Endocrine disrupters are chemicals that interfere with the body’s endocrine system and produce adverse effects such as developmental, reproductive, neurological, and immune effects in human or wildlife.
In the framework of the Environment, Health and Safety Programme, OECD deals with the endocrine disrupters by developing test guidelines, assessment methodologies and guidance for regulatory purposes.
The work on endocrine disrupters testing and assessment is overseen by the Working Group of National Coordinators of the Test Guidelines Programme (WNT) and managed by four groups:
- An advisory group on endocrine disrupters testing and assessment (EDTA AG);
- A validation management group on ecotoxicity testing (VMG eco);
- A validation management group on non-animal testing (VMG NA);
- A validation management group for mammalian testing (VMG mammalian).
The EDTA Group is an advisory group to the WNT and to the VMGs.
On request by the WNT, it provides advice on Regulatory use of test methods, such as:
- development of tiered approaches for endocrine disrupters testing and assessment
- regulatory/policy aspects of Test Guidelines development for endocrine disrupters
- general technical issues that should not be addressed by a single VMGs
The VMGs can also request advice by the EDTA AG on regulatory/policy or general technical issues.
The EDTA AG monitors the activities of the VMGs and, as appropriate, provides feedback/recommendations to the WNT regarding these activities.
The Conceptual Framework for Testing and Assessment of Endocrine Disrupters and the Guidance Document No. 150 are among the important outcomes of EDTA AG’s activity. The Conceptual Framework includes all available OECD test methods for evaluating chemicals for endocrine disruption with the aim to organise information into levels increasing in biological complexity, but it is not intended to be a testing strategy.
The Guidance Document No. 150 helps to analyze the results from standard tests, how to increase evidence on whether or not a substance may be an endocrine disrupter and recommends test methods that may be performed if regulatory authorities need more evidence.
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