EU Science Hub

New approaches needed to assess the effects of inhaled substances on human health

Pulmonary edema
Sep 25 2018

JRC scientists contributed to a review of the state-of-the-science on available mechanisms and assays to assess acute inhalation toxicity with a focus on non-animal testing approaches.

Scientists from the JRC's EU Reference Laboratory for Alternatives to Animal Testing (EURL ECVAM) joined a working group, together with other international experts, to assess acute inhalation toxicity.  They discussed how existing knowledge can be used to design effective non-animal testing approaches.

Experts described Adverse outcome pathways (AOPs) and the Toolbox of non-animal approaches that could be used to investigate relevant mechanisms leading to acute inhalation toxicity.

The review proposes a decision tree to help guide consideration of exposure parameters and the design of an integrated strategy for inhalation testing.

Meaningful progress in implementing non-animal approaches – What are the challenges?

Some important challenges need to be addressed on the way towards meaningful progress in implementing non-animal approaches:

•    Curating data in user-friendly databases
•    Evaluating of  existing QSAR models and developing new ones
•    Advancing mechanistic dosimetry models for in vitro to in vivo extrapolation
•    Developing and sharing AOPs
•    Optimising in vitro systems
•    Designing and testing integrated approaches

These mechanistic based non-animal approaches will provide a predictive tool and likely more information to risk assessors than a median lethal concentration (LC50) or other in vivo observations.

Read more in: A.J. Clippinger et al.: 'Pathway-based predictive approaches for non-animal assessment of acute inhalation toxicity'. Toxicology in Vitro 52 (2018) 131–145.

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