Appeal reverses ECHA call for animal tests

An appeal has overturned the European Chemicals Agency’s (ECHA) request for additional animal toxicity testing on the automotive air-conditioning refrigerant 2,3,3,3-tetrafluoropropene (HFO-1234yf).

The requested test would oppose the ECHA’s responsibility under the Reach (registration, evaluation, authorisation and restriction of chemicals) regulation to ensure that animal tests are only undertaken as a last resort, and that any testing involves the minimum number of animals, the ECHA’s board of appeal has ruled.

In 2010, the ECHA requested that Honeywell Belgium, which submitted the Reach dossier on the compound, complete an extended study of its toxicity in rabbits. Honeywell argued that such a test could not reliably provide the information the ECHA required, and that existing data were sufficient to assess the compound’s toxicity.

The case will now be referred back to the ECHA for further action. In a statement Honeywell said that it is ‘looking forward to reviewing existing data and testing with the ECHA’.

HFO-1234yf is produced by a joint venture between Honeywell and DuPont as a greener alternative to other fluorinated refrigerants, which have much higher global warming potential.

Related Content

Advancing animal testing alternatives

18 November 2015 Business

news image

Animal rights groups are engaging with researchers and regulators to develop replacement tests and ensure they’re adopted

EU chemicals regulator scolded over animal testing

24 December 2014 Business

news image

Ombudsman says ECHA isn’t doing enough to require alternative, non-animal methods

Most Commented

Chlorinated compounds form in tea and coffee

24 November 2015 Research

news image

Treated water reacts with organics to form disinfection byproducts

Brazilian mine disaster releases dangerous metals

21 November 2015 News and Analysis

news image

Irreversible negative human health and environmental effects could result from Brazilian mine’s dam collapse