Alternative approaches for acute inhalation toxicity testing to address global regulatory and non-regulatory data requirements: An international workshop report

Toxicol In Vitro. 2018 Apr;48:53-70. doi: 10.1016/j.tiv.2017.12.011. Epub 2017 Dec 22.


Inhalation toxicity testing, which provides the basis for hazard labeling and risk management of chemicals with potential exposure to the respiratory tract, has traditionally been conducted using animals. Significant research efforts have been directed at the development of mechanistically based, non-animal testing approaches that hold promise to provide human-relevant data and an enhanced understanding of toxicity mechanisms. A September 2016 workshop, "Alternative Approaches for Acute Inhalation Toxicity Testing to Address Global Regulatory and Non-Regulatory Data Requirements", explored current testing requirements and ongoing efforts to achieve global regulatory acceptance for non-animal testing approaches. The importance of using integrated approaches that combine existing data with in vitro and/or computational approaches to generate new data was discussed. Approaches were also proposed to develop a strategy for identifying and overcoming obstacles to replacing animal tests. Attendees noted the importance of dosimetry considerations and of understanding mechanisms of acute toxicity, which could be facilitated by the development of adverse outcome pathways. Recommendations were made to (1) develop a database of existing acute inhalation toxicity data; (2) prepare a state-of-the-science review of dosimetry determinants, mechanisms of toxicity, and existing approaches to assess acute inhalation toxicity; (3) identify and optimize in silico models; and (4) develop a decision tree/testing strategy, considering physicochemical properties and dosimetry, and conduct proof-of-concept testing. Working groups have been established to implement these recommendations.

Keywords: Acute inhalation toxicity; Alternative approaches; Dosimetry; Globally harmonized system (GHS) additivity formula; In silico; In vitro.

MeSH terms

  • Animal Testing Alternatives
  • Animals
  • Computer Simulation
  • Databases, Factual
  • Education
  • Government Regulation*
  • Humans
  • Inhalation Exposure / adverse effects*
  • Lung Diseases / chemically induced
  • Models, Statistical
  • Quantitative Structure-Activity Relationship
  • Toxicity Tests, Acute / methods*