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PFA at Eurotox 2018

December 18th, 2018

EUROTOX 2018 summary

PFA kicked off this academic year with a delegate team attending the EUROTOX conference 2018 in Brussels.

To build on the proximity of this year’s conference location to PFA-Brussels Sprl, the PFA delegation were eager to make the most of participating in both the technical sessions and also the networking opportunities of EUROTOX, via our exhibitor stand.

EUROTOX 2018 – the technical viewpoint

The key theme of the EUROTOX conference this year was ‘Toxicology Out-of-the-Box’ with almost all sessions being aimed at innovative, forward-looking and imaginative topics. Renowned scientists and invited speakers presented lectures in areas such as adverse outcome pathways, in vitro and in silico replacement and screening methods in toxicology, REACH and read-across, air pollution, developmental immunotoxicity and much more.

A particular highlight was the debate “Adverse Outcome Pathways are the future of for Regulatory toxicology”, which saw representatives of EUROTOX and SOT present opposite sides of the argument. The audience of delegates voted narrowly in favour of the proposal, but both sides acknowledged that this is unlikely to be the case for many years – which PFA would agree with!

Of the few sessions focussing on in vivo toxicology testing, two sessions on the Extended One Generation Reproductive Toxicity Test provided useful information for toxicologists who will be involved in such tests (as required by ECHA under the REACH Regulation).

Overall, it was clear that there continues to be large investment in in silico methods and numerous alternatives to in vivotoxicity testing. However, for key endpoints such as repeated dose, reproductive and developmental toxicity, for which a number of adverse effects via multiple pathways are possible, the science is not sufficiently developed to address regulatory requirements, nor is likely to be for many years to come. It was also obvious that sometimes researchers and academics themselves do not communicate sufficiently to make optimum use of the work that they each conduct Forums such as the annual EUROTOX conference have a critical role in facilitating this key role.

Peter Fisk presented a poster on the topic ‘An integrated understanding of metabolic processes relevant to mammalian and environmental toxicology in the context of REACH’. The poster, which was well received, outlined

  • how an understanding of metabolic processes can help inform the environmental and human health risk assessment of chemicals,
  • how such data should be integrated into risk assessments, including adjustment of assessment factors, where appropriate.
  • Alkanes and aliphatic alcohols were used as examples to demonstrate the proposal.

EUROTOX 2018 – the marketing viewpoint

The representatives attending at the Exhibitor Stand took the opportunity to promote the PFA Toxicology team. We set out to:

  1. Promote the PFA brand within the toxicology community
  2. Advertise new employment opportunities within the PFA group
  3. Present the range of services provided by the PFA group
  4. Meet and reacquaint ourselves with current contacts
  5. Network with possible new contacts

Overall the PFA team had a great conference and we were able to achieve all these aims. Although only a few of the team were physically present at the conference, a number of people throughout the company worked hard to make this possible. Thank you to all of those who were involved in this effort; your time, your energy and your hard work made a success of the event for the whole PFA group.