Using chemical categories to fill data gaps in hazard assessment
Hazard assessments of chemicals have been limited by the availability of test data and the time needed to evaluate the test data. While available data may be inadequate for the majority of industrial chemicals, the body of existing knowledge for most hazards is large enough to permit
reliable estimates to be made for untested chemicals without additional animal testing. We provide a summary of the growing use by regulatory agencies of the chemical categories approach, which groups chemicals based on their similar toxicological behaviour and fills in the data gaps in animal
test data such as genotoxicity and aquatic toxicity. Although the categories approach may be distinguished from the use of quantitative structure-activity relationships (QSARs) for specific hazard endpoints, robust chemical categories are founded on quantifying the chemical structure with
parameters that control chemical behaviour in conventional hazard assessment. The dissemination of the QSAR Application Toolbox by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) is an effort to facilitate the use of the categories approach and reduce the need for additional
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Document Type: Research Article
TNO Quality of Life, Utrechtseweg 48, The Netherlands
Organisation of Economic Cooperation and Development, Environment Health and Safety Division, 75775 Paris, Cedex 16, France
US Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA), Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics, Risk Assessment Division, Washington, DC 20460, USA
International QSAR Foundation, MN 55616, USA
April 1, 2009