Focus on in vitro alternative methods: new toxicological end-points for the safety evaluation

Time: 12:00 - 12:30

Date: 21 November 2019

The use of in vitro tests for the characterization of the toxicological profiles of substances and mixtures is a well-established but still evolving instrument. The evolution of scientific knowledge, of the cellular and molecular biological processes, the progression of technologies, together with the need to satisfy the regulatory and safety requirements of the cosmetic sector, give the input to the development of new methods for increasingly complex and specific endpoints. The scientific and technical literature of the sector has been enriched in the last period by new methods for the toxicological analysis of substances and mixtures. The evaluation of skin sensitization potential has long been a topic with few scientifically valid technical solutions: today a range of validated and suitable methods for classification purposes is available. Current techniques for the evaluation of eye irritation allow the classification according to the regulations in force but also a finer investigation in the “mild irritant” category, harder to analyse.

For the purposes of toxicological research, protocols using in vitro assay systems for the analysis of the potential for reproductive and developmental toxicity are now available, together with the protocols for the screening of the activities of possible endocrine disruptors, adaptable to different possible exposure patterns.

Furthermore, the in vitro investigations also embrace the environmental sector and let researchers to characterize the products not only in terms of safety for humans but also with regard to aquatic and terrestrial environments, being potentially susceptible to significant changes over time.

The in vitro experimental methods are therefore confirmed as an allied research tool in the cosmetic sector, able to offer investigative strategies integrated with adequate, sensitive and precise results.

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