Editor’s note: This is the third column in a continuing discussion regarding the new REACH regulations and their impact on chemical testing. The first appeared in December 2007 and discussed dermal corrosive potential testing; the second, in February 2008, covered dermal irritancy potential testing.
As a review of this ongoing discussion, the Registration, Evaluation and Authorization of Chemicals (REACH) regulation, or Regulation No. 1907/2006, went into effect in the European Union (EU), and safety information now must be provided for all chemicals that are sold, manufactured or imported into the EU in a quantity greater than or equal to one ton per year. Considering this regulation will impact more that 30,000 existing chemicals, the effort to screen them all could result in the death of several million animals-if this were the only method of testing used. Thus, there is a critical need for the development and use of established in vitro methods to provide alternatives to animal testing.