On August 2, 2023, the European Union (EU) Observatory for Nanomaterials (EUON) announced that it published a study that systematically reviews and assesses alternative methods for the testing of the safety of nanomaterials without the use of animals. According to EUON, the main aim of the study was to collect and provide accurate and transparent information on new approach methodologies (NAM) available for the human safety assessment of nanomaterials and to create a comprehensive inventory of these methods. EUON states that the study maps the progress of animal-free approaches for testing nanomaterials, identifying methods at various stages of validation.
EUON notes that although the study identified more than 200 NAMs, only eight were found to be nano-specific and accepted for regulatory testing. EUON states that “there is an urgent need to speed up validation processes for nano-specific NAMs” currently under development for different endpoints. According to EUON, the study critically analyzed the possible adaptation of non-nano-specific NAMs for nanomaterial testing as per toxicological endpoint to reveal the development need of the NAM to fulfill nanomaterial specific safety testing requirements. The study confirmed the need, not limited to nanomaterials, to develop new NAMs for complex endpoints (e.g., neurotoxicity and reproductive toxicity).