Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Successor programme


Official Journal Reference

C 184 of 1986-07-23

Legislative Reference

86/C184/01 of 1986-05-29
To contribute towards improving the expertise indispensable for Community-level sectoral activities relating to toxicology; to foster the development of experimental toxicology, clinical toxicology and the integration of experimental clinical and analytical data; to help ensure the quality and comparability of toxicological data; and to promote a more rational and more economic use of toxicological experiments and the harmonization of toxicological testing methods.


In their Resolution of 29 May 1986 on a programme of action of the European Communities on toxicology for health protection (Official Journal No C 184 of 23.7.1986), the Council and the representatives of the Governments of the Member States expressed the political will to take the measures required to that by the end of 1990 a series of priority actions in the field of toxicology could be undertaken.

The main purpose of the programme is toxicology aimed at health protection through the prevention of diseases which can be caused by exposure to toxic substances. The work carried out between 1986 and the end of 1990 brought to light the increasing importance of a targeted approach to deteriorations in organs or biological systems as a whole and will be taken into account in future work aimed at improving the means of early detection of conditions which are conducive to the development of diseases.

The programme has paid particular attention to the deterioration of early biochemical and physiological parameters in the immune, renal and reproductive systems. This is essential for the detection of pathological deviations and may be a great help in combating large-scale epidemics.

Meeting on 15 May 1992, the Council and the Ministers of health of the Member States, having examined the Commission's communication on the programme (COM(91) 341 of 30.9.1991) and having taken note of the results achieved, called on the Commission to disseminate these results widely, to complete work in progress and, in light of the experience acquired, to identify, if appropriate, action regarding toxicology which might be implemented in the context of future Community health policies (Official Journal No C 148 of 12.6.1992).


Priority actions:

- Experimental toxicology with the exception of ecotoxicology:
. Compile and maintain a list of existing structures in the Member States for toxicological testing, and a list of toxicological tests carried out in these structures in order to assess the toxicity of chemical products and preparations;
. Assess current toxicological methods and practice and those being developed, in order to improve the quality and comparability of toxicological data, to facilitate their acceptability in the Community and internationally bearing in mind the activities of international agencies in this field, and to pay particular attention to tests involving a reduction in the number and suffering of animals thus used and to new approaches (in vitro, etc.); . Assess the reliability of extrapolating toxicological data from animal and in vitro tests to human beings and encourage the development of new approaches to the subject;
. Examine the normal variability of the biochemical and physicological parameters in the animals to be used in toxicological tests in order to have common criteria for the assessment of toxicity;

- Clinical toxicology:
. Systematically review the role and functioning of clinical toxicological services, poison centres and other appropriate structures in order to implement pilot projects relating to exchanges of experience and information and to develop the use of clinical toxicology data (acute and chronic) within the framework of the overall assessment of the impact of chemical products and preparations on human health;
. Systematically review current practice in the assessment of normal variability of biochemical and physiological parameters and seek common criteria;

- Training and information:
. Promote the exchange of experience between Member States on needs for toxicology experts in all sectors and at all levels and establish guidelines for the training of toxicology experts;
. Promote the exchange of expertise and information between Member States on toxicological data.


The Commission in responsible for the implementation of the programme, in collaboration with the Member States and on a coordinated basis with them.

The Commission works as closely as possible with the institutes and laboratories in the Member States and with international organizations (such as the specialized bodies of the United Nations), non-governmental organizations and worldwide and Europeans associations which bring together competent specialists in the various areas.

An annual work programme, together with a report on results achieved, is forwarded by the Commission to the Council, the European Parliament and the Economic and Social Committee.
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