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New EPA Guidance for Testing Pesticides Will Reduce Animal Testing

For Release: November 29, 2016

EPA is issuing guidance for requesting waivers of acute dermal toxicity testing requirements for pesticide formulations, which will lead to fewer animal tests for acute dermal toxicity for pesticides. Last March, EPA released a "Draft Retrospective Analysis for Waiving Acute Dermal Toxicity Tests for Pesticide Formulations," which included guidance for pesticide manufacturers to request waivers of acute dermal toxicity studies for formulations.

EPA is now finalizing its Guidance for Waiving Acute Dermal Toxicity Tests for Pesticide Formulations. This guidance is in line with the Office of Pesticide Programs' Strategic Vision for implementing the 2007 National Research Council's report on Toxicity Testing in the 21st Century. EPA's Pesticide Program receives about 200-300 dermal formulation toxicity tests annually, each of which generally use 10 animals per test. We expect this waiver guidance to save 2,500 or more laboratory animals every year.

This new policy represents significant progress toward EPA's goal of significantly reducing the use of animals in acute effects testing as described in the Office of Pesticide Program's Director Jack Housenger's letter to stakeholders. This policy also supports EPA's vision of only requiring data that inform regulatory decision-making and avoiding unnecessary use of time and resources, data generation costs, and animal testing.