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Animal alternatives for whole effluent toxicity testing: Perspectives from a global workshop
Norberg-King, T., M. Embry, S. Belanger, T. Braunbeck, J. Butler, P. Dorn, B. Farr, P. Guiney, S. Hughes, M. Jeffries, R. Journel, M. Leonard, M. McMaster, J. Oris, K. Ryder, H. Segner, T. Senac, G. Van Der Kraak, P. Wilson, AND G. Whale. Animal alternatives for whole effluent toxicity testing: Perspectives from a global workshop. SETAC North America, Orlando, FL, November 06 - 10, 2016.
Since the 1940’s, effluent toxicity testing has been utilized to varying degrees in many countries to assess potential ecological impacts and assist in determining necessary treatment options for environmental protection. However, it was only in the early 1980’s that toxicity based effluent assessments and subsequent discharge controls became globally important, when it was recognized that physical and chemical measurements alone did not protect the environment from potential impacts. Consequently, various strategies using different toxicity tests, whole effluent assessment techniques (incorporating bioaccumulation potential and persistence) plus supporting analytical tools have been developed over 30 years of practice. Numerous workshops and meetings have focused on effluent risk assessment through ASTM, SETAC, OSPAR, UK competent authorities, and EU specific country rules. Concurrent with this drive to improve effluent quality using toxicity tests, interest in reducing animal use has risen. The Health and Environmental Sciences Institute (HESI) organized and facilitated an international workshop in March 2016 to evaluate strategies for concepts, tools, and effluent assessments and update the toolbox of for effluent testing methods. The workshop objectives were to identify opportunities to use a suite of strategies for effluents, and to identify opportunities to reduce the relianceonanimal tests and to determine barriers to implementation of new methodologies. As preparation for the workshop, survey was conducted to assess the use and application of ecotoxicity-based effluent assessments. Preliminary results from this ongoing global survey of effluent assessment strategies were presented in May 2016 at SETAC Europe (Nantes). This talk will focus on the highlights of the workshop, including a review the state of the science, description of the suite of strategies being used for reducing the impact of effluents, discussion on ways to integrate alternative approaches, and identification of opportunities to reduce the reliance on animal testing. Finally, we will give an overview of how various countries approach effluent testing and discuss how these approaches and data generated can integrate into existing risk assessment methodologies.