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Toxicity testing in laboratory animals provides much of the information used by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to assess the hazards and risks associated with exposure to environmental agents that might harm public health or the environment. The data are used to establish maximum acceptable concentrations of environmental agents in drinking water, set permissible limits of exposure of workers, define labeling requirements, establish tolerances for pesticides residues on food, and set other kinds of limits on the basis of risk assessment. Because the number of regulations that require toxicity testing is growing, EPA called for a comprehensive review of established and emerging toxicity-testing methods and strategies. This interim report reviews current toxicity-testing methods and strategies and near-term improvements in toxicity-testing approaches proposed by EPA and others. It identifies several recurring themes and questions in the various reports reviewed. The final report will present a long-range vision and strategic plan to advance the practices of toxicity testing and human health assessment of environmental contaminants.

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National Academies Press
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