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Federal agencies collaborate in Tox21 to reduce animal testing

Office of Environmental Science Cyberinfrastructure: Collaboration, Leadership and Strategy

Testing the safety of chemicals is becoming more efficient and less reliant on animals thanks to a federal collaboration known as Tox 21. Tox 21 brings together scientists from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), NIEHS, the National Toxicology Program (NTP), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and most recently the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to test the safety of chemicals using state-of-the-art robotic technology that will reduce the reliance on animal testing.

The goal of this partnership is to test at the NIH Chemical Genomics Center (NCGC) approximately 10,000 compounds of toxicological concern using quantitative high-throughput screening assays that provide information on the ability of these compounds to affect key cellular pathways associated with the induction and/or progression of human disease.

The agencies signed a five-year memorandum of understanding that builds on the experimental toxicology expertise at the National Toxicology Program headquartered at NIEHS; the high-throughput technology at the NCGC; and the computational toxicology capabilities at the EPA National Center for Computational Toxicology. The agreement provides for sample and information sharing necessary to more rapidly and effectively identify chemicals that might pose risks to the health of humans and animals or to the environment. It identifies opportunities for coordination in four basic areas related to testing goals: identification of toxicity pathways, selection of chemicals for testing, analysis and interpretation of data, and outreach to scientific and regulatory communities.

Tags: National Toxicology Program, Report on Carcinogens, notable NIEHS program, toxicity


More Information:

NTP Initiatives:

NIEHS Program:

News Releases:

  • 2010: EPA and Other Federal Agencies Collaborate to Improve Chemical Screening
  • 2010: Leading Toxicologists Highlight Advances to Safeguard Public Health NIEHS and NTP Research Showcased at SOT Annual Meeting
  • 2008: Countries Unite to Reduce Animal Use in Product Toxicity Testing Worldwide, April 27, 2009 News Release - National Institutes of Health (NIH)
  • 2008: Plan Expedites Alternatives to Animal Testing
  • 2007: NAS Report Offers New Tools to Assess Health Risks from Chemicals

Environmental Health Perspectives articles:

Environmental Factor articles:

General Information:


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