated approach to testing and assessment (IATA) of chemicals.
The evidence suggests that over time, IATA would enhance the reliability of existing testing practices by integrating new science into the regulatory framework, while also making it possible to assess the safety of data-poor chemicals that have not yet received extensive analysis.
The report also indicates that the adoption of IATA strategies may refine and streamline testing of chemicals, as well as improve results in the future. Although the Panel is not aware of a complete set of alternative testing methods that could be immediately adopted, the state of the science is evolving rapidly and the Panel expects to see an increase use of integrated testing strategies over the next decade, resulting in improved evidence-based decision making.