Nutrasource Blog

New Approach Methods in Toxicology: Innovations in In Vitro Testing for Chemical Safety

Posted by Benjamin Arceneaux, Junior Toxicologist on Tue, May 14, 2024

The current paradigm used to determine the safety of an ingredient involves several in vitro, animal, and human studies. However, recent advances in in vitro methodologies have spurred the development of new approach methods, or NAMs. A NAM is defined by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as, “a technology, methodology, approach, or combination that can provide information on chemical hazard and risk assessment to avoid the use of animal testing”. NAMs are also commonly defined to include in silico, in chemico, and in vitro assays, as well as information about the exposure of chemicals in the context of hazard assessment. In silico methods are computational in nature, in chemico refers to purely chemical methods, such as testing a chemical by seeing if it reacts with another chemical or isolated protein in the absence of cells or tissues, and in vitro refers to experiments conducted in cell or tissue cultures. The ultimate goal of NAMs is to replace, reduce, or refine the use of animal testing in chemical safety assessment.

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Tags: Toxicology