The National Research Council says that improvements in methods of testing cells and tissues could speed up the process of checking chemicals for toxicity and reduce the use of test animals.
Using cells, preferably of human origin, lab tests could indicate potential danger to humans by observing the effect on those cells or cell lines of commercial pesticides and other chemicals. Currently, chemicals are generally tested by giving them to animals in large doses. Humans are usually exposed to much lower doses, however, so the animal results are not always directly applicable.
Animal testing will still be needed at this point, the report says, but using these new test methods could reduce the need and may eliminate the use of test animals eventually.