EPA receives $1.2 million in funding from L’oréal to research product toxicity

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and L’oréal global cosmetic company announced a joint research project on March 12 to use the agency’s chemical toxicity forecaster for assessing the safety of chemicals in cosmetics.

Experts say this project could help void the use of animal testing in the future.

“Because of the high costs and length of time it takes for animal testing, not all chemicals in use have been thoroughly evaluated for potential toxicity,” Dr. David Dix, acting director of the EPA National Center for Computational Toxicology, said in a statement.

L’oréal is providing $1.2 million to fund the research and the expansion of the types of chemical use groups the EPA’s ToxCast forecaster is able to assess. The findings from this research collaboration will be compared to existing safety data of substances from the cosmetic sector to determine the reliability and relevance for appropriate use in future cosmetic safety assessments.

Laurent Attal, executive vice president of L’oréal Research & Innovation, said in a statement that the EPA’s ToxCast system could enrich the company’s existing testing platforms and “help us to predict earlier the safety of substances for our products.” According to Attal, L’oréal has been investing in animal-free toxicology for more than 30 years.

Humane Society International CEO and Chief Scientific Officer for The Humane Society of the United States Andrew Rowan also stated, “A successful outcome of this partnership will go a long way toward demonstrating the value of advanced, non-animal testing tools and the need for ongoing investment in this area.”

According to the EPA, ToxCast can screen more than 1,000 chemicals in over 700 rapid, automated screenings. “ToxCast is able to rapidly screen thousands of chemicals in hundreds of test and provide results that are relevant to various types of toxicity,” Dix said.

For more information on ToxCast, visit, www.epa.gov/ncct/toxcast.

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