Syngenta scientist outlines new risk-assessment approach
-- Timothy Pastoor, Ph.D., DABT, shares insights from RISK21 Framework
-- Presentation part of the Society of Toxicology's "Contemporary Concepts in
GREENSBORO, N.C., Nov. 12, 2012
GREENSBORO, N.C., Nov. 12, 2012 /PRNewswire/ --Speaking to scientists at the
Society of Toxicology (SOT) FutureTox Meeting Oct. 18 in Washington, D.C.,
Syngenta Principal Scientist Timothy Pastoor, Ph.D., DABT, outlined a new
approach to human-health risk assessment being developed by representatives of
government, industry, academia and nongovernmental organizations.
(Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20120509/PH04198LOGO )
During the meeting, scientists discussed new, emerging technologies and
approaches for determining human safety. Two National Academies of Sciences
reports have called for developing better methods of toxicity testing and
human-health risk assessment, using fewer animals.
Pastoor offered insights on RISK21, a systematic and transparent
risk-assessment model that considers both possible exposure and potential
toxicity. These approaches would reduce the need for animals in toxicity
testing. The RISK21 project is coordinated by the ILSI Health and
Environmental Sciences Institute (HESI), a nonprofit institution whose mission
is to engage scientists from academia, government and industry to identify and
resolve global health and environmental issues.
"As toxicologists, we can do a better job using available data and new
technologies to identify human health hazards," said Pastoor, co-chair of the
RISK21 project. "We have the technology to make more accurate risk assessments
that use fewer resources – including animals – and take into account both
toxicity and exposure. We just need to use it," he added.
"The most valuable, accurate risk assessments reflect not only potential
toxicity but also how much exposure we have to a particular substance,"
Pastoor said. "It's this part of the risk assessment that helps us determine
how much of a substance is too much. One of the challenges of having
sophisticated scientific instruments that can detect minute amounts of a
compound is that people can lose perspective about what amount of a substance
is harmless. Just because something can be measured does not mean it has an
effect on humans. That needs to be part of the risk assessment equation."
Pastoor's presentation was part of the SOT's "Contemporary Concepts in
Toxicology" series. These discussions promote a productive exchange of ideas
concerning effective and efficient implementation of the latest toxicity
testing technologies to improve hazard prediction and risk assessment. This
FutureTox meeting was sponsored and partially funded by SOT, and underwritten
by HESI, the American Chemistry Council, the Human Toxicology Project
Consortium and the Food and Drug Administration.
Pastoor has more than 30 years of international experience in fundamental
toxicity testing, mode-of-action research and human-health risk assessment. He
is a member of the Society of Toxicology and a board member of both the
Toxicology Forum and HESI.
Pastoor often serves as a science expert and lecturer on toxicology and risk
assessment for Syngenta. He previously served as the company's head of Human
Safety, managing a team of toxicologists and risk-assessment experts who use
safety, health and environmental studies to ensure product safety.
Pastoor earned his doctorate in toxicology from the University of Michigan and
is certified by the American Board of Toxicology (DABT).
About the Society of Toxicology
The Society of Toxicology (SOT) is a professional and scholarly organization
of scientists from academic institutions, government and industry,
representing the great variety of scientists who practice toxicology in the
U.S. and abroad. SOT is committed to creating a safer and healthier world by
advancing the science of toxicology. The Society promotes the acquisition and
utilization of knowledge in toxicology, aids in the protection of public
health, and facilitates disciplines. The Society has a strong commitment to
education in toxicology and to the recruitment of students and new members
into the profession.
The Health and Environmental Sciences Institute (HESI) was established in 1989
as a global branch of the International Life Sciences Institute (ILSI) to
provide an international forum to advance the understanding of scientific
issues related to human health, toxicology, risk assessment, and the
environment. In 2002, HESI was recognized by the United States government as a
publicly supported, tax-exempt organization, independently chartered from
ILSI. HESI draws its sponsorship from business entities that are producers of
pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, agricultural, and other industrial chemicals,
paper products, personal care and household products, food and beverages,
communications products, transportation products, or energy products, or of
ingredients or containers used in, or in connection with these products.
Providers of scientific and technical services used in the safety testing or
production of these products or in the assessment of the human health and
environmental safety of these products are also sponsors. HESI has sponsorship
from companies based in the United States, Europe, and Japan.
Syngenta is one of the world's leading companies with more than 26,000
employees in over 90countries dedicated to our purpose: Bringing plant
potential to life. Through world-class science, global reach and commitment to
our customers, we help to increase crop productivity, protect the environment
and improve health and quality of life. For more information about us, please
go to www.syngenta.com.
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