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Safety assessment of chemicals

EU chemicals policy requires that the use of chemicals by the public and in production is safe, that the assessment should be made with minimum possible use or suffering of laboratory animals and that industrial progress and innovation is not harmed. Therefore it is necessary to develop an efficient and reliable animal-free methodology to assess chemicals, which also can achieve regulatory acceptance. By combining its knowledge within a wide range of areas of expertise, the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre (JRC) is working on a hypothesis-driven approach to identify potential toxicants, based on the understanding of their mechanisms of biological action rather than the observable effects in an animal test.

One of the activities of the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre (JRC), Institute for Health and Consumer Protection (JRC-IHCP) is to support the implementation of EU chemicals policy (including the safety assessment of industrial chemicals, chemicals in consumer products, pesticides and biocides).

In support of regulatory decision making, the JRC-IHCP develops, evaluates and applies alternative (non-animal) methodologies for human health safety assessment. In this way, the JRC-IHCP is contributing to the activities of EURL ECVAM, the European Union Reference Laboratory for Alternatives to Animal Testing (EURL ECVAM) hosted by the JRC.



  • Safety assessment of chemicals without relying on animal testing