Animals in chemical safety testing

In 2008, we launched a programme to advance the application of the 3Rs in chemical safety testing. We work closely with regulators and international chemicals and consumer products companies, as well as contract research organisations to generate an evidence base to support changes in policy and practice.

We have focused our activities on identifying new 3Rs opportunities through data sharing and our open innovation programme CRACK IT. This work has highlighted how the 3Rs can be applied to toxicity testing without compromising the chemical development process, regulatory requirements or human/environmental safety. An essay authored by NC3Rs Programme Managers in PLOS Biology summarises the current status and challenges of applying alternative approaches in chemical safety testing.

Identifying opportunities to waive the acute toxicity testing of chemicals
Reducing and refining regulatory acute inhalation toxicity tests
Applying toxicokinetic information to reduce and refine animal use in chemical safety assessment
Our office-led programme which aims to increase the utility of mechanistic approaches in safety assessment
Information and news on the development and application of pathways-based approaches
Short, medium and long-term opportunities to increase uptake of alternative approaches in nanotoxicology
Replacing in vivo carcinogenicity screens with human cell-based systems
Guidance on microsampling
Bringing together experts in the fields of exposure science, efficacy and toxicology to increase the uptake of non-animal approaches
Our work in ecotoxicity testing
Additional information, resources and references