The Society of Toxicology is committed to providing sound, balanced science information on toxicological topics of importance to human, environmental, and animal health. If you have a topic that you would like the Society to address, please consult the SOT Statements Procedure document and submit a proposal form to the SOT Communications Director.
Toxicology Impact Statements
Over the years, toxicological research has helped identify risks and has informed rules, regulations, and tests to protect public health. Below are statements—written by SOT members and approved by SOT Council—which describe public health situations in which toxicology helped provide solutions and protection.
- An Emerging Class of Global Environmental Pollutants: The Perfluoroalkyl Substances (Approved May 2018)
- Mercury: A Long-Appreciated Hazard (Approved May 2018)
- Popcorn Workers Lung: The Role of Diacetyl (Approved May 2018)
- Toxicant-Associated Liver Injury: Vinyl Chloride (Approved May 2018)
- The Tragedy of Birth Defects: Thalidomide (Approved May 2018)
For additional information about toxicology, how it impacts public health, and how it is connected to other sciences, visit the “Relevance of Toxicology to Public Health” web page.
Use of Animals in Research
SOT Guiding Principles in the Use of Animals in Toxicology (Last revised in July 2016)
Currently, research involving laboratory animals is necessary to ensure and enhance human and animal health and the protection of the environment, but the Society of Toxicology also supports the development and use of alternatives to the use of animals. The Society expects its members to consider alternative procedures that reduce the number of animals used, refine the use of whole animals, or replace whole animals (e.g., in vitro models, invertebrate organisms) in research, when appropriate. If the use of animals is necessary, the animals should be used and treated in a responsible manner.
- Statement on the US EPA Memorandum “Directive to Prioritize Efforts to Reduce Animal Testing (September 2019)
- Transportation of Animals for Research (April 2016)
- Alternative Toxicity Test Methods: Reducing, Refining, and Replacing Animal Use for Safety Testing (Last reviewed in April 2015)
SOT Issue Statements represent official viewpoints of the Society and present a balanced view of toxicological science and connected sciences. They are written by subject-matter experts, reviewed by SOT membership at large, and approved by SOT Council. Prior to 2010, SOT Issue Statements were referred to as Position Statements.
- Appointment and Participation of Scientists on Peer Review Panels and Scientific Advisory Boards (Revised November 2015)
- The Complexities in Assessing the Risk to Public Health of Low-Level Arsenic Exposure (Approved November 2017)
- Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill (Revised November 2015)
- Food and Feed Safety of Genetically Engineered Food Crops (Approved November 2017)
- For more information on this topic, read the forum article “Food and Feed Safety of Genetically Engineered Food Crops” in Toxicological Sciences.
- Hookah: How Dangerous Is It? (February 2, 2015)
- Role of Government in Science Regulation (Revised November 2015)
- The Role of Toxicological Science in Meeting the Challenges of Opportunities in Hydraulic Fracturing Executive Summary (May 9, 2014)
- Toxicologic Principles Do Not Support the Banning of Chlorine (1994, last reviewed in July 2015)
SOT members have produced information on toxicology topics that impact human, animal, and environmental health. The following documents are not official issue or position statements by the Society, but SOT has made every effort to make these information sheets balanced and science-driven. Prior to 2015, Express Statements were referred to as Tox Topics.
- Research Advances and Enduring Needs in Children’s Environmental Health Protection (Last updated in January 2017)
- Scientific, Regulatory, and Public Perspectives on the Use of Alternative Toxicological Test Methods to Inform Decision Making (Approved in September 2016)
- Developing Safe Products Using Nanotechnology (Last reviewed in May 2016)
- Flavorings-Related Lung Disease (Last updated in May 2016)
- Dietary Supplement Adulteration and Impact on Human Health (Last reviewed in June 2015)
- Can All Those Chemicals Be Causing My Asthma? (Last reviewed in May 2015)
- Alternative Approaches to the Safety Assessment of Natural Ingredients and Extracts in Cosmetics (Last reviewed in April 2015)
- Melamine Contamination of Infant Formulas: Lessons Learned (Last reviewed in April 2015)
- Ovarian Toxicity: Current Concepts in Toxicology, Pathology, and Mechanisms (Last reviewed in April 2015)
- 21st Century Validation Strategies—One Size No Longer Fits All (currently being updated)
- Endocrine Disruption—General Overview (currently being updated)
- Women’s Health: Toxicology and Safety of Complementary and Alternative Medicine (currently being updated)
Regulation and Policy Communications
Throughout the year, SOT expresses support for efforts to strengthen science or the use of sound science in regulations and policy by adding its voice to those of like-minded colleagues in letters and other communications. SOT Council formalized the SOT Requests for Comment Procedure on May 13, 2020.
- January 7, 2021—Letter to President-elect Biden regarding human fetal tissue (HFT) research restrictions and policy changes
- December 8, 2020—Letter to Speaker Pelosi, Leader McCarthy, Leader McConnell and Leader Schumer regarding the fiscal year (FY) 2021 appropriations bills
- October 7, 2020—Letter to Russel Vought regarding the Trump Administration's decision to eliminate federal employee training programs related to diversity, equity, and inclusion
- September 1, 2020—Letter to the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology regarding their call for NASEM to undertake a study to address systemic racism in academia
- August 31, 2020—Letter to the US Department of Health & Human Services regarding concerns about the NIH Human Fetal Tissue Ethics Advisory Board
- July 28, 2020—Letter to the NIH Human Fetal Tissue Research Ethics Advisory Board regarding use of human fetal tissue in life-saving biomedical research
- July 15, 2020—Letter to Vice President Mike Pence regarding stakeholder science and public health support on COVID-19
- July 13, 2020—SOT Statement on Presidential Proclamation 10052 regarding Nonimmigrant Visas
- July 8, 2020—Open Letter in Response to July 6, 2020, US Immigration and Customs Enforcement Announcement regarding the Student and Exchange Visitor Program
- June 3, 2020—President’s Message: A Word from the SOT President during Uncertain Times
- May 20, 2020—Letter to NIH director regarding the revocation of a peer-reviewed research grant for studies of coronaviruses by EcoHealth Alliance
- April 1, 2020—SOT Comments on EPA “Strengthening Transparency in Regulatory Science” Rule
View previous “Regulation and Policy Communications” on the “Publications and Historical Documents” web page.
The Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), the statute by which many chemicals in commerce are regulated in the United States, was passed in 1976 and had not been significantly updated since that time. In the 2010s, various members of the US Congress attempted to update the act, and as a result, the Society formed a TSCA Task Force that had a goal of “ensuring that the science of toxicology and the application of risk assessment are considered in all discussions related to the TSCA reform initiatives.”
Specifically, the TSCA Task Force was committed to providing:
- Education and discussion on scientific topics that are directly related or tangential to legislation
- Insight on how transformations in toxicology and risk assessment may influence future chemical regulation such that legislative expectations and implementation are scientifically feasible.
To help in this effort, the Task Force adopted guiding principles in relation to its work on TSCA reform. These guiding principles were that TSCA legislation should ensure that:
- The language affords flexibility in selection of the best available science for generating and evaluating information used in the safety and risk assessment process.
- The language protects the authority of the US Environmental Protection Agency, working with the scientific community, to judge when and how to apply new techniques and methods.
- The language ensures the terms and concepts used in the legislative language that apply to the science of toxicology are consistent, accurate, and unambiguous.
Task Force Actions
- Congratulations on Progress Made on Finalizing TSCA Reform
Comments provided by SOT to the House and Senate leadership on May 23, 2016.
- Comments on S. 697, The Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act
Comments provided by SOT to the chairman and ranking member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee on June 9, 2015.
- Comments on H.R. 2576, The TSCA Modernization Act
Comments provided by SOT to the chairman and ranking member of the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on the Environment and the Economy on June 9, 2015.
- Comments on S. 725, The Alan Reinstein and Trevor Schaefer Toxic Chemical Protection Act
Comments provided by SOT to the chairman and ranking member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee on April 13, 2015.
- Comments on bipartisan discussion draft of the TSCA Modernization Act
Comments provided by SOT to the chairman and ranking member of the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Environment and the Economy on April 13, 2015.
- TSCA Reform Should Embrace the Best Application of Toxicological Science—A Perspective from Its Practitioners
An op-ed penned by SOT President Norbert E. Kaminski published February 6, 2015, on RollCall.com.