4.2 million and counting… The animal toll for REACH systemic toxicity studies

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Alternatives to Animal Experimentation : ALTEX. Springer. 2023, 40(3), pp. 389-407. ISSN 1868-596X. eISSN 1868-8551. Available under: doi: 10.14573/altex.2303201
Zusammenfassung

The EU’s chemicals regulation, REACH, requires that most chemicals in the EU be evaluated for human health and ecosystem risks, with a mandate to minimize use of animal tests for these evaluations. The REACH process has been ongoing since about 2008, but a calculation of the resulting animal use is not publicly available. For this reason, we have undertaken a count of animals used for REACH. With EU legislators set to consider REACH revisions that could expand animal testing, we are releasing results for test categories counted to date: reproductive toxicity tests, developmental toxicity tests, and repeat­ed-dose toxicity tests for human health. The total animal count as of December 2022 for these categories is about 2.9 million. Additional tests involving about 1.3 million animals are currently required by a final proposal authorization or compliance check but not yet completed. The total, 4.2 million, for just these three test categories exceeds the original European Com­mission forecast of 2.6 million for all REACH tests. The difference is primarily because the European Commission estimate excluded offspring, which are most of the animals used for REACH. Other reasons for the difference are extra animals included in tests to ensure sufficient survive to meet the minimum test requirement; dose range-finding tests; extra test animal groups, e.g., for recovery analysis; and a high rejection rate of read-across studies. Given higher than forecast animal use, the upcoming debate on proposed REACH revisions is an opportunity to refocus on reducing animal numbers in keeping with the REACH mandate.

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ISO 690KNIGHT, Jean, Thomas HARTUNG, Costanza ROVIDA, 2023. 4.2 million and counting… The animal toll for REACH systemic toxicity studies. In: Alternatives to Animal Experimentation : ALTEX. Springer. 2023, 40(3), pp. 389-407. ISSN 1868-596X. eISSN 1868-8551. Available under: doi: 10.14573/altex.2303201
BibTex
@article{Knight2023milli-67599,
  year={2023},
  doi={10.14573/altex.2303201},
  title={4.2 million and counting… The animal toll for REACH systemic toxicity studies},
  number={3},
  volume={40},
  issn={1868-596X},
  journal={Alternatives to Animal Experimentation : ALTEX},
  pages={389--407},
  author={Knight, Jean and Hartung, Thomas and Rovida, Costanza}
}
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