Scientists at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and NTP Interagency Center for the Evaluation of Alternative Toxicological Methods (NICEATM) conducted an analysis to determine if acute oral toxicity data can be used to reliably assign EPA acute dermal hazard classifications. The analysis was the basis for a draft guidance document issued by EPA in March 2016. The draft guidance provides a rationale for waiving all acute dermal toxicity studies for pesticide formulations. This waiver is expected to reduce animal use for acute toxicity testing by at least 2,500 animals per year.
Acute dermal toxicity tests, which assess the likelihood that a chemical will cause illness when absorbed through the skin, are used by the EPA to determine labeling and personal protective equipment requirements for users of pesticides. The guidance on acute toxicity testing will be finalized in FY 2017, and is part of a broader effort by EPA to significantly reduce animal use for acute effects testing.