New Robot System To Test 10,000 Chemicals For Toxicity


Mar 17, 2011

Several federal agencies have launched a new high-speed robot screening system that will test 10,000 different chemicals in industrial and consumer products for potential toxicity, the Environmental Protection Agency reports.

The system marks the beginning of a new phase of an ongoing collaboration, referred to as Tox21, that is working to protect people’s health by improving how chemicals are tested in the United States.

The robot system, which is located at the National Institutes of Health Chemical Genomics Center, was purchased as part of the Tox21 collaboration established in 2008 that involved the EPA, the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences National Toxicology Program and NCGC, with the addition of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 2010.

Tox21 merges existing resources -- research, funding and testing tools -- to develop ways to more effectively predict how chemicals will affect human health and the environment.

Tox21 has already screened more than 2,500 chemicals for potential toxicity using robots and other innovative chemical screening technologies. The Tox21 chemical screening technologies were used to screen the different types of oil spill dispersants for potential endocrine activity during the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico last year.

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