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| Scientific testing that doesn’t rely on animals will be needed to cope with the wave of new nanomaterials emerging from nanoscience and nanotechnology booms.
A group of international experts from government, industry and academia have concluded that alternative testing strategies (ATSs) that don't rely on animals will be needed to cope with the wave of new nanomaterials emerging from the boom in nanoscience and nanotechnology. Their consensus statement from a workshop on the topic appears in the journal ACS Nano.
Andre Nel and colleagues explain that many new engineered nanomaterials (ENMs) are appearing in laboratories, factories and consumer products as a result of advances in nanoscience and nanotechnology. These fields involve materials so small that hundreds would fit inside the period at the end of this sentence, and they have properties much different from larger particles of the same material. Tests on laboratory mice, rats and other animals have been the standard way of checking new materials for health and environmental effects. Since those tests are costly, labor-intensive and time-consuming, workshop participants considered whether ATSs could have a larger role in checking the safety of ENMs.
They concluded that rapid cellular screening, computer modeling and other ATSs could serve as quick, cost-effective and reliable approaches for gathering certain types of information about the health and environmental effects of ENMs. "After lively discussions, a short list of generally shared viewpoints on this topic was generated, including a general view that ATS approaches for ENMs can significantly benefit chemical safety analysis," they say.
Funding was from the National Science Foundation, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences and non-federal sources.
About American Chemical Society
The American Chemical Society is a nonprofit organization chartered by the U.S. Congress. With more than 163,000 members, ACS is the world’s largest scientific society and a global leader in providing access to chemistry-related research through its multiple databases, peer-reviewed journals and scientific conferences. Its main offices are in Washington, D.C., and Columbus, Ohio.
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Andre Nel, M.D., Ph.D.
Department of Medicine, Division of NanoMedicine
University of California Center for Environmental Implications of Nanotechnology
California NanoSystems Institute
Fielding School of Public Health
University of California, Los Angeles
Los Angeles, Calif. 90095
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