The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) in the implementation of its Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) Regulations, seeks to evaluate chemicals for their permeability through skin. ECHA also has a goal to reduce testing of chemicals using animals, or in vitro research. The alternative is to use computer modeling to predict skin permeability. This “in silico” research is in a developmental stage. The EU Joint Research Center (JRC) has listed several computational models designed to predict skin permeability of chemicals. The methods and data sets described are meant to support development of improved chemical permeability models. Currently the EU bans the sale of cosmetics tested by means of research on animals after March 2013. With computer modeling supported by appropriate in vitro testing the use of chemicals in cosmetics, pharmaceuticals and in general can be made safer.
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