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Developmental Toxicity Study

Environmental Health

  1. Meredith M. Regan

Published Online: 15 SEP 2006

DOI: 10.1002/9780470057339.vad017

Encyclopedia of Environmetrics

Encyclopedia of Environmetrics

How to Cite

Regan, M. M. 2006. Developmental Toxicity Study. Encyclopedia of Environmetrics. 2.

Author Information

  1. Harvard Medical School, MA, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 SEP 2006


Development toxicology investigates the impacts on human development of exposure to potentially toxic substances or conditions. Controlled development toxicity studies in laboratory animals play an important role in the toxicological assessment of foods, drugs and chemicals. In contrast to carcinogenicity studies, methods to extrapolate safe exposure levels from animals to humans are not well developed. The mechanisms of most development toxicants are unknown, and statistical methods for carcinogenicity do not directly apply since the outcomes and the experimental design differ. Manifestations of development toxicity include death, malformations, growth alterations, and functional impairment. Improving methods of quantitative assessment of adverse development effects is a current research focus.