Advances in new tools and tests of chemical toxicity—from high throughput, cell-based, in vitro studies to tissue chips to environment-wide association studies—have led to a new understanding about the effects of chemical exposures in humans. These new approaches are faster, less expensive, and increasingly more relevant to human exposures than legacy animal toxicity testing approaches. Additionally, the passage of the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act (Lautenberg Act), which amends the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), has encouraged opportunities for industry and government agencies to use data from emerging toxicity testing approaches, particularly in risk assessment and analysis contexts. However, many questions remain about whether and how to make the paradigm shift away from traditional approaches and toward using new data streams as the basis for the wide array of research, policy, and regulatory decisions facing the environmental health field.
On November 20–22, 2017, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine held a 2-day workshop to explore key factors that influence how scientists, policy makers, risk assessors, and regulators incorporate new science into their decisions. This workshop aimed to raise awareness about the questions and trade-offs that need to be addressed in order to facilitate a systematic use of data from new and emerging approaches to toxicity testing to maximize confidence and public health protection. This publication briefly summarizes the presentations and discussions from the workshop.
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