The REACH legislation requires industry to evaluate the toxicity not just of new chemicals, but also of the tens of thousands of existing chemical substances that are currently in use but have never been subject to regulatory testing. Many argue that to achieve this by traditional in vivo testing would take decades, cost billions and consume many millions of vertebrates. In addition to the time and costs for industry, there is a lack of laboratories in Europe capable of performing in vivo tests for such large numbers of substances.
The short questionnaire is our invitation to policy makers, industry managers, educators, political leaders, NGOs, investors, citizens and all others who are not specialists in toxicology to comment on some of the issues that are raised and/or addressed by computer-based (in silico) methods.
We really hope you can take a few minutes to complete it. Please also email the link to others who may be interested.
The CAESAR and VEGA platforms have been produced from EC-funded research, and are therefore freely available for use. The software can be downloaded. Furthermore, predicted values for more than four million chemicals will be made freely available.
Unlike industry working within a regulatory context, toxicology and ecotoxicology researchers have the freedom to select and/or develop QSAR models specifically for their scientific use, and do not need to meet the regulatory demands for transparency.
In silico methods, and specifically QSAR models, can be used in a range of ways within research. QSAR models provide statistical evidence of patterns of toxicity across a series of chemicals, and so, for example, can provide an agenda for empirical research into the mechanisms of action by which particular molecular properties generate those observed biological and environmental effects.