Developmental neurotoxicity considerations for food additive safety
94Developmental exposures to chemicals have the potential to induce adverse neurobehavioral effects. Developmental neurotoxicity testing (DNT) has added value to a risk or safety assessment by assessing the potential risk of chemical exposure to induce such effects in humans. In particular, DNT testing can provide relevant safety information for food additives and other chemicals that are intended for use by individuals during early life stages. In this chapter, we summarized the events that led to the establishment of the various current regulatory DNT guidelines, including international collaborative efforts that validated the reliability and sensitivity of measurements used to test for DNT potential. We also reviewed the current approach to DNT testing used by the US EPA and the US FDA CFSAN. We highlighted the underlying reasons why the nervous system is especially sensitive to chemical toxicity during early life stages. We then followed this discussion with an overview of the behavioral assays and histological assessments commonly used in DNT testing, including some of the current challenges and future directions.