It is very common to find gaps in physico-chemical and (eco)toxicological data sets, which preclude confident hazard and risk assessment. Testing on vertebrate animals has ethical concerns across all sectors, and is banned for cosmetics marketed in Europe. Laboratory animal studies are in any case often undesirable for more mundane reasons such as time and costs. Where possible, we strive to help clients fill data gaps without a potentially costly and animal-intensive trip to the testing laboratory.
Computer models have been developed to predict the toxicological characteristics of an untested compound based on knowledge of the activity of others. (Q)SAR modelling is gaining regulatory acceptance. Indeed, in some sectors (Q)SAR analysis is a requirement. It can also be used as a screening exercise to inform a company on whether laboratory testing is scientifically justified.