A validated search filter for the identification of endocrine disruptors based on the ECHA/EFSA guidance recommendations.
Escrivá, L., et.al., Environment International, (2020), V. 142, p. 105828
A guidance document for the identification of endocrine disruptors (EDs) in the regulatory assessment of plant protection products (PPP) and biocidal products (BP) has been published by the European Chemical Agency (ECHA) and the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA). The ECHA/EFSA guidance, mainly addressing EATS (estrogen, androgen, thyroid, steroidogenesis) modalities, is intended to guide applicants and assessors of the competent regulatory authorities on the implementation of the scientific criteria for the determination of ED properties pursuant to the recently implemented PPP (EU 2018/605) and BP (EU 2017/2100) EU Regulations. In this study, a search filter for targeted literature search in context of assessing if a substance can be identified as an ED relevant for human health was developed and validated. Development of the search filter was based on the search strategy presented in the ECHA/EFSA guidance and using the estrogenic chemical Bisphenol AF (BPAF) as a model substance. Information specialists from two independent institutions developed refined search filters based on the suggested original search strategy published (ECHA/EFSA guidance - Appendix F). Articles identified by a systematic literature search for BPAF were screened for relevance with inclusion and exclusion criteria by two independent reviewers obtaining positive (relevant) and negative (irrelevant) controls. The developed search filter was quantitatively evaluated in terms of sensitivity, specificity and precision based on the positive and negative controls. The developed filter was then validated for T modality by its application to the known thyroid-disruptor perchlorate. The result is a sensitive search filter with sufficient specificity, which can be applied for all chemicals where a targeted literature search is needed to assess and identify ED properties of chemicals with relevance for humans. Future application of the filter to a broader range of chemicals may identify further points of improvement.