OECD Guidelines for the Testing of Chemicals, Section 4

Health Effects

2074-5788 (online)
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The OECD Guidelines for the Testing of Chemicals is a collection of about 150 of the most relevant internationally agreed testing methods used by government, industry and independent laboratories to identify and characterise potential hazards of chemicals. They are a set of tools for professionals, used primarily in regulatory safety testing and subsequent chemical and chemical product notification, chemical registration and in chemical evaluation. They can also be used for the selection and ranking of candidate chemicals during the development of new chemicals and products and in toxicology research. This group of tests covers health effects.

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Test No. 421: Reproduction/Developmental Toxicity Screening Test

Test No. 421: Reproduction/Developmental Toxicity Screening Test You or your institution have access to this content


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This screening Test Guideline describes the effects of a test chemical on male and female reproductive performance. It has been updated with endocrine disruptor endpoints, in particular measure of anogenital distance and male nipple retention in pups and thyroid examination.

The test substance is administered in graduated doses to several groups of males and females. Males should be dosed for a minimum of four weeks. Females should be dosed throughout the study, so approximately 63 days. Matings "one male to one female" should normally be used in this study. This Test Guideline is designed for use with the rat. It is recommended that each group be started with at least 10 animals of each sex. Generally, at least three test groups and a control group should be used. Dose levels may be based on information from acute toxicity tests or on results from repeated dose studies. The test substance is administered orally and daily. The results of this study include clinical observations, body weight and food/water consumption, oestrous cycle monitoring, offspring parameters observation/measurement, thyroid hormone measurement, as well as gross necropsy and histopathology. The findings of this toxicity study should be evaluated in terms of the observed effects, necropsy and microscopic findings. Because of the short period of treatment of the male, the histopathology of the testis and epididymus should be considered along with the fertility data, when assessing male reproductive effects.

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