The testing and assessment of endocrine active substances (EASs) and endocrine disruptors (EDs) is the subject of a recent EFSA scientific opinion. An EAS was defined as a substance with the “inherent ability to interact or interfere with one or more components of the endocrine system resulting in a biological [but not necessarily adverse] effect”. EDs, meanwhile, were defined by three criteria:

  • the presence of an adverse effect in an intact organism or (sub)population
  • the presence of an endocrine activity
  • a plausible causal relationship between the two

As scientific criteria for “adversity” have not been defined, expert judgement is needed to assess the (eco)toxicological relevance of changes seen following exposure to an EAS.

Regarding testing for endocrine disruption, EFSA discussed shortcomings in current test methods, and concluded that a reasonably complete set of standardised assays for testing the effects of EASs is (or soon will be) available for oestrogenic, androgenic, thyroid and steroidogenic modalities in mammals and fish.

European Food Safety Authority. Scientific Committee. Scientific opinion on the hazard assessment of endocrine disruptors: scientific criteria for identification of endocrine disruptors and appropriateness of existing test methods for assessing effects mediated by these substances on human health and the environment. EFSA Journal 2013, 11(3), 3132.


The above item was taken from the April 2013 issue of Toxicology and Regulatory News which is sent automatically to members of bibra (click here for more details).

News Home Guest Write For Us? Contact Us