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Toxicology, the study of chemicals and their toxic effects, is hundreds of years old. Now an unprecedented revolution in toxicology is underway. Public concern about chemicals, demands for more testing and the development of less toxic alternatives, and pressure to eliminate the testing of chemicals on animals have prompted major changes. The days of exposing animals to escalating doses of a chemical and waiting to see what effects this has are giving way to new in vitro and computer-based in silico techniques for determining, at a molecular and cellular level, whether chemicals are harmful and by what mechanism this occurs.
The SEURAT-1 Program http://www.seurat-1.eu/ , a €50 million collaboration of several research projects involving 69 academic and research institutions, industry, and hundreds of researchers across Europe and around the world, is helping lead the development of this ‘new-age toxicology’. Funded by a unique partnership between the European Commission and Cosmetics Europe - the Personal Care Association in anticipation of the Commission’s ban on testing cosmetics ingredients on animals (which took, effect March 2013), SEURAT-1 (Safety Evaluation Ultimately Replacing Animal Testing) offers an ideal opportunity to report on fascinating scientific developments as the field of chemical safety and testing enters a radically new era.
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5. Coordination of the work of SEURAT-1 with the ToxCast http://www.epa.gov/ncct/toxcast/ programme at the United States Environmental Protection Agency. Work to develop the new toxicology is happening around the globe. SEURAT-1 is in close collaboration with one of the worlds’ other leading programs, ToxCast in the United States. Together, these programs are leading the development of this revolution in toxicology, an approach that will allow more chemicals to be tested, faster, without using animals, and which will ultimately provide regulators with information on which they can base decisions about public health and safety.
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