EPA Issues Draft Policy to Reduce Animal Testing for Skin Sensitization

November 01, 2018

EPA Issues Draft Policy to Reduce Animal Testing for Skin Sensitization

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has released an industry draft Science Policy to reduce the use of animals in testing chemicals to evaluate whether they cause an allergic reaction, inflammation or sensitization of the skin. The draft policy was open for public comment until June 9, 2018.

EPA Issues Draft Policy to Reduce Animal Testing for Skin Sensitization
EPA Issues Draft Policy to Reduce Animal Testing
for Skin Sensitization

Non-animal Alternatives Available

EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, said:
“This draft policy is another step toward achieving EPA's goal of reducing the use of animals and increasing the use of cutting-edge science in chemical testing.”

The document, Draft Interim Science Policy: Use of Alternative Approaches for Skin Sensitization as a Replacement for Laboratory Animal Testing, describes the science behind the non-animal alternatives that can now be used (in vitro, in silico, in chemico) to identify skin sensitization. EPA currently requires these data to support pesticide registrations.

Result of Collaboration

Given the substantial scientific evidence and international activities supporting the new methodologies for skin sensitization testing, EPA will begin accepting these approaches immediately under the conditions described in the draft policy document. This draft policy is the result of national and international collaboration between the following:
  • The Interagency Coordinating Committee on the Validation of Alternative Methods
  • The National Toxicology Program’s Interagency Center for the Evaluation of Alternative Toxicological Methods
  • The European Union Reference Laboratory for Alternatives to Animal Testing
  • Health Canada’s Pest Management Regulatory Agency

Another Milestone Fulfilled

Under Administrator Pruitt’s leadership, the Agency has made strides to overall reduce the use of animal testing. Last month, EPA fulfilled another milestone in the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act, which amended the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), when it released a draft strategy to reduce or replace the use of vertebrate animals in tests of chemical substances manufactured, processed, or imported in the United States.

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