Over 500 participants joined ECHA’s workshop on new approach methodologies (NAM) to discuss ways to replace animal testing in the hazard assessment of industrial chemicals, whilst ensuring a high level of protection of human health and the environment.
The workshop, held on 31 May and 1 June, focused on achieving a common understanding of what NAMs can achieve in the short and long term. The participants discussed potential areas where NAMs could be used to reduce regulatory dependence on data generated with animal tests and how to accelerate their regulatory acceptance.
While important progress has been made on the implementation of NAMs, challenges still remain. During the workshop participants discussed NAMs’ potential to accelerate the pace of the assessments and provide better science while taking into consideration ethical values.
Ofelia Bercaru, the Director for Prioritisation and Integration, said:
“ECHA is committed to supporting the development of new methodologies to replace testing on animals. We also want to contribute to future EU chemicals regulation which would not rely on animal testing. This workshop gave us new views and a better understanding on how we can move forward, while implementing horizonal regulations such as REACH and CLP.”
“Concerted efforts by all stakeholders are needed for faster progress, and we are ready to play our part.”
ECHA will continue playing an active role in the promotion of alternatives, making more data available for the development of alternatives, further developing the QSAR Toolbox, developing guidance and guidelines for ECHA’s stakeholders and at the OECD. We will also continue our collaboration at international level in the context of APCRA, PARC and EPAA initiatives.
The proceedings of the workshop will be available on ECHA’s website in due course.