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Author Heine, Karin ♦ Taghavi, Ali ♦ Kalberlah, Fritz
Source Paperity
Content type Text
Publisher Springer Berlin Heidelberg
File Format PDF ♦ HTM / HTML
Copyright Year ©2011
Subject Keyword Pollution ♦ Pollution, general ♦ Ecotoxicology
Abstract Background European chemicals legislation (registration, evaluation, authorisation and restriction of chemical substances (REACH)) requires a broad assessment of chemicals with respect to, inter alia, their health-relevant properties. Due to the extreme number of substances to be assessed and the limited current toxicological knowledge on their respective properties, REACH implicitly requires a paradigm change: away from knowledge generated mainly from costly animal experiments towards the use of mechanistic findings. Moreover, effect mechanisms at the biochemical or cellular level are essential when conclusions shall be drawn about "new" endpoints and mixtures of xenobiotics. This study (funded by the German Federal Environment Agency) describes examples of biochemical processes in the mammalian organism and how xenobiotics interfere with them. Interference with physiological processes expected to lead to adverse health effects is characterised as "toxicity pathway". The study describes toxicological endpoints not usually covered in routine animal testing and the respective toxicity pathways. Results and conclusions Screening for chemicals which exert effects via common toxicity pathways and subsequently conducting targeted short-term tests may generate new information about the toxicity of chemicals without performing extensive substance-by-substance animal experiments. Information on common toxicity pathways may also provide input for the assessment of mixture effects. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is working intensely on this concept. It involves the use of enormous amounts of data on relevant biochemical and cellular processes, which are generated by "high-throughput screening" methods, and then are combined with substance-specific kinetic data, experimental apical test outcomes and modelling. Current limitations in the regulatory use of this integrated approach on risk assessment will be outlined.
ISSN 21904707
Learning Resource Type Article
Publisher Date 2011-07-26
e-ISSN 21904715
Journal Environmental Sciences Europe
Volume Number 23
Issue Number 1