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Large scale toxicological testing programmes which are currently ongoing such as the new European chemical legislation REACH require the development of new integrated testing strategies rather than applying traditional testing schemes to thousands of chemicals. The current practice of requiring in vivo testing for every possible adverse effect endanger the success of these programmes due (i) to limited testing facilities and sufficient capacity of scientific/technical knowledge for reproductive toxicity; (ii) an unacceptable number of laboratory animals involved (iii) an intolerable number of chemicals classified as false positive.

A key aspect of the implementation of new testing strategies is the determination of prevalence of reproductive toxicity in the universe of industrial chemicals. Prevalences are relevant in order to be aware on the expected rate of false classification during the toxicological testing and to implement appropriate measures for their avoidance. Furthermore, a detailed understanding on the subendpoints affected by reproductive toxicants and the underlying mechanisms will lead to more science based testing strategies integrating alternative methods without compromising the protection of consumers.


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