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New case study on using ECHA’s read-across guidance for multi-walled carbon nanotubes

A new study performed by scientists at the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre (JRC) demonstrates the applicability of the European Chemicals Agency’s (ECHA) recommendations for the grouping and read-across of nanomaterials. The study examined its use for 19 different types of multi-walled carbon nanotubes, focusing on their genotoxicity.

Helsinki, 15 February 2019 – Multi-walled carbon nanotubes are types of nanomaterials that have potential applications in a wide variety of areas. Given their potential variability, regulatory testing of these materials may require several studies to adequately assess their hazardous properties. Grouping and read-across has the potential of reducing the costs of testing for nanomaterials, as well as reducing the number of animal studies needed for fulfilling regulatory requirements.

The study in question applied ECHA’s guidance on read-across for these nanomaterials, and complemented the results with the use of computer science techniques for solving problems in the field of chemical research, also known as “chemioinformatics techniques”. The study applied the principles in ECHA’s guidance to fill data gaps on genotoxicity for the types where information was unavailable. Although the study was not aimed at performing a hazard assessment, the available information on these multi-walled carbon nanotubes examined in the study suggest that the materials are not genotoxic.

The study successfully demonstrates the applicability of this guidance to such materials. The authors also provided further recommendations for improvements to the guidance that may enhance its usability and simplify the reporting of the results. The study also shows the potential use of chemoinformatics to complement grouping and read-across approaches.