Applicability of the fish embryo acute toxicity (FET) test (OECD 236) in the regulatory context of Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation, and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH).
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Gutierrez Alonso, Simon
de Knecht, Joop
De Coen, Wim
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TitleApplicability of the fish embryo acute toxicity (FET) test (OECD 236) in the regulatory context of Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation, and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH).
Published inEnviron Toxicol Chem 2018; 37(3):657-70
PubliekssamenvattingIn 2013 the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) test guideline (236) for fish embryo acute toxicity (FET) was adopted. It determines the acute toxicity of chemicals to embryonic fish. Previous studies show a good correlation of FET with the standard acute fish toxicity (AFT) test; however, the potential of the FET test to predict AFT, which is required by the Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation, and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) regulation (EC 1907/2006) and the Classification, Labelling and Packaging (CLP) Regulation (EC 1272/2008), has not yet been fully clarified. In 2015 the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) requested that a consultant perform a scientific analysis of the applicability of FET to predict AFT. The purpose was to compare the toxicity of substances to fish embryos and to adult fish, and to investigate whether certain factors (e.g., physicochemical properties, modes of action, or chemical structures) could be used to define the applicability boundaries of the FET test. Given the limited data availability, the analysis focused on organic substances. The present critical review summarizes the main findings and discusses regulatory application of the FET test under REACH. Given some limitations (e.g., neurotoxic mode of action) and/or remaining uncertainties (e.g., deviation of some narcotic substances), it has been found that the FET test alone is currently not sufficient to meet the essential information on AFT as required by the REACH regulation. However, the test may be used within weight-of-evidence approaches together with other independent, relevant, and reliable sources of information. The present review also discusses further research needs that may overcome the remaining uncertainties and help to increase acceptance of FET as a replacement for AFT in the future. For example, an increase in the availability of data generated according to OECD test guideline 236 may provide evidence of a higher predictive power of the test. Environ Toxicol Chem 2018;37:657-670. © 2017 SETAC.
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