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By Lynn L. Bergeson and Lara A. Hall, M.S., RQAP-GLP

On January 9, 2015, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Office of Pesticide Programs (OPP) announced that it released a new draft guidance document in its effort to help expand the acceptance of alternative methods for acute toxicity testing. EPA states that the rapid advances in science and continual development of new technologies, it recognizes there is an increasing potential for the use of alternative methods in regulatory risk assessments.

EPA’s goals for alternative testing approaches include:

*  Assessing a broader range and potentially more human-relevant adverse effects;

*  Generating and reviewing data more quickly and less expensively; and

*  Reducing use of laboratory animals in regulatory testing.

The draft guidance, Process for Establishing & Implementing Alternative Approaches to Traditional In Vivo Acute Toxicity Studies, describes the process for evaluating and implementing alternative methods of testing for acute oral, dermal, and inhalation toxicity, along with skin and eye irritation and skin sensitization. Additionally, there is a discussion of the three major phases of the process, and the implications for reporting information under Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) Section 6(a)(2). Successfully putting this process into place will require an open dialogue with stakeholders, other regulatory organizations, and the scientific community.

This draft guidance is one step in the application of OPP’s strategic vision for implementing the 2007 National Research Council report on Toxicity Testing in the 21st Century.

EPA is accepting comments on the draft guidance for 60 days, until March 10, 2015, and should be submitted to Christopher Schlosser at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or regular mail at Christopher Schlosser, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., MC: 7509P, Washington, DC 20460.