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Health Agencies Update
January 25, 2012

Chemical Toxicity Screening

JAMA. 2012;307(4):351. doi:10.1001/jama.2012.6

More than 10 000 chemicals will be screened for potential toxic effects on human health, as part of joint effort by the National Institutes of Health, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the US Food and Drug Administration. The Tox21 project aims to use emerging technologies to better assess whether currently used compounds pose risks and to help drug developers identify potential toxicities earlier in the drug development process.

A robotic screening system will be used to determine whether selected compounds or compound mixes can disrupt biological human processes and lead to adverse effects. The compounds to be tested (http://www.epa.gov/ncct/dsstox) were selected based on a review of existing studies and chemical databases and through nominations by various entities. All results will be publicly available.