A Next-Generation Risk Assessment Case Study for Coumarin in Cosmetic Products

Authors: Baltazar MT, Cable S, Carmichael PL, Cubberley R, Cull T, Delagrange M, Dent MP, Hatherell S, Houghton J, Kukic P, Li H, Lee M-Y, Malcomber S, Middleton AM, Moxon TE, Nathanail AV, Nicol B, Pendlington R, Reynolds G, Reynolds J, White A, Westmoreland C.
Publisher/Year: Toxicol Sci. 2020;176(1):236-252
Pub Med ID/Journal ID: 32275751


Next-Generation Risk Assessment is defined as an exposure-led, hypothesis-driven risk assessment approach that integrates new approach methodologies (NAMs) to assure safety without the use of animal testing. These principles were applied to a hypothetical safety assessment of 0.1% coumarin in face cream and body lotion. For the purpose of evaluating the use of NAMs, existing animal and human data on coumarin were excluded. Internal concentrations (plasma Cmax) were estimated using a physiologically based kinetic model for dermally applied coumarin. Systemic toxicity was assessed using a battery of in vitro NAMs to identify points of departure (PoDs) for a variety of biological effects such as receptor-mediated and immunomodulatory effects (Eurofins SafetyScreen44 and BioMap Diversity 8 Panel, respectively), and general bioactivity (ToxCast data, an in vitro cell stress panel and high-throughput transcriptomics). In addition, in silico alerts for genotoxicity were followed up with the ToxTracker tool. The PoDs from the in vitro assays were plotted against the calculated in vivo exposure to calculate a margin of safety with associated uncertainty. The predicted Cmax values for face cream and body lotion were lower than all PoDs with margin of safety higher than 100. Furthermore, coumarin was not genotoxic, did not bind to any of the 44 receptors tested and did not show any immunomodulatory effects at consumer-relevant exposures. In conclusion, this case study demonstrated the value of integrating exposure science, computational modeling and in vitro bioactivity data, to reach a safety decision without animal data.