The thyroid system regulates many important cellular processes of a baby’s development during pregnancy and metabolic processes through-out life. Understanding how exposure to chemicals can disrupt those processes is an increasingly important challenge for chemical safety decision makers. EPA scientists are working to develop New Approach Methods (NAMs) to more quickly and efficiently screen chemicals for potential thyroid effects, without the use of animals.
One example of EPA scientists developing NAMs for thyroid disruption is identifying cellular or tissue structures relevant to thyroid system function and developing high-throughput assays that use automated equipment to quickly evaluate chemicals for their potential to disrupt normal thyroid function. This research supports the EPA’s Endocrine Disruptor Screening Program.
EPA scientists are also using NAMs to close data gaps and eliminate uncertainties by quickly identifying chemicals that are potentially thyroid disrupting and prioritizing these chemicals for further testing. To do this EPA scientists are developing 3D thyroid microtissues and other human-relevant models to better evaluate the potential health impacts of thyroid disrupting chemicals.
With cutting-edge research, the agency is leading the charge to test chemicals for their potential to disrupt the thyroid system. EPA scientists are finding innovative ways to identify hazardous chemicals to protect human health and the environment.