15/04/2008 - The chemical industry and OECD governments test hundreds of chemicals every year, spending millions of euros to ensure the safety of chemical products. Now OECD has devised an innovative product, the (Q)SAR Application Toolbox, to estimate the hazardous properties of chemicals by analysing their molecular structure.
Using computer models and techniques, these (Quantitative) Structure Activity Relationships will produce reliable information, while reducing the money, time and number of laboratory animals currently needed to evaluate chemical safety.
OECD’s Chemicals Programme has been helping governments and industry to manage the risks from chemicals for more than four decades. Progress in science and technology now allows the necessary information for many chemical properties to be derived through computer modeling, rather than through tests on animals.
The OECD (Q)SAR Application Toolbox brings together, for the first time, relevant computer methods that governments and industry agree can effectively assess the hazards of chemicals. It was developed with the financial assistance of the European Union and has benefitted from the contributions of experts in governments, NGOs and the chemical industry.
The Toolbox responds to the need to “facilitate public access to appropriate information and knowledge on chemicals”, a goal which was emphasized by Ministers at the UN International Conference on Chemicals Management in Dubai in February 2006 as part of their Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management.
The Toolbox can be downloaded free of charge from the OECD public website:
www.oecd.org/env/existingchemicals/qsar. Technical information on the Toolbox is available on the same site. Additional questions can be addressed to Bob Diderich in OECD’s Environment directorate or by (telephone: + 331 45 24 14 85).