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Alternative Methods in Toxicology

In order to protect the health of consumers and patients, the safety of chemicals, pesticides or medical devices must be assessed using specific, legally prescribed test methods, which are mainly based on animal testing. The development of new alternative methods, but also the validation of existing alternative methods, is crucial in order to constantly decrease animal experiments in the future, especially in the context of legally required tests. The validation of alternative methods is a scientific process that ends with an independent scientific assessment, known as a peer review. In this, the users (especially authorities) check the specific usability of the methods for various official purposes.

Alternative methods for REACH

Due to the urgent need for alternative methods as a result of the implementation of the EU Chemicals Regulation (REACH) and the 7th Amendment directive of the Cosmetics Ordinance, prohibiting the use of laboratory animals in cosmetic product testing, the timing of the recognition process for new methods has been accelerated both at the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and in the EU. 

For more information, see:  Risk assessment of chemicals under REACH

International coordination for alternative methods

In order to achieve acceptance of alternative methods for regulatory toxicology, the Bf3R relies on international coordination. It works at the level of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) on the development of test guidelines and instructions that correspond to the current state of knowledge and regulatory needs and strengthen animal welfare.

Development of new toxicological non-animal test methods at the Bf3R

Using its own laboratories, the Bf3R develops cell and tissue culture as well as in vivo alternative model-based methods to replace animal experiments. The main research areas include the investigation of mechanisms through which chemical substances could potentially have a harmful effect on the organism (toxicodynamics) and the development of evaluation strategies.

For more information, see: Replace


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