Animal testing for cosmetics is used to test the safety of products for use by humans. Each year, more than 100 million animals are killed in U.S. laboratories for research (Source: Peta). While I am not completely against animal testing for the medical field, I like to proof, that animal testing for cosmetic and household products (such as household cleaning products), has become absolutely unnecessary!
Here are the top 6 reasons why animal testing for cosmetic is no longer necessary:
1. It is not required by law!
It is important to understand that the U.S. does not require animal testing for cosmetics. The Humane Society of the United States says, “Manufacturers of cosmetics do have the option of using non-animal methods to produce safety data.” But as animal testing has become a standard, accepted practice, manufacturers still use it as a convenient way to make sure they have the appropriate data to present in court in case of a lawsuit. In these litigious times, many companies continue to rely on animal testing as a legal safety net, even though it is not required by law.
2. Results of animal tests are not reliable!
Another important point why animal testing for cosmetics has become unnecessary is: Animal studies do not reliably predict human outcomes. Nine out of ten drugs that appear promising in animal studies go on to fail in human clinical trials. Obvious and subtle differences between humans and animals in terms of our physiology, anatomy, and metabolism make it difficult to apply data derived from animal studies to human conditions.
Animal tests also have scientific limitations because different species can respond differently when exposed to the same chemicals. Consequently, results from animal tests may not be relevant to humans, under- or over-estimating real-world hazards to people. In addition, results from animal tests can be quite variable and difficult to interpret. Unreliable and ineffective animal tests mean consumer safety cannot be guaranteed. In contrast, non-animal alternatives can combine human cell-based tests and sophisticated computer models to deliver human-relevant results in hours or days, unlike some animal tests that can take months or years (Source: American Anti-Vivisection Society).
3. Animal testing for cosmetic is more expensive then alternative methods!
Another great point to stop doing animal tests for cosmetics is that non-animal alternatives are also typically much more cost-effective than tests that use animals (Source: Humane Society of the United States).
4. Scientist developed many alternative methods to test the safety of products!
Scientists developed methods for studying diseases and testing products that replace animals and are actually relevant to human health. These modern methods include sophisticated tests using human cells and tissues (also known as in vitro methods), advanced computer-modeling techniques (often referred to as in silico models), and studies with human volunteers (Source: Peta). The Humane Society of the United States confirms, “There are a growing number of non-animal tests that can be used to assess the short-term safety of previously untested ingredients. Non-animal tests for longer term safety are under development.”
5. We already have thousands of safe ingredients that companies can use!
Companies can ensure the safety of their products by choosing to create them using the thousands of ingredients that have a long history of safe use. There are already many products on the market that are made using such ingredients. These ingredients have been safely used for decades or have been tested in the past and don’t require new testing. This is how so many socially conscious companies have been able to swear off animal testing. (Source: Humane Society of the United States)
6. It is completely unethical and cruel to test cosmetic on animals!
Not only is animal testing unnecessary but also very cruel as you can see in the way testing is been done. The most frequently used animal tests for cosmetics include various versions of the Draize eye and skin irritancy tests, and the LD-50 test. All of these tests were designed in the mid-1900s and have long been criticized for their cruelty and subjectivity. The Draize tests attempt to measure the potential harmfulness of chemicals to humans by observing the damage they cause to the eyes and skin of animals. In the Draize test for eye irritancy, various concentrations of products are applied directly into the animals’ eyes, which can cause intense burning, itching and pain. In the Draize tests for skin irritancy, test substances are applied to shaved and abraded skin, which is then covered with plastic sheeting. The Humane Society International writes: “It is also extremely unpleasant and painful, causing eye reddening, swelling, ulceration, even blindness, or skin cracking and bleeding.”
Another test commonly done is the LD-50 test, which is used to measure the acute toxicity levels of certain ingredients on live animals. LD-50 stands for Lethal Dose 50 Percent-the amount of concentration of a substance that will kill half of a test group of animals within a specified time period when that substance is forcibly ingested, inhaled or otherwise exposed to an animal (Source: NEAVS).
Animal testing for cosmetic and household products is not necessary anymore since it is not required by law, animal studies are not a reliable source, it is more expensive then alternative methods, we found many alternative methods to test cosmetics,we have already an extensive list of safe ingredients and lastly because it is cruel and unethical.
Cosmetics animal testing is already banned across the European Union, Norway, Israel and India (Source: Humane Society International, 2014) and I think our government here in the U.S. (and the rest of the world of course too) should ban this as well.
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