Source: http://pandgkills.com/facts/cosmetic_testing.htmlHidden Ingredient: Animal Suffering
Since cosmetic and household products and ingredients are not required to be tested on animals and since non-animal alternatives exist, it is difficult to understand why companies continue to conduct these cruel tests. Institutional inertia seems to be at work, caused in part by technicians, researchers, and industry legal departments who blindly cling to the customary but outdated methods of the past.
It is important to understand that some companies make misleading claims about this complicated issue. A company that tests on animals may claim it no longer uses the Draize test, when in fact a very similar, equally cruel test is being performed under a different name. Also, some companies publicize that they have put large amounts of money into efforts to find alternatives to animal testing. However, viable humane alternatives already exist and are being used by hundreds of companies to make safe and effective cosmetic and household products.
Cosmetics and household product companies kill millions of animals every year in pursuit of profit. Product tests are performed on items from shampoo to laundry detergents. The animals who suffer and die in these laboratories range from rabbits to mice. According to companies that perform such tests, they are done to establish the safety of products and ingredients. However, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC)--which regulates products such as detergents and cleaners--does not require animal testing, nor does the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) require animal testing for cosmetics. In reality, many viable non-animal tests exist.
The Draize Eye Irritancy Test is used to evaluate the ability of a test substance to cause damage to the tissues of the eye. Liquid, flake, granule and powdered substances are placed into the eyes of conscious rabbits. In a typical test, six to nine rabbits are held in stocks from which only their heads protrude so that they cannot dislodge the substance with a paw. Rabbits do not have tear ducts to clean the irritants away and they cannot blink their eyes for relief because clips are holding their eyes open. The rabbits often scream when the substance is applied and sometimes break their necks or backs in their efforts to escape the pain. They usually receive no anesthesia during the tests.
Reactions to the substances include swollen eyelids, inflamed irises, ulceration, bleeding, massive deterioration and blindness. When the test is done, the animals are killed or "recycled" into further tests, such as dermal toxicity tests.
Skin irritancy tests, such as the Draize 24-hour Patch Test and Dermal Toxicity tests, are conducted on rabbits, guinea pigs and other animals. The process involves placing chemicals on the animals' raw, shaved skin and covering the skin with adhesive plaster. The animals are immobilized in restraining devices to prevent them from struggling while laboratory workers apply the chemicals, which burn into the animals' skin.
Acute toxicity tests, commonly called Lethal Dose (LD) or poisoning tests, determine the amount of a substance that will kill part of a group of test animals. Animals are forced to ingest substances through stomach tubes, inhale substances as a vapor spray, have substances injected or have substances applied directly to exposed skin. Animals' reactions to toxicity tests include convulsions, vomiting, diarrhea, paralysis and bleeding from the eyes, nose, mouth or rectum. Sub-acute tests can last 28-90 days or longer. In chronic tests, animals are dosed daily for up to two years. To avoid interference with results, no painkillers are used.
Animal tests do not predict antidotes for product toxicity and do not keep toxic substances off the market. The LD tests do not accurately measure human health hazards. They only determine that the product is toxic to the animal it was tested on. In 1986, the industry-funded Johns Hopkins Center for Alternatives to Animal Testing stated, "The Draize test does not adequately reflect the degree of irritancy in humans." Moreover, LD test results can be affected by the age and gender of animals tested, their housing and nutritional conditions, temperature, and the exact method used to administer the substance. Also, different species react differently to various substances.
Alternatives to Animal Testing Exist
Non-animal tests that are more reliable and less expensive do exist. Alternatives to animals include the following: use of cell cultures, corneal and skin tissue cultures, corneas from eye banks, and sophisticated computer and mathematical models.
Companies can also use ingredients or combinations of ingredients that have already been proven safe by the Cosmetics, Toiletry and Fragrance Association, or use natural ingredients that are already known to be safe.
Since cosmetic and household products and ingredients are not required to be tested on animals and since alternatives exist, it is difficult to understand why companies continue to conduct these cruel tests. Institutional inertia seems to be at work, caused in part by technicians, researchers and industry legal departments that blindly cling to the customary but outdated methods of the past.
It is important to understand that some companies make misleading claims about this complicated issue. A company that tests on animals may claim it no longer uses the Draize test, when in fact a very similar, equally cruel test is being performed under a different name. Also, some companies publicize they have put large amounts of money into efforts to find alternatives to animal testing. However, humane alternatives already exist and are being used by hundreds of companies to make safe and effective cosmetic household products.
What you can do
1. Buy only cruelty-free products. Get in the habit of checking the backs of product labels to find out what company makes the product you are buying and look for statements that the product was not tested on animals. Encourage your friends and family members to support humane companies, as well.
2. Call and write any companies that currently test products on animals. Let them know you will not purchase their products until they adopt corporate policies against animal testing. Most companies have toll-free 800 numbers that you can call at the company’s expense!
3. Write letters to the editors of your local newspapers and weekly newspapers. Find a listing of all U.S. newspapers at: www.usnpl.com. Make sure to let us know if your letter gets printed. Below is a sample, though using your own words is strongly encouraged. For tips on effective letter-writing, visit: http://www.idausa.org/ir/activist/makenews.html#10.
≈ A comprehensive list of companies that are cruetly-free is available at http://www.leapingbunny.org/.
Curious to see which companies test on animals? Visit http://rabbitrecommended.com/2012/01/06 ... n-animals/.
Just a few large, well-known companies on that list...
- Aveeno (Johnson & Johnson)
Banana Boat Suncare (Playtext Products)
Band-Aid (Johnson & Johnson)
Covergirl cosmetics (Proctor & Gamble)
Gillette Co. (Proctor & Gamble)
Iams Pet Food (Proctor & Gamble)
Neutrogena (Johnson & Johnson)
Pledge (S.C. Johnson)
Windex (S.C. Johnson)