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Alternatives to Laboratory Animals - ATLA

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ECVAM, ECETOC and the EU Chemicals Policy

Philip A. Botham

ECVAM's initiatives in validation have received significant support from the European Centre for Ecotoxicology and Toxicology of Chemicals (ECETOC), especially through the provision of reference chemical data banks, which contain peer-reviewed, high-quality in vivo data on commercially available chemical substances. Chemicals have been selected from these ECETOC data banks for validation studies on alternative methods for skin corrosion and irritation and for eye irritation and, in addition, an ECETOC task force peer-reviewed the selection and classification, on the basis of in vivo data, of chemicals used in the validation of three alternative methods for developmental toxicity. More recently, ECVAM and ECETOC have been pursuing parallel initiatives on the proposed new EU chemicals policy, with the common goals of ensuring that industry and European Commission resources are used to investigate only those chemicals that pose a significant risk to human health and the environment, and that the Policy requires that any testing that is necessary follows the Three Rs principles of reduction, refinement and replacement.