UL Environment Introduces Ground-Breaking Software to Reduce the Need for Animal Testing and Comply with REACH
MARIETTA, Ga., March 13, 2017 – UL Environment, a division of UL (Underwriters Laboratories), today announced the launch of REACHAcross™ software, a chemical assessment tool that helps companies meet REACH chemical regulations and reduce the need for animal testing. This first-of-its-kind software uses machine learning to assess the endpoint behavior of any chemical of interest for REACH. It provides the objective computational approach of a quantitative structure-activity relationship model (QSAR) with the accuracy of read-across, to help companies meet chemical regulations and reduce the need for animal testing.
REACHAcross™ software is specifically designed to help companies meet REACH 2018 registration deadlines, which requires that companies register chemicals that they manufacture or import in volumes of 1 to 100 tons per year in Europe. Typically, companies conduct animal testing to fulfill the registration data requirements, which is time-intensive, costly and can pose ethical dilemmas. UL’s REACHAcross™ tool eliminates the need for animal testing and can provide accurate data to multiple endpoints in minutes.
REACHAcross™ software works by analyzing billions of pairs of chemicals and blends conventional read-across principles with machine learning approaches for a scalable and generally-applicable model of health endpoints, such as skin sensitization, acute oral toxicity, acute eye irritation, acute dermal irritation, acute dermal toxicity and mutagenicity. REACHAcross™ software’s instance-based learning leverages combined toxicology and chemical data from more than a half million compounds and will grow in capabilities as more data is added.
“UL Environment is introducing a disruptive new tool in the field of chemical compliance software with REACHAcross™,” said Alberto Uggetti, vice president and general manager, UL Environment. “While there are traditional testing and alternative software tools for REACH compliance available, none combine machine learning techniques with billions of data endpoints, and provide REACH concordant reports. We anticipate quick market adoption by toxicologists, chemical manufacturers and formulators, and consultants.”
REACHAcross™ software was developed by Thomas Hartung, MD, PhD, the Doerenkamp-Zbinden Professor and Chair for Evidence-based Toxicology at the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health, Thomas Luechtefeld, his PhD student, and UL’s team of scientists and toxicologists. The team is already working on a second version of the tool that will provide chemical toxicity software for use during product research and development. Since many chemicals in commerce have never been tested for safety, this tool will enable companies to see the toxicity of chemicals before they are in use, and select alternatives early in the development process.
“REACHAcross™ software has surpassed our expectations for accuracy and performance,” said Thomas Hartung at the Bloomberg School of Public Health. “Due to the large amount of available data from REACH registrations and others, we have been able to determine chemical toxicity data for billions of chemical pairs of structures and multiple endpoints with a balanced sensitivity of 80 percent across six endpoints. The tool has been validated to OECD standards and we believe that it provides sufficient justification for its assessments and scientific evidence to support external validation.”
REACHAcross™ software is expected to help companies meet many of the recently enacted chemical regulations, such as the U.S.’s Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) Reform that gives the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) authority to regulate similar chemicals based on their health effects, and REACH-like regulations in Korea, Taiwan and China, which are in development. Visit ulreachacross.com for more information.
About UL Environment
UL Environment works to advance global sustainability, environmental health, and safety by supporting the growth and development of environmentally preferable products, services, and organizations. We help companies achieve their sustainability goals — and help purchasers, specifiers, retailers, governments, and consumers find products they can trust. UL Environment offers environmental claim validations, multi-attribute product certifications, environmental product declarations, indoor air quality certification, product emissions testing, organizational sustainability certification, and consulting. For more information, visit www.ul.com/environment, and connect with us via Twitter, LinkedIn, or Facebook.
UL fosters safe living and working conditions for people everywhere through the application of science to solve safety, security and sustainability challenges. The UL Mark engenders trust enabling the safe adoption of innovative new products and technologies. Everyone at UL shares a passion to make the world a safer place. We test, inspect, audit, certify, validate, verify, advise and train and we support these efforts with software solutions for safety and sustainability. To learn more about us, visit UL.com.