Mutagenicity testing for chemical risk assessment: update of the WHO/IPCS Harmonized Scheme.
Since the publication of the International Programme on Chemical Safety (IPCS) Harmonized Scheme for Mutagenicity Testing, there have been a number of publications addressing test strategies for mutagenicity. Safety assessments of substances with regard to genotoxicity are generally based on a combination of tests to assess effects on three major end points of genetic damage associated with human disease: gene mutation, clastogenicity and aneuploidy. It is now clear from the results of international collaborative studies and the large databases that are currently available for the assays evaluated that no single assay can detect all genotoxic substances. The World Health Organization therefore decided to update the IPCS Harmonized Scheme for Mutagenicity Testing as part of the IPCS project on the Harmonization of Approaches to the Assessment of Risk from Exposure to Chemicals. The approach presented in this paper focuses on the identification of mutagens and genotoxic carcinogens. Selection of appropriate in vitro and in vivo tests as well as a strategy for germ cell testing are described.
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