Testing of chemicals

OECD Guidelines for the Testing of Chemicals


Test Guidelines and related documents

The OECD Test Guidelines are a collection of internationally agreed test methods used by government, industry and independent laboratories.  They are used to determine the safety of chemicals and chemical preparations, including pesticides and industrial chemicals.

More about OECD Test Guidelines 

Section 1: Physical Chemical Properties

Section 2: Effects on Biotic Systems  (Software for TG 223)

Section 3: Degradation and Accumulation

Section 4: Health Effects  (Software for TG 455, TG 432 and TG 425

Section 5: Other Test Guidelines

List of Adopted Test Guidelines Including Dates of Revisions

List of TG Addenda adopted by Council  

Access to Draft Test Guidelines and Public Commenting Rounds

Draft Test Guidelines


Related Documents 

Adopted Guidance and Review Documents 

Draft Guidance and Review Documents 


Test Guidelines that have been deleted or replaced by updated versions

These obsolete Test Guidelines have been deleted in order to allow national/regional regulations that make reference to specific Test Guidelines and versions to be updated accordingly.  They should not be used for new testing. They are included here because it may be useful to consult them in the framework of the assessment of substances based on old study reports. The guaranties of Mutual Acceptance of Data (MAD) would not apply if these Test Guidelines were used for new testing.

Section 1: Physical Chemical Properties
Section 2: Effects on Biotic Systems
Section 3: Degradation and Accumulation
Section 4: Health Effects

In November 2012, the Joint Meeting of the Chemicals Committee and Working Party on Chemicals, Pesticides and Biotechnology decided on a transition period of 18 months, between the council decision and the effective deletion, for Test Guidelines that have been updated or deleted.  Please see these slides for more information.


Terminology in OECD Test Guidelines to designate what is tested

In June 2013, the Joint Meeting agreed that where possible, a more consistent use of the term “test chemical” describing what is being tested should now be applied in new and updated Test Guidelines. However, it is important to note that previously adopted OECD Test Guidelines will still use the terms "test item", "test compound", "test substance" or other similar term to describe what is being tested.”

The intention of this proposal is not to provide a new definition of the term “chemical(s)”, but rather to be consistent with the UN definition of it when applicable, i.e. in Test Guidelines that make reference to the UN GHS for Classification and Labelling where “chemical” means “substance and mixture”.

Material Transfer Agreement (MTA): Test Guidelines with components covered by MTA

Development of Test Guidelines for in vitro methods is increasing. For most of these in vitro test methods, a MTA is required with respect to the cell line or other proprietary components of the test method. A MTA is generally signed between a provider and a recipient/user. It may include a number of terms and conditions.

MTAs may be necessary to obtain components to conduct testing according to some Test Guidelines; however, they should not include terms or conditions that would prevent or limit availability of cell lines or other components of these Test Guidelines. It is essential that the MTAs:

  • Allow the use of the MTA-covered components for testing in member countries for purposes of assessment and other uses relating to the protection of man and the environment.
  • Allow commercial contract laboratories to access the MTA-covered components for the purposes given under point 1.

Furthermore, MTAs should ideally refer to the Test Guidelines concerned to avoid any doubts whether users of the OECD Test Guidelines can obtain the MTA-covered components.

Example test guideline material transfer agreement (MTA) template


Disclaimer: Any MTA is an agreement between the cell bank (provider) owning the biological materials concerned and the recipient of such materials. Therefore, the OECD shall have no responsibility.