Baylor University environmental researchers have proposed in a new study a different approach to predict the environmental safety of chemicals by using data from other similar chemicals.
For many chemicals in use every day, scientists do not have enough information to understand all of the effects on the environment and human health. In response to this, the European Union enacted the REACH regulation, which places greater responsibility on industry to manage the risks from chemicals and to provide safety information on the substances. The Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemical Substances (REACH) regulation was enacted in 2006 and requires manufacturers and importers to gather information on the properties of their chemical substances and to register the information in a central database. Regulators say the goal of REACH is to improve the protection of human health and the environment through better and earlier identification of the harmful properties of chemical substances.
In the Baylor study, researchers suggest using data from other chemicals, such as what concentrations can cause toxicity in aquatic organisms to predict the toxicity of another chemical that scientists expect causes toxicity in the same way.
"This study proposes one approach to advance the three R's of sustainability – reduce, replace, refine – for studying biological impacts of chemicals in the environment," said study co-author Dr. Bryan Brooks, associate professor of environmental science and biomedical studies and director of environmental health science at Baylor. "Identifying, testing and implementing new approaches to leverage available information to support better environmental decision-making remains a critical need around the world."
Baylor researchers used statistical and mathematical techniques called chemical toxicity distributions to understand the relative potency of two groups of chemicals. They then used these findings to develop environmental safety values, which they hope will help determine the environmental impacts of chemical substances without unnecessary testing on animals.
"The biggest hurdle we face when protecting public health and the environment is the general lack of information," said study co-author Dr. Spencer Williams, a research scientist at Baylor. "The approach we propose should help prioritize the selection of chemicals and organisms for additional safety assessments. Instead of having to test similar chemicals on many organisms over and over again, scientists could estimate safety levels using fewer tests, which could be more efficient without compromising environmental safety."
The study appears online in the journal Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry.
Baylor University is a private Christian university and a nationally ranked research institution, characterized as having "high research activity" by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. The university provides a vibrant campus community for approximately 15,000 students by blending interdisciplinary research with an international reputation for educational excellence and a faculty commitment to teaching and scholarship. Chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas through the efforts of Baptist pioneers, Baylor is the oldest continually operating university in Texas. Located in Waco, Baylor welcomes students from all 50 states and more than 80 countries to study a broad range of degrees among its 11 nationally recognized academic divisions.
Matt Pene | EurekAlert!
Ambush in a petri dish
24.11.2017 | Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena
Meadows beat out shrubs when it comes to storing carbon
23.11.2017 | Norwegian University of Science and Technology
High-precision measurement of the g-factor eleven times more precise than before / Results indicate a strong similarity between protons and antiprotons
The magnetic moment of an individual proton is inconceivably small, but can still be quantified. The basis for undertaking this measurement was laid over ten...
Heat from the friction of rocks caused by tidal forces could be the “engine” for the hydrothermal activity on Saturn's moon Enceladus. This presupposes that...
The WHO reports an estimated 429,000 malaria deaths each year. The disease mostly affects tropical and subtropical regions and in particular the African continent. The Fraunhofer Institute for Silicate Research ISC teamed up with the Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology IME and the Institute of Tropical Medicine at the University of Tübingen for a new test method to detect malaria parasites in blood. The idea of the research project “NanoFRET” is to develop a highly sensitive and reliable rapid diagnostic test so that patient treatment can begin as early as possible.
Malaria is caused by parasites transmitted by mosquito bite. The most dangerous form of malaria is malaria tropica. Left untreated, it is fatal in most cases....
The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.
Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...
Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.
That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...
15.11.2017 | Event News
15.11.2017 | Event News
30.10.2017 | Event News
24.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
24.11.2017 | Health and Medicine
24.11.2017 | Earth Sciences