OECD improves tool to predict the hazards of chemicals


05/11/2012 - Governments and the chemical industry spend millions of dollars every year testing the safety of chemicals that people use in their everyday lives. Computer modelling, through the OECD-designed QSAR Toolbox software, now replaces many of the tests traditionally done in the laboratory. This allows regulators and industry to save money and use fewer animals to predict the hazardous properties of chemicals.

An improved version of the QSAR Toolbox software, which OECD first released in 2008 to limit the number of laboratory tests needed, benefitted from advice and contributions from governments, NGOs and chemical industry. The QSAR Toolbox (03) offers new features and includes additional data sources; facilitates prediction accounting for metabolism; provides possibilities for predicting the hazard for mixtures; and possesses a more advanced search and reporting engine to handle single chemicals, mixtures, and metabolites. The new version also contains tools to predict repeated dose toxicity.

The QSAR Toolbox was developed as part of the OECD’s wider Chemicals Programme. Since 1978, the programme helping governments and industry find the most cost-effective way of assessing and managing the risks by chemicals OECD efforts to manage work-sharing and harmonise chemical safety policies across its member countries save government and industry more than EUR 150 million annually.


The QSAR Toolbox is available free of charge at Besides download instructions this website also provides free training material. Additional questions can be addressed to Joop de Knecht and Bob Diderich at or in OECD’s Environment directorate or by telephone (+33 1 45 24 82 57 or +33 1 45 24 14 85).


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