A proposed plan to screen about 15,000 commercial chemicals that may interact harmfully with the endocrine system could be one of the most ambitious and expensive such efforts ever. The first tier of the two-part plan would cost an estimated $200,000 per chemical for high throughput screening. Those screens would test chemicals for interactions with five endocrine receptors, including estrogen, androgen, and thyroid receptors. Chemicals testing positive would move on to the next level, which could cost up to $2 million apiece. Chemicals in that level would be tested in a variety of animal models for damage to reproduction and development.

A group of 39 scientists from government, academia, and industry drafted the plan, which was presented at the American Chemical Society's annual meeting in Boston last month. The Endocrine Disrupter Screening and Testing Advisory Committee (EDSTAC) was formed after 1996 amendments to the Food Quality Protection Act and Safe...

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