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The Physicians Committee



PCRM Asks Cosmetics Companies to Come Clean About Animal Testing

Thousands of rabbits suffer excruciating skin irritation and corrosion tests for cosmetic products and their ingredients each year. The Come Clean campaign asks companies to reveal if they perform these tests, so PCRM can help them transition to superior, cruelty-free alternatives.

PCRM scientists will work with companies that use animal tests and advise them on how to integrate nonanimal methods into their program in order to provide safer products for humans and to spare animals from suffering.

Skin irritation and corrosion tests involve placing chemicals on an animal’s skin to test for rash, inflammation, lesions, or other signs of skin damage. A chemical is applied to the shaved, bare skin of a restrained rabbit and left for four hours. Depending on the reaction, additional animals may be used. The skin is then observed for up to 14 days for irritation, which is reversible damage, or corrosion, which is irreversible skin damage.

Each species reacts differently to substances, so animal tests do not accurately predict how a chemical will affect human skin. Nonanimal test methods, on the other hand, are more accurate in predicting how a human will respond to an ingredient or product. Reconstructed human skin models can mimic the potential dangers a new cosmetic or personal care product might pose to human skin more accurately than animal tests.

The European Union has already banned animal testing of these products. An independent survey PCRM commissioned last year found that 61 percent of Americans believe that companies should not be allowed to test cosmetics and personal care products on animals. Seventy-two percent said that testing cosmetics on animals is unethical.

To learn more about ending cosmetics animal testing, visit PCRM.org/ComeClean.



 
 

rabbit used in cosmetics testing


PCRM Online,
July 2012

 
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