EU Science Hub

Expert survey on identification of gaps in available test methods for evaluation of endocrine disruptors

According to the 2012 WHO/UNEP publication 'State of the Science of Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals' research into endocrine disrupting chemicals over the last decade has indicated that, despite the progress achieved in development and validation of test methods for evaluation of endocrine disruptors, there are still several gaps that need to be addressed. Considering the expected significant amount of work needed to fill the gaps and the limited resources available, it will be important to set priorities for the upcoming period (next 5-10 years) for the development and validation of test methods. Thus there is a need to focus the European input to the OECD test guideline programme to effectively enhance the identification of chemical substances with endocrine disrupting properties whilst making best use of existing resources. With this objective in mind, DG Environment, supported by JRC, is organising a European expert workshop on setting priorities for further development and validation of test methods for evaluating endocrine disruption. The workshop will take place on 30 May - 01 June 2017 in Brussels. The deliberations will focus on what is necessary and achievable in the context of resources, timescales and animal welfare considerations. In preparation for the workshop, JRC has drawn up a questionnaire to gather input from experts in the field on key issues to be used as a basis for the further discussions at the workshop. An online survey with the title "Identifying gaps in available test methods for evaluation of endocrine disruptors" was performed on the EU Survey platform and open for commenting from 19/05/2015 until 15/06/2015. A selected group of experts (EFSA Scientific Committee and WG on EDs, ECHA ED WG and RAC, WNT (European members from OECD webpage), Experts identified in Annex 3 of the "Roadmap for setting priorities for further development and validation of test methods and testing approaches for evaluating endocrine disruptors") was invited to participate in the survey. Experts were asked to rank endocrine related diseases/disorders regarding the possibility to predict them with existing test methods (TMs). They were further asked to rank diseases/disorders regarding the need to develop new test methods to better cover those. Experts were then requested to provide their views on including further tests based on those discussed in the OECD (2012) "Detailed Review Paper on the state of the science on novel in vitro and in vivo screening and testing methods and endpoints for evaluating endocrine disruptors" and their views on the current OECD Conceptual Framework and proposals for improvements. Forty experts representing 15 countries and different stakeholder groups (authorities; academia; civil society organisation; industry) replied. The purpose of this report is to present the detailed survey results. Multiple choice questions were evaluated and where possible quantitative rankings were performed. In addition, the survey respondents provided a lot of valuable information in numerous free text comments. Those are included in the report in tables as they were received, without editing them, unless personal information had to be removed. Brief summaries of the main points raised are added after each section.