The TiPED Tiers are organized from predictive computer-based models through cell and tissue tests, to whole animal, lifetime assessments with the goal of identifying chemicals with endocrine disrupting potential early in the synthetic and testing process.
One can enter the TiPED system where one wants or needs to. There are a number of situations where a chemist or an engineer will want to have insight into the potential of a molecule for endocrine disruption. It could be at the design stage, before synthesis, when drawing hypothetical structures on a chalk board. It could be after having synthesized for the first time a new molecule. Or it could be for using a known molecule for a particular application.
This linear approach to TiPED is the most logical and economic from a new chemical design perspective, but one may start elsewhere in the system; i.e. if one has a new chemical already in hand, one might want to start at Tier 4, with a battery of fish assays to get a relatively fast overall toxicity assessment. If problems are revealed here, one could then go on to test in other tiers to reveal causal mechanisms of the problems, and either re-design the molecule or choose to use a molecule that tests as safer.
The bottom line is that TiPED is not a one-size fits all tool kit; what a chemist wants to know, how high a degree of certainty s/he demands, whether one wants to isolate an EDC mechanism of action and design it out of a molecule – these and other specifics will determine the TiPED test program one can use.
Chemists are not toxicologists – to use TiPED they will need expert partners. We have laid out guiding principles for chemists to evaluate the science around testing for EDCs, for evaluating partner labs who offer to do these tests and to evaluate the individual tests you are being offered. Doing this level of science requires specific expertise.The tests are not free (costs can vary from $5,000 to $500,000 depending on the level and scale at which one wants to have tests performed). Neither TiPED nor its scientific advisors are responsible for test results.
TiPED has been created by a team of scientists and experts in a wide range of fields. Our goal was to lay out the necessary tools that a chemist would need to measure potential EDC activity. If interested in developing a TiPED test strategy, please call: (434-466-2255) or email firstname.lastname@example.org.