The prospects for using (Q)SARs in a changing political environment - High expectations and a key role for the european commission's joint research centre

A. P. Worth, C. J. Van Leeuwen, T. Hartung

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Recent policy developments in the European union (EU) and within the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) have placed increased emphasis on the use of structure-activity relationships (SARs) and quantitative structure-activity relationships (QSARs), collectively referred to as (Q)SARs, within various regulatory programmes for the assessment of chemicals and products. The most significant example within the EU is the European commission's proposal (of 29 October 2003) to introduce a new system for managing chemicals (called REACH), which calls for an increased use of (Q)SARs and other non-animal methods, especially for the assessment of low production volume chemicals. Another development within the EU is the Seventh Amendment to the Cosmetics Directive, which foresees the phasing out of animal testing on cosmetics, combined with the imposition of marketing bans on cosmetics that have been tested on animals after certain deadlines. At the same time, the Existing Chemicals programme within the OECD is investigating ways of increasing the use of chemical category approaches, which depend heavily on the use of (Q)SARs, activity-activity relationships and read-across. Such developments are placing an enormous challenge on industry, regulatory bodies, and on the European commission's Joint Research Centre (JRC), which is responsible for providing independent scientific advice to policy makers in the European Commission and the Member States. This paper reviews the different scientific and regulatory purposes for which reliable (Q)SARs could be used, and describes the current work of the JRC in providing scientific support for the development, validation and implementation of (Q)SARs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)331-343
Number of pages13
JournalSAR and QSAR in Environmental Research
Volume15
Issue number5-6
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 1 2004
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • ECB
  • ECVAM
  • JRC
  • OECD
  • QSAR
  • REACH

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Drug Discovery

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