Scientists in the USA have developed a new testing approach for evaluating whether chemicals used in common applications such as flame retardants or in household products are likely to be endocrine disrupters (EDCs).
EDCs affect hormone regulation in humans and animals and are considered to be of particular concern at present and possibly responsible for a rise in many conditions including low sperm counts in humans, and fish undergoing gender change.
The new testing system, TiPED (tiered protocol for endocrine disruption) uses a number of testing protocols starting at the most basic level and then getting progressively more complex. Any chemical failing at the first hurdle can the either be redesigned or abandoned.
This system could both reduce the number of animal tests required whilst promoting the need to get an agreed definition of an EDC in Europe.
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