Posts Tagged ‘cosmetics’

Animal Testing and The Cosmetic Industry

December 17, 2010 1 comment

*It’s important to note that not all cosmetic companies engage in animal testing.  For a list of companies that do and do not engage in animal testing please visit Peta for comprehensive lists

Tis the season to be jolly; not for the animals that are used as test subjects for the cosmetic industry. While doing your holiday shopping this season I urge you to think about the potential gifts you buy for your loved ones.  More specifically think about the way the product came to fruition.  Products such as cosmetics often used archaic testing methods such as the Draize test to determine the potential reaction a human user would have to the product.  What is a Draize test you ask?  According to an article published on the Scientific American website, “the test involves applying a small amount of the substance under study to an animal’s eye or skin for several hours, and then observing whether or not irritation occurs over the following week or two. In most cases the animal subjects—usually albino rabbits bred for the lab—are put to death after the sometimes maiming and often painful test” (Scientific American, August, 2009).  To me the words albino rabbits, painful test and put to death shouldn’t be found in the same sentence.

The Effects of a Draize Test

The Draize test is just one of a multitude of tests that can legally be performed on animals.  Other tests include Acute Toxicity and Repeated Dose Toxicity tests.  Acute Toxicity testing is used to “determine the danger of exposure to a chemical by mouth, skin, or inhalation. For decades, acute toxicity testing meant poisoning large numbers of animals in Lethal Dose 50 (LD50) tests, which are conducted until at least one half of the test animals die” (American Anti-Vivisection Society).  Unlike the Acute Toxicity test where the test animal is given a single dose to determine toxicity the Repeated Dose Toxicity tests looks to determine long-term effects and enable the evaluation of organ damage by giving repeated doses.  Rodents are not the only test subjects used for AT and the RDT tests, dogs may also be required to be used by some regulating agency’s.

As stated earlier there is a multitude of tests that are, can and will be conducted on test animals of various species that are perfectly legal and deadly.  I urge you the consumer and you the compassionate human being to visit sites like the American Anti-Vivisection Society to educate yourself before you buy.  Remember compassion starts in your heart animal testing stops with your wallet!