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Minimizing potential environmental and human health risks from endocrine disruptors (EDs) is a highly prioritized regulatory issue but identification and risk assessment of EDs has proven complicated. Identification of EDs for regulatory purposes currently requires extensive animal testing of chemicals to ...

Minimizing potential environmental and human health risks from endocrine disruptors (EDs) is a highly prioritized regulatory issue but identification and risk assessment of EDs has proven complicated. Identification of EDs for regulatory purposes currently requires extensive animal testing of chemicals to identify complex toxicological effects, as well as a high degree of mechanistic understanding in order to establish an endocrine mode of action. We now strive to minimize the use of animal testing for regulatory purposes and are at the same time seeing a rapid global development of novel in silico, in chemico and in vitro methods driven by stakeholder and regulatory needs and academic research interests. Structured application of relevant mechanistic knowledge, for example in development and application of Integrated Approaches to Testing and Assessment (IATA) can contribute to reducing uncertainties in identification of ED within different regulatory frameworks and making testing and assessment more resource efficient.

This research topic will present new knowledge that increases our understanding of mechanisms for endocrine disruption and promotes structured use of relevant mechanistic data to facilitate regulatory identification of EDs. This includes development of new approach methods (NAMs) that investigate a wide range of endocrine mechanisms and demonstration of their regulatory relevance, as well as development of Adverse Outcome Pathways (AOPs) for different endocrine-mediated pathways and IATAs. AOPs provide useful frameworks for linking mechanistic data to adverse effects on human health or wildlife populations, as well as for investigating similarities in mechanistic pathways between species. As such, they also provide structured basis for IATAs and for development of new methods. However, there is still a lack of AOPs describing perturbations in many endocrine-mediated pathways and of AOPs that allow for investigation of the conservation of pathways across taxa. IATAs are iterative approaches combining structured evidence evaluation and design of targeted testing to answer a specific question. They can range from relatively simple approaches to more structured and defined assessment and testing schemes. This research topic will cover development of methods and different types of IATAs that maximize the use of mechanistic understanding for identifying EDs and provide relevant scientific basis for regulatory measures to minimize risks to human health and the environment.

We are inviting original research and review articles presenting developments and use of NAMs, AOPs and IATAs for the identification of EDs, covering both human health and effects in wildlife populations. We especially invite articles that address specific needs in different regulatory frameworks.

Topics of interest include but are not limited to:
• Development and illustration of regulatory relevance of NAMs that address specific information gaps and regulatory needs regarding endocrine mechanisms for ED assessment.
• Development and assessment of AOPs or Adverse Outcome Networks (AONs) describing perturbations to different endocrine-mediated pathways including neuro-endocrine effects.
• Development of IATA for identification and hazard characterization of EDs, including application of NAMs and/or the AOP framework to maximize use of mechanistic understanding by structured data collection and integration and for method development.
• Use of AOPs to investigate conservation of endocrine pathways across taxa and support extrapolation between species.
• Contribution of NAMs and AOPs in the interpretation of epidemiology data for endocrine assessment.
• Use of mechanistic data and understanding to improve and facilitate the process of identifying EDs according to EU's scientific ED-criteria and ECHA/EFSA guidance implemented for pesticides.
• Developments in the US EPA Endocrine Disruptor Screening Program (EDSP) and demonstration of application in IATA.

Different Article Types can be submitted to the Research Topic including Original Research, Review, Mini-Review, Brief Research Report, Perspective articles, among others. You can find detailed information here.

Keywords: Endocrine disruptor, Endocrine mechanisms, New Approach Methodologies (NAM), AOP framework, Integrated Approaches to Testing and Assessment (IATA)


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