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February 15, 2019

Case Study Demonstrates Successful Application of ECHA’s Read-Across Guidance to Multi-Walled Carbon Nanotubes

Lynn L. Bergeson Carla N. Hutton

The February 2019 issue of Computational Toxicology includes an article entitled “Grouping of multi-walled carbon nanotubes to read-across genotoxicity:  A case study to evaluate the applicability of regulatory guidance.”  The article describes a case study, performed by scientists at the European Commission’s (EC) Joint Research Center (JRC), to explore and illustrate read-across of genotoxicity data by following the “Recommendations for nanomaterials applicable to the Guidance on QSARs and Grouping” developed by the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA).  The grouping hypothesis was supported by the use of chemoinformatics techniques such as hierarchical clustering and principal components analysis.  The uncertainties of the present case study were evaluated using the Read-Across Assessment Framework (RAAF) developed by ECHA.  The abstract notes that while the aim of the study was not to conduct a hazard assessment, the study data chosen for illustrative purposes suggest that the multi-walled carbon nanotube analogues selected are not genotoxic.  The abstract states:  “No (major) differences between the analogues were observed which could be attributed to differences in physicochemical properties such as length, diameter or rigidity/straightness.  Such properties, however, may have an impact on other hazard endpoints such as carcinogenicity.”  According to the abstract, the study shows the practical application of the ECHA framework for grouping of nanomaterials, as well as use of the ECHA RAAF for nanomaterials, and how this can be supported by chemoinformatics techniques.  The article suggests some adaptations to the workflow for a more practical and straightforward narrative in the reporting.  The European Union (EU) Observatory for Nanomaterials (EUON) issued a February 15, 2019, press release, stating that the study “successfully demonstrates the applicability of this guidance to such materials.”