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This keynote speech provides an overview of the plant test data submitted in the past ten years to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). Only 155 of 12 403 Premanufacture Notices required for new chemicals contained plant data. Most of these notices (149) contained only algal data. An additional 23 algal assays were required for existing chemicals subject to test rules and testing consent orders. Plant test data from over 400 studies (again mostly algal) were also submitted in response to information gathering rules. The plant data, while less frequently submitted than fish or aquatic invertebrate data, demonstrated that the algal assay is a good tool for screening chemicals for toxicity. However, whether or not this test adequately screens chemicals for phytotoxicity is questioned. The use and limitations of plant data in risk assessment are also discussed along with the need for standardization and validation of plant test methods.
Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), plant testing, phytotoxicity, risk assessment, algal assay, screening
Section Chief, Office of Toxic Substances, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, DC