Dow’s internal guidelines and the policies of countries in which Dow does business govern the testing of new and existing industrial chemicals.
Dow conducts appropriate tests and modeling to determine the potential health and environmental effects of its products. The tests also help determine the specific levels of exposure that produce these effects, in particular the level at which no adverse effect is observed.
Dow’s tiered testing approach allows us to decide the appropriate studies to conduct. The procedure first applies existing scientific knowledge to determine the hazards of a product. Then it generates technical data about the health and environmental effects of the product in specific applications, and identifies what additional testing is warranted.
“New” chemicals are those that are not already identified by the government as in commerce as of a specified date. Some governments require a base set of test data to be generated on all new chemicals, while others first use computer models as surrogates for laboratory generated data and establish test priorities based on the results.
“Existing” chemicals are those that have been identified by governments as already in use in commerce as of a specified date. Additional testing of existing chemicals may be required if a chemical presents an unreasonable risk of injury or when substantial quantities are produced with the potential for extensive human or environmental exposure. In addition, industry and governments of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), representing 30 developed countries, committed to voluntarily accelerate the collection of basic health and safety information for chemicals produced in the highest volumes.
For additional information, refer to the CEFIC publication “Risk and Hazard: How They Differ.” (110KB PDF)
For additional information on Dow’s tiered testing approach, read “Chemical Testing: How Much is Enough?” (847KB PDF) by G. Bond.