Safety assessment of chemicals, pharmaceuticals, food and food ingredients, cosmetics, industrial products is very crucial prior to their approval for human uses. Since the commencement of toxicity testing (about 500 years ago, since 1520), significant advances have been made with respect to the 3Rs (reduction, refinement and replacement) alternative approaches. This review is focused on the update in acute systemic toxicity testing of chemicals. Merits and demerits of these advances were also highlighted. Traditional LD50 test methods are being suspended while new methods are developed and endorsed by the regulatory body. Based on the refinement and reduction approaches, the regulatory body has approved fixed dose procedure (FDP), acute toxic class (ATC) method and up and down procedure (UDP) which involves few numbers of animals. In terms of replacement approach, the regulatory body approved 3T3 neutral red uptake (NRU), the normal human keratinocyte (NHK), and the 3T3 neutral red uptake (NRU) phototoxicity test for acute phototoxicity. However, other promising replacement alternatives such as organ on chip seeded with human cells for acute systemic toxicity and 3T3 neutral red uptake (NRU) cytotoxicity test for identifying substances not requiring classification, as well as the in silico approaches are yet to receive regulatory approval. With this backdrop, a collaborative effort is required from the academia, industries, regulatory agencies, government and scientific organizations to ensure speedily regulatory approval of the prospective alternatives highlighted.

Publication timeframe:
4 times per year
Journal Subjects:
Medicine, Clinical Medicine, Pharmacology, Toxicology