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Company scientists advise caution in interpreting LLNA 'gold standard' for skin sensitisation

An international group of company scientists has evaluated the sensitisation potential of surfactants in a study which integrates data from several different methods of risk assessment.

The researchers, from Dow Europe, Shell Health, Shell International, SASOL Germany, Evonik Goldschmidt, Givaudan Schweiz, BASF, SEPPIC, Huntsman Corporation,Akzo Nobel Surface Chemistry, Clariant Produkte and Cognis(now part of BASF) carried out a battery of in vivo and in vitro tests using the same batch of eight surfactant chemicals to assess the results from different test methods to replace animal tests.

The weight of evidence from all the tests indicated that, with one exception, the chemicals are non-sensitising skin irritants. However, one particular method, the local lymph node assay (LLNA), was shown to overestimate the sensitisation potential of surfactants relative to the other methods. The scientists conclude that, as results obtained from LLNAs are considered as the gold standard for the development of new nonanimal alternative test methods, there is a need to carefully evaluate the applicability domains of test methods in order to develop reliable non-animal alternative testing strategies for sensitisation testing.

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