Wednesday, March 14, 2012

ECHA QSAR Toolbox version 2.3 now available for REACH

ECHA has announced the release of the newest version (Version 2.3) of the OECD QSAR Toolbox for use in REACH and other regulatory actions.  According to their press release, "the software helps registrants and authorities to use Quantitative Structure-Activity Relationship ((Q)SAR) methodologies to group chemicals into categories and to fill data gaps by read-across, trend analysis and to assess the (eco)toxicity hazards of chemicals under REACH. This helps to reduce costs and unnecessary testing on vertebrate animals."

While many chemicals do have existing or new data to meet many endpoints, they often have data gaps.  QSARs can be used both to meet some data requirements and provide an estimate of certain properties that allows decision-making on whether new testing is needed.

For more information see here.

The QSAR Toolbox and guidance documents can be downloaded here.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

REACH Won't Work for TSCA Reform, Says Industry Based on Indiana Report

The US chemical industry is pointing to a new academic report as proof that the European REACH chemical management system is not a good fit for implementing in the US.  The report from Indiana University comes while Congress has effectively punted on pursuing reform of the 35 year old Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). 

The full report, for preparation of which the authors acknowledge receiving "unrestricted financial support from the American Chemistry Council, Dow, and DuPont," presents information about REACH and offers the following five findings:

FINDING #1: U.S. Policymakers Should Consider Simplifications of the REACH program.

FINDING #2: If a REACH-like system is adopted in the United States, more public disclosure of safety-related information and opportunities for public participation should be provided.

FINDING #3: In considering how to streamline REACH for application in the United States, more focus should be on priority-setting based on risk and the opportunity to reduce risks to human health and the environment.

FINDING #4: Since some of the frustration and burden in the early years of REACH implementation has been linked to ambiguity in program design, a REACH-like system in the United States should provide clarification about critical standards, processes, and tools.

FINDING #5: If the United States chooses to adopt a REACH-like system of registration, unnecessary burdens on industry can be lessened by allowing for mutual, cross-Atlantic recognition of registration dossiers.

The full report can be downloaded as a PDF file here.