ICCVAM Biennial Report 2014-2015

ICCVAM Biennial Report 2014-2015

Endocrine Disruptor Testing

The endocrine system is one of the body’s main communication networks. In the endocrine system, hormones produced by glands throughout the body act as chemical messengers to control a variety of body functions. Examples of hormones include estrogens, androgens, and thyroid hormones.

Endocrine disruptors include a wide range of compounds that interfere with normal hormone function by mimicking or blocking their action, which may cause adverse health effects. Evidence suggests that environmental exposure to endocrine disruptors may cause reproductive and developmental problems in animals; the effect of endocrine disruptors in humans is less clear.

The Food Quality Protection Act of 1996 (7 U.S.C. 136) directed the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to screen pesticides and other substances for their potential to affect the endocrine systems of humans. EPA subsequently initiated the Endocrine Disruptor Screening Program (EDSP) and began efforts to standardize and validate test methods to include in the program. In support of these efforts, ICCVAM sponsored reviews of and validation studies on test methods proposed to identify potential endocrine disruptors.

ICCVAM agencies are currently exploring how high throughput screening (HTS) approaches can be used to identify potential endocrine disruptors without using animals.

ICCVAM and ICCVAM Agency Activities

Graphic with images of a chemical structure, a pipettor, and a cell