In the spirit of stimulating reevaluation of the methods of public health science, this article explores the methods of cancer hazard identification at the National Toxicology Program (NTP) from the perspective of primary prevention and precaution. The NTP is a cooperative effort of three federal agencies: The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS, the lead government institute); the National Institute for Occupational Health (NIOSH), in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; and the National Center for Toxicology Research (NCTR), in the Food and Drug Administration. NTP coordinates toxicological research and testing programs within the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), and through its annual Report on Carcinogens (RoC), identifies and characterizes cancer hazards-the first step in quantitative risk assessment-for the federal government. The foundation of NIEHS policies, for environmental health research, is quantitative risk assessment (QRA). The author examines the opportunities for primary prevention and precaution, and the extent to which the policies of NIEHS in general, and the NTP in particular, do and do not realize that potential. Special attention is paid to the issue of cancer hazard identification. Critical comments on the process of classifying carcinogens in the Ninth and Tenth Reports on Carcinogens are presented, based on the minutes of the Board of Scientific Counselors Subcommittee meetings.
Hazard evaluation is an emerging science. The Hazard Evaluation System and Information Service (HESIS), part of California's program in preventive occupational health, is a resource for clinicians who wish to stay abreast of the relationship between toxicology and occupational health. For example, advances in assays for cancer or reproductive effects in test animals enable us to identify with greater confidence significant cancer or reproductive hazards among the increasing variety of workplace exposures. Occupational experiences with dibromochloropropane (DBCP), Kepone, bis(chloromethyl) ether, benzidine and vinyl chloride demonstrate the shortcomings of relying on human data. The latency period of cancer, limited sensitivity of epidemiologic studies and severity of effects require us to use animal test data to evaluate the potential cancer and reproductive risks of workplace substances. HESIS gives appropriate weight to experimental data in hazard evaluations of chemicals such as ethylene oxide, ethylene dibromide, polychlorinated biphenyls and the glycol ethers. A similar approach is apparent in the California Department of Health Services' recently released Carcinogen Identification Policy.
The solvent, 2-ethoxyethanol, induced complete embryomortality in pregnant rats exposed to three times the current Federal permissible exposure limit (PEL). Following exposure to ethoxyethanol at a concentration only one-half the current PEL, the offspring evidenced behavioral and neurochemical deviations from controls. Subsequent studies found that ingestion of ethanol with concomitant inhalation of ethoxyethanol vapors early in pregnancy appeared to reduce the number of both behavioral and neurochemical deviations found for ethoxyethanol. In contrast, the concomitant exposure to ethanol and ethoxyethanol later in gestation potentiated the behavioral and neurochemical effects of ethoxyethanol. This research indicates that the industrial solvent 2-ethoxyethanol presents an occupational reproductive hazard and raises the issue of the importance of an interaction of social habits with occupational exposure to such hazards. The results would suggest that occupational physicians should advise pregnant workers in the chemical industry of the adverse effects of ethanol during pregnancy and of the possible interactions with other chemicals and should encourage them to be especially cautious with ethanol consumption since they may be at greater risk.
In concert with the development of new materials in the last decade, the need for toxicological studies of these materials has been increasing. These new materials include a group of rare earths (RE). The use of RE nanotechnology is being considered in some green applications, to increase their efficiency by using nano-sized RE compounds, and therefore hazard evaluation and risk assessment are highly recommended. This review was conducted through an extensive contemplation of the literatures in toxicology with in vitro and in vivo studies. Major aspects reviewed were the toxicological evaluations of these elements and metallic compounds at the molecular and cellular level, animal and human epidemiological studies and environmental and occupational health impacts on workers. We also discuss the future prospect of industries with appliances using RE together with the significance of preventive efforts for workers' health. To establish a safe and healthy working environment for RE industries, the use of biomarkers is increasing to provide sustainable measure, due to demand for information about the health risks from unfavorable exposures. Given the recent toxicological results on the exposure of cells, animals and workers to RE compounds, it is important to review the toxicological studies to improve the current understanding of the RE compounds in the field of occupational health. This will help to establish a sustainable, safe and healthy working environment for RE industries.
Rare earths; Toxicology; Environmental health; Occupational health
It can be difficult for occupational health professionals to assess which toxicological databases available on the Internet are the most useful for answering their questions. Therefore we evaluated toxicological databases for their ability to answer practical questions about exposure and prevention. We also propose recommended practices for searching for toxicological properties of chemicals.
We used a systematic search to find databases available on the Internet. Our criteria for the databases were the following: has a search engine, includes factual information on toxic and hazardous chemicals harmful for human health, and is free of charge. We developed both a qualitative and a quantitative rating method, which was used by four independent assessors to determine appropriateness, the quality of content, and ease of use of the database. Final ratings were based on a consensus of at least two evaluators.
Out of 822 results we found 21 databases that met our inclusion criteria. Out of these 21 databases 14 are administered in the US, five in Europe, one in Australia, and one in Canada. Nine are administered by a governmental organization. No database achieved the maximum score of 27. The databases GESTIS, ESIS, Hazardous Substances Data Bank, TOXNET and NIOSH Pocket Guide to Chemical Hazards all scored more than 20 points. The following approach was developed for occupational health professionals searching for the toxicological properties of chemicals: start with the identity of the chemical; then search for health hazards, exposure route and measurement; next the limit values; and finally look for the preventive measures.
A rating system of toxicological databases to assess their value for occupational health professionals discriminated well between databases in terms of their appropriateness, quality of information, and ease of use. Several American and European databases yielded high scores and provide a valuable source for occupational health professionals.
Although the toxicity of lead was recognized centuries ago, concern was restricted to overt symptoms: colic, encephalopathy, anemia, or renal disease. Two major reasons for lack of progress in restricting toxicity were that interest was limited to occupational exposures and there was lack of awareness of specific biochemical or metabolic effects. Identification of subclinical effects has been possible the last 15 or 20 years because of the development of sensitive measures to detect cognitive and behavioral changes that are not apparent clinically and because of methods to measure the reduced activity of heme enzymes. This progress was driven by basic and clinical research that resulted in a better understanding of cellular toxicology. The new awareness prompted the lowering of acceptable occupational exposures, as measured by blood lead from 80 to 40 to 60 micrograms/dL range, and the establishment of maximum recommended exposures in children to a blood lead level of 25 micrograms/dL. Lowering the lead content in gasoline has been accomplished by a nearly 50% decrease in average blood levels of persons in the United States (NHANES II data). Current research implicates lead as a contributing etiologic factor in a number of common diseases affecting large portions of the population such as subtle cognitive and neurological deficits, hypertension, congenital malformations, immunotoxicity, and deficits in growth and development. For each of these disorders there may be multiple etiologic factors; the scientific challenge is to develop sensitive methodology to detect the specific role of lead. Other potential subtle health effects include the influence of small amounts of lead on cell proliferation and lead as a cofactor in carcinogenesis.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)
Occupational medicine has grown recently in sophistication and strength. Occupational physicians with specialty certification focus their attention on toxicology and health hazards in the workplace, compliance with regulatory requirements, and preventive services. These physicians are often employed by organizations. Most occupational health care will continue to be provided by family physicians, who may also be the physicians closest to the workers and their families. There are many opportunities for family physicians to develop their skills in occupational health care and to incorporate occupational medicine into their practices.
family medicine; medical education; occupational medicine; specialist consultation
In the absence of scientific clarity about the potential health effects of occupational exposure to nanoparticles, a need exists for guidance in decisionmaking about hazards, risks, and controls. An identification of the ethical issues involved may be useful to decision makers, particularly employers, workers, investors, and health authorities. Because the goal of occupational safety and health is the prevention of disease in workers, the situations that have ethical implications that most affect workers have been identified. These situations include the a) identification and communication of hazards and risks by scientists, authorities, and employers; b) workers’ acceptance of risk; c) selection and implementation of controls; d) establishment of medical screening programs; and e) investment in toxicologic and control research. The ethical issues involve the unbiased determination of hazards and risks, nonmaleficence (doing no harm), autonomy, justice, privacy, and promoting respect for persons. As the ethical issues are identified and explored, options for decision makers can be developed. Additionally, societal deliberations about workplace risks of nanotechnologies may be enhanced by special emphasis on small businesses and adoption of a global perspective.
ethics; hazards; nanotechnology; occupational safety and health; particles; toxicology
One requirement for successful occupational health care is reliable information on occupational hazards. The aim of this study was to develop a simple, standardised method for workplace investigations for use in occupational health care. The theoretical framework of the method comprises the stress-strain model, the hazard-danger model, and risk behaviour theory. The new method, termed job load and hazard analysis, includes four stages: identification of hazards, their evaluation, conclusions and proposals, and follow up. Different methods are available for hazard identification. The identification starts with a rough analysis of five factors, chemical hazards, physical hazards, physical load, mental stress, and accident risk. Hazards and stress factors are assessed with an ordinal scale. Specialised methods are used if all hazards cannot otherwise be identified. The analytical procedure comprises: detection of hazards through observations and interviews at the workplace and with a questionnaire; assessment of findings as teamwork; and evaluation of the results of these assessments to yield conclusions and proposals made by occupational health care personnel. A data processing system has been developed for data storage and future use. The method has functioned in practice, improving the contents of the occupational health care programme and generating preventive measures. The method offers many new possibilities for controlling occupational hazards and studying relations between working conditions and workers' health.
Results of the toxicological studies of working conditions, general and professional morbidity, and complex examinations carried out on workers engaged in the production of polyamides, polyacrylonitrile fibers, polyester fibers and poly (vinyl chloride) resin, urea-formaldehyde glue, glass fibre materials and polyurethane resins are given. An extremely high occupational hazard for workers in the production of poly (vinyl chloride) resin and porous materials from polyurethane resins and urea-formaldehyde glue has been established. Cases of vinyl chloride disease, poisoning from formaldehyde, isocyanates, and styrene were noted. Prophylactic measures were taken in Bulgaria to lessen the occupational hazard in the productions as set forth included limitation of the work day to 6 hr, free food, additional bonus and leave, and annual physical examinations of workers.
The Reproductive Assessment by Continuous Breeding (RACB) design has been used by the National Toxicology Program for approximately 15 years. This article details the evolutions in the thinking behind the design and the end points used in the identification of hazards to reproduction. Means of nominating chemicals are provided, and both early and current designs are described as well as some proposed changes for the future. This introduction is followed by a text and tabular summary of each study performed to date. We hope that this will not only be an explicit presentation of the findings of this testing program to date, but will help stimulate thinking about new ways to detect and measure reproductive toxicity in rodents, and help identify new relationships among the end points that are measured in such studies.
The purpose of this review is to consider whether epoxides represent a hazard to human health. Possible means of occupational and non-occupational exposure are discussed with reference to the production and uses of industrially important compounds and other epoxides, such as naturally occurring plant and fungal products. In addition to epoxides themselves, unsaturated compounds that may be metabolised in vivo to epoxides are included, since this appears to be a further important means of exposure. The toxicology, in particular carcinogenicity and mutagenicity, is discussed, along with a brief outline of the biochemistry such as metabolism, binding to cell constituents, and DNA repair mechanisms. The question of interactions between different epoxides in vivo is also raised.
Toxicology and careers in toxicology, as well as many other scientific disciplines, are undergoing rapid and dramatic changes as new discoveries, technologies, and hazards advance at a blinding rate. There are new and ever increasing demands on toxicologists to keep pace with expanding global economies, highly fluid policy debates, and increasingly complex global threats to public health. These demands must be met with new paradigms for multidisciplinary, technologically complex, and collaborative approaches that require advanced and continuing education in toxicology and associated disciplines. This requires paradigm shifts in educational programs that support recruitment, development, and training of the modern toxicologist, as well as continued education and retraining of the midcareer professional to keep pace and sustain careers in industry, government, and academia. The Society of Toxicology convened the Toxicology Educational Summit to discuss the state of toxicology education and to strategically address educational needs and the sustained advancement of toxicology as a profession. The Summit focused on core issues of: building for the future of toxicology through educational programs; defining education and training needs; developing the “Total Toxicologist”; continued training and retraining toxicologists to sustain their careers; and, finally, supporting toxicology education and professional development. This report summarizes the outcomes of the Summit, presents examples of successful programs that advance toxicology education, and concludes with strategies that will insure the future of toxicology through advanced educational initiatives.
The management system of occupational diseases in Korea can be assessed from the perspective of a surveillance system. Workers' compensation insurance reports are used to produce official statistics on occupational diseases in Korea. National working conditions surveys are used to monitor the magnitude of work-related symptoms and signs in the labor force. A health examination program was introduced to detect occupational diseases through both selective and mass screening programs. The Working Environment Measurement Institution assesses workers' exposure to hazards in the workplace. Government regulates that the employer should do health examinations and working conditions measurement through contracted private agencies and following the Occupational Safety and Health Act. It is hoped that these institutions may be able to effectively detect and monitor occupational diseases and hazards in the workplace. In view of this, the occupational management system in Korea is well designed, except for the national survey system. In the future, national surveys for detection of hazards and ill-health outcomes in workers should be developed. The existing surveillance system for occupational disease can be improved by providing more refined information through statistical analysis of surveillance data.
Management System; Occupational Diseases; Surveillance; Fatal; Non-Fatal
This editorial is to announce the Journal of Occupational Medicine and Toxicology, a new Open Access, peer-reviewed, online journal published by BioMed Central. Occupational medicine and toxicology belong to the most wide ranging disciplines of all medical specialties. The field is devoted to the diagnosis, prevention, management and scientific analysis of diseases from the fields of occupational and environmental medicine and toxicology. It also covers the promotion of occupational and environmental health. The complexity of modern industrial processes has dramatically changed over the past years and today's areas include effects of atmospheric pollution, carcinogenesis, biological monitoring, ergonomics, epidemiology, product safety and health promotion. We hope that the launch of the Journal of Occupational Medicine and Toxicology will aid in the advance of these important areas of research bringing together multi-disciplinary research findings.
Insects produce pheromones as a chemical communication system to facilitate reproduction. These highly active chemical attractants have been synthesized for some of the most important insect pests, including the boll weevil, gypsy moth, codling moth, tobacco budworm, European corn borer, and several bark beetles. While none of the synthetic sex attractants have yet been developed for use in insect control, they offer opportunities for the future both as control agents and to greatly improved insect detection. Investigations are underway on insect trapping systems employing the phermones and on air permeation techniques to disrupt insect reproduction. The pheromones are generally highly species-specific and are not likely to pose hazards to nontarget organisms in the environment. Toxicological studies indicate that they are low in toxicity to mammals, birds, and fish, but adequate toxicological data are necessary before they can be registered for use in insect control. Another new class of compounds called kaironomes has been discovered. These chemicals are involved in the detection of hosts or prey by insect parasites and predators. Kairomones may prove useful in manipulating natural or released biological agents for more effective biological control of insect pests. No information is yet available on the toxicology of these chemicals.
Assessing adverse effects from environmental chemical exposure is integral to public health policies. Toxicology assays identifying early biological changes from chemical exposure are increasing our ability to evaluate links between early biological disturbances and subsequent overt downstream effects. A workshop was held to consider how the resulting data inform consideration of an “adverse effect” in the context of hazard identification and risk assessment.
Our objective here is to review what is known about the relationships between chemical exposure, early biological effects (upstream events), and later overt effects (downstream events) through three case studies (thyroid hormone disruption, antiandrogen effects, immune system disruption) and to consider how to evaluate hazard and risk when early biological effect data are available.
Each case study presents data on the toxicity pathways linking early biological perturbations with downstream overt effects. Case studies also emphasize several factors that can influence risk of overt disease as a result from early biological perturbations, including background chemical exposures, underlying individual biological processes, and disease susceptibility. Certain effects resulting from exposure during periods of sensitivity may be irreversible. A chemical can act through multiple modes of action, resulting in similar or different overt effects.
For certain classes of early perturbations, sufficient information on the disease process is known, so hazard and quantitative risk assessment can proceed using information on upstream biological perturbations. Upstream data will support improved approaches for considering developmental stage, background exposures, disease status, and other factors important to assessing hazard and risk for the whole population.
adverse health effects; androgen antagonists; hazard identification; immunotoxicants; risk assessment; science policy; thyroid hormone; toxicologic assessments
Respirable crystalline silica (RCS) continues to pose a risk to human health worldwide. Its variable toxicity depends on inherent characteristics and external factors which influence surface chemistry. Significant population exposure to RCS occurs during volcanic eruptions, where ashfall may cover hundreds of square km and exposure may last years. Occupational exposure also occurs through mining of volcanic deposits. The primary source of RCS from volcanoes is through collapse and fragmentation of lava domes within which cristobalite is mass produced. After 30 years of research, it is still not clear if volcanic ash is a chronic respiratory health hazard. Toxicological assays have shown that cristobalite-rich ash is less toxic than expected. We investigate the reasons for this by determining the physicochemical/structural characteristics which may modify the pathogenicity of volcanic RCS. Four theories are considered: 1) the reactivity of particle surfaces is reduced due to co-substitutions of Al and Na for Si in the cristobalite structure; 2) particles consist of aggregates of cristobalite and other phases, restricting the surface area of cristobalite available for reactions in the lung; 3) the cristobalite surface is occluded by an annealed rim; 4) dissolution of other volcanic particles affects the surfaces of RCS in the lung.
The composition of volcanic cristobalite crystals was quantified by electron microprobe and differences in composition assessed by Welch’s two sample t-test. Sections of dome-rock and ash particles were imaged by scanning and transmission electron microscopy, and elemental compositions of rims determined by energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy.
Volcanic cristobalite contains up to 4 wt. % combined Al2O3 and Na2O. Most cristobalite-bearing ash particles contain adhered materials such as feldspar and glass. No annealed rims were observed.
The composition of volcanic cristobalite particles gives insight into previously-unconsidered inherent characteristics of silica mineralogy which may affect toxicity. The structural features identified may also influence the hazard of other environmentally and occupationally produced silica dusts. Current exposure regulations do not take into account the characteristics that might render the silica surface less harmful. Further research would facilitate refinement of the existing simple, mass-based silica standard by taking into account composition, allowing higher standards to be set in industries where the silica surface is modified.
Cristobalite; Volcano; Respiratory health; Crystalline silica; Volcanic ash; Soufrière Hills; Quartz; Variable hazards; Regulations
Much of the data collected by industrial hygienists on levels of airborne contaminants in the workplace is of marginal relevance to the needs and interests of physicians practicing occupational medicine. Several factors influence data collection. Regulatory agencies require rigid interpretation of exposure levels, yet concentrations of contaminants in the air environment vary considerably. This discrepancy suggests a different approach to dealing with the regulatory problem, one which recognizes its inherent statistical nature. Increased attention also should be devoted to basing sampling intervals more directly on toxicological measurements. These changes would result in the collection of environmental data of greater relevance to physicians, toxicologists and epidemiologists because such information would allow more realistic estimates of the hazard of a cumulative exposure for a given work population.
The development of alternative methods to animal experimentation has progressed rapidly over the last 20 years. Today, in vitro and in silico methods have an important role in the hazard identification and assessment of toxicology profile of compounds. Advanced alternative methods and their combinations are also used for safety assessment of final products. Several alternative methods, which were scientifically validated and accepted by competent regulatory bodies, can be used for regulatory toxicology purposes, thus reducing or fully replacing living animals in toxicology experimentation. The acceptance of the alternative methods as valuable tools of modern toxicology has been recognized by regulators, including OECD, FDA and EPA.
This paper provides a brief overview of the topic “alternative methods in toxicology” and focuses on pre-validated and validated alternative methods and their position in the modern toxicology.
in vitro; alternative methods; ECVAM; FRAME; Validation; 3R principles
An estimated 1.2 million scavengers in the country are involved in the sanitation of our surroundings. The working conditions of these sanitary workers have remained virtually unchanged for over a century. Apart from the social atrocities that these workers face, they are exposed to certain health problems by virtue of their occupation. These health hazards include exposure to harmful gases such as methane and hydrogen sulfide, cardiovascular degeneration, musculoskeletal disorders like osteoarthritic changes and intervertebral disc herniation, infections like hepatitis, leptospirosis and helicobacter, skin problems, respiratory system problems and altered pulmonary function parameters. This can be prevented through engineering, medical and legislative measures. While the engineering measures will help in protecting against exposures, the medical measures will help in early detection of the effects of these exposures. This can be partly achieved by developing an effective occupational health service for this group of workers. Also, regular awareness programs should be conducted to impart education regarding safer work procedures and use of personal protective devices.
Sanitary workers; sewage workers
Implementation of the Toxic Substances Control Act of 1977 creates the need to reliably establish testing priorities because laboratory resources are limited and the number of industrial chemicals requiring evaluation is overwhelming. The use of quantitative structure activity relationship (QSAR) models as rapid and predictive screening tools to select more potentially hazardous chemicals for in-depth laboratory evaluation has been proposed. Further implementation and refinement of quantitative structure-toxicity relationships in aquatic toxicology and hazard assessment requires the development of a "mode-of-action" database. With such a database, a qualitative structure-activity relationship can be formulated to assign the proper mode of action, and respective QSAR, to a given chemical structure. In this review, the development of fish acute toxicity syndromes (FATS), which are toxic-response sets based on various behavioral and physiological-biochemical measurements, and their projected use in the mode-of-action database are outlined. Using behavioral parameters monitored in the fathead minnow during acute toxicity testing, FATS associated with acetylcholinesterase (AChE) inhibitors and narcotics could be reliably predicted. However, compounds classified as oxidative phosphorylation uncouplers or stimulants could not be resolved. Refinement of this approach by using respiratory-cardiovascular responses in the rainbow trout, enabled FATS associated with AChE inhibitors, convulsants, narcotics, respiratory blockers, respiratory membrane irritants, and uncouplers to be correctly predicted.
Research on occupational cancer epidemiology has been an important area of occupational health in Europe since the early studies were conducted in the United Kingdom in the 1950s and 1960s. During the last decade, occupational cancer research in Europe has gained an international dimension and become increasingly interdisciplinary in nature. At present, occupational exposures might be responsible for 13 to 18% of lung cancers, 2 to 10% of bladder cancers, and 2 to 8% of laryngeal cancers in European men; among women these figures are 1 to 5%, 0 to 5%, and 0 to 1%, respectively. A notable aspect of current occupational cancer research in Europe is the decreasing importance of traditional circumstances of high exposure to recognized occupational carcinogens and the increasing importance of new industries, mainly in the service sector where possible cancer hazards are poorly known. In addition, the political changes in Central and Eastern Europe open new possibilities for the investigation of high-exposure circumstances and occupational cancer in women.
Though toxicological experiments demonstrate the teratogenicity of organic solvents in animal models, epidemiologic studies have reported inconsistent results. Using data from the population-based National Birth Defects Prevention Study, we examined the relation between maternal occupational exposure to aromatic solvents, chlorinated solvents and Stoddard solvent during early pregnancy and neural tube defects (NTDs) and orofacial clefts (OFCs).
Cases of NTDs (anencephaly, spina bifida and encephalocele) and OFCs (cleft lip ± cleft palate and cleft palate alone) delivered between 1997 and 2002 were identified by birth defect surveillance registries in 8 states; non-malformed control infants were selected using birth certificates or hospital records. Maternal solvent exposure was estimated by industrial hygienist review of self-reported occupational histories in combination with a literature-derived exposure database. Odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) for the association between solvent class and each birth defect group and component phenotype were estimated using multivariable logistic regression, adjusting for maternal age, race/ethnicity, education, pre-pregnancy body mass index, folic acid supplement use and smoking.
The prevalence of exposure to any solvent among mothers of NTD cases (n=511), OFC cases (n=1163) and controls (n=2977) was 13.1%, 9.6% and 8.2%, respectively. Exposure to chlorinated solvents was associated with increased odds of NTDs (OR=1.96; CI=1.34, 2.87), especially spina bifida (OR=2.26; CI=1.44, 3.53). No solvent class was strongly associated with OFCs in these data.
Our findings suggest that maternal occupational exposure to chlorinated solvents during early pregnancy is positively associated with the prevalence of NTDs in offspring.
congenital abnormalities; occupational exposure; solvents
The European Centre for Ecotoxicology and Toxicology of Chemicals proposes a tiered approach for the ecological risk assessment of endocrine disruptors, integrating exposure and hazard (effects) characterization. Exposure assessment for endocrine disruptors should direct specific tests for wildlife species, placing hazard data into a risk assessment context. Supplementing the suite of mammalian screens now under Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) validation, high priority should be given to developing a fish screening assay for detecting endocrine activity in oviparous species. Taking into account both exposure characterization and alerts from endocrine screening, higher tier tests are also a priority for defining adverse effects. We propose that in vivo mammalian and fish assays provide a comprehensive screening battery for diverse hormonal functions (including androgen, estrogen, and thyroid hormone), whereas Amphibia should be considered at higher tiers if there are exposure concerns. Higher tier endocrine-disruptor testing should include fish development and fish reproduction tests, whereas a full life-cycle test could be subsequently used to refine aquatic risk assessments when necessary. For avian risk assessment, the new OECD Japanese quail reproduction test guideline provides a valuable basis for developing a test to detecting endocrine-mediated reproductive effects; this species could be used, where necessary, for an avian life-cycle test. For aquatic and terrestrial invertebrates, data from existing developmental and reproductive tests remain of high value for ecological risk assessment. High priority should be given to research into comparative endocrine physiology of invertebrates to support data extrapolation to this diverse fauna.