Testing of chemicals

Sharing the Work


At the request of Member countries and the international industry OECD initiated in 1997 the Special Activity on Endocrine Disrupters Testing and Assessment with the objectives to provide a set of internationally recognised and harmonised testing guidelines and testing and assessment strategies for regulatory use that would avoid duplication of testing and thus save resources, including animals.

Managed by the Endocrine Disrupters Testing and Assessment Task Force (EDTA) and its three Validation Management Groups on mammalian tests (VMG-mammalian) on ecotoxicity tests (VMG-eco) and on non-animal tests (VMG-NA), several comprehensive test validation projects have been initiated and some of these are currently well underway or close to completion.

As this ongoing co-operative work is starting to bear fruit and the tools for testing and assessment of possible endocrine disrupters are taking shape, the next step in the process is to start using these tools. Considering the:

  • vast amount of chemicals currently in use that need to be considered,
  • time pressure to identify and assess endocrine disrupting chemicals as expeditiously as possible,
  • number of studies necessary for screening and, as appropriate, full hazard assessment, and
  • lack of resources needed for this work,

it seems appropriate to find ways for sharing (at least some of ) the work internationally.

In June 2001, the 32nd Joint Meeting agreed that work should start on sharing the endocrine disrupters work on testing and assessment and that work should be managed by the EDTA. The Joint Meeting further agreed that the activity should start as a small activity that could gradually increase if proven successful. First priority would include: group of chemicals of interest, sharing information and test results of High Throughput Screens, exchanging information on ongoing animal tests and work aiming at identification of elements that should be included in all endocrine disrupters assessment reports. Sharing of assessment reports on specific substances was also considered as extremely useful.


  • grouping of chemicals
  • tools for screening and testing
  • co-ordination of testing
  • sharing tests results
  • sharing assessment results
  • member countries activities



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