The chemical universe is comprised of thousands of compounds that lack sufficient toxicity information for human health. With the current guideline studies, this data gap cannot be closed as the animal-based guideline studies are very resource-intensive concerning time, money and space. Therefore, the US-National Research Council proposed a paradigm shift for toxicological hazard assessment already in 2007 that is based on faster and more cost-efficient in vitro and in silico tools. Since then, the field has experienced tremendous evolution with multiple stakeholders proposing concepts on how to use new approach methodologies (NAMs) for chemical hazard and risk assessment. All these efforts will contribute to strategies that aim at phasing out animal testing and allow a faster, cheaper and also more human-relevant assessment of the large number of substances in our exposome. One case study example for NAMs is developmental neurotoxicity (DNT). A DNT in vitro battery received OECD recommendations lately that pave the way into regulatory application.
Approaches like the one-substance-one-assessment framework of the European Commission supported e.g. by EFSA`s One Health strategy will furthermore strengthen the testing effectiveness by pursuing common environmental and human health strategies.