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An overview of the dangers of animal experimentation in the cosmetics field

DONATE Experimentation of cosmetics and household products Animal testing for the production of cosmetics is one of the fields in which animals are used. It involves the deaths of millions of animals in different countries who are harmed in many different ways in the process.

Rabbits, guinea pigs, mice and rats are commonly used for animal testing. They are burned, mutilated, poisoned and gassed, and if they manage to survive the process, they are either killed so their bodies can be studied or else they are subjected to the same torment all over again.

Why does this occur? Animal testing for cosmetics production occurs mainly because every year thousands of new cosmetic and household products come on the market. In a lot of countries, all these new cosmetics are tested on animals. Sometimes it is the final products that are tested, and other times the individual ingredients used in them.

But companies compete with each other by introducing new options for the public to try every year. So with a continuously changing market, this is a never-ending process, continuing the suffering and death of animals used to test their products. In the European Union, India and some other places, both using animal testing for cosmetics and selling products that have been tested elsewhere is currently banned.

This means that, at least in theory, every cosmetic product you can buy there will not have been tested on animals. This is important as about half of the global cosmetics market is in the European Union. Animal testing for cosmetics is a field in which we are seeing progress being made towards ending the use of animals, which is important even though the number of animals killed for this purpose is small in comparison to the number killed for other reasons.

Despite this progress, in many parts of the world animals continue to be experimented on for cosmetics testing. Types of testing The procedures involving the use of animals vary, but it is common to test products on the mucous membranes, such as the eyes, which may end up burned.

Ban on Animal Testing

In other cases, the skin of the animal is burned, resulting in ulcers, bleeding and other injuries. The Draize Test The Draize test is used to measure the toxicity of a substance. An animal is restrained and the substance to be tested is applied to the skin or eye of the animal.

Clips may be used to hold the eyes of the animal open. The substance may be left on the skin or eye for up to 14 days as its effects are monitored. Draize tests can cause ulceration, hemorrhaging, cloudiness in vision, and blindness. Some animals, such as rabbits who are commonly used in Draize testsproduce fewer tears than humans and therefore undergo extreme pain in these experiments. This can be to test for the effects of the chemical on organs such as the lungs, liver, heart, or nervous system.

During these tests animals may be force-fed the chemical that is being tested, the chemical may be injected directly into them, or the animal may be placed in a tube as in the case of mice, for example and forced to an overview of the dangers of animal experimentation in the cosmetics field the substance. Studies of this kind use mice as well as animals such as dogs. These tests cause a great deal of suffering to the animals forced to endure them due to handling, restraint, force-feeding and the horrific effects of some chemicals.

Animals suffer from convulsions, seizures, paralysis and death during such experiments. This can be done by putting the rabbit into a restraint, shaving part of the fur on her back and placing the chemical on this shaved region. This area is then covered with a gauze patch for several hours. The patch is then taken off and the degree of skin damage or irritation is measured.

This may continue for as long as 14 days, and during this time painkillers may not be administered to the rabbits. These tests are often not useful, because the measurement of the damage the chemical has caused is highly subjective.

These tests cause ulcers, scaling and inflammation. Chemicals are judged by the damage done to the skin which is highly subjective, and often results from these tests are not useful. These tests may also be useless due to the large physiological differences between humans and the animals used in the experiments. Toxicokinetics These experiments are used to determine the speed at which toxic chemicals move through the body.

Certain chemicals become more toxic as the body metabolizes them.

Experimentation of cosmetics and household products

An animal may be dosed with a chemical through force-feeding, inhalation or injection. Blood samples are taken periodically and the animal is inevitably killed. Differences in species physiology and liver enzymes often render the results of these experiments useless for extrapolation to humans. In these tests, chemicals are used to induce the growth of tumors in test animals. The chemical that is being examined is placed on the skin of the animal, inhaled or administered orally.

After two years the animal is killed and examined. The results of these tests can vary a great deal depending on the species and breeds of animals that are used. The chemical can be administered a variety of routes, depending on how it is expected that humans will come into contact with the substance.

The animals are usually dosed before and throughout their pregnancy.

Fact Sheet: Cosmetic Testing

Male animals are also dosed before mating. Pregnant animals are sometimes killed prior to giving birth and their fetuses are examined.

In other cases the chemical is administered to the children of the mother as well, and in some tests, to a second generation of animals. Mothers may be forced to have as many as twenty litters of children, which will also be subject to experimentation. Spontaneous abortion, premature delivery and birth defects are common.

Studies, which experiment on two generations of animals, can use more than 2,000 animals.

  • There is no requirement that these tests be done on animals;
  • Annex 2 , Brussels;
  • Animal experiments are cruel, unreliable, and even dangerous;
  • The same provisions are contained in the Cosmetics Regulation , which replaced the Cosmetics Directive as of 11 July 2013.

These tests often do not provide useful information for the realm of human medicine due to the large differences in the reproductive cycles and lives of the animals used in these experiments, and due to the genetic similarity of the animals used, which is not reflected in the human population. These include some companies that have an ethical approach and oppose the use of animals for this purpose.

They also include companies whose aim is only economic. This growing market shows that progress is being made in spreading the idea that we should care about nonhuman animals.

In addition, there have been companies that have decided to give up animal testing after campaigns in defense of animals have been carried out. These companies include the following: Companies that test on animals There are also companies that do not carry out animals testing themselves, but nevertheless use ingredients in their products that have been tested on animals by other companies. There are also companies that do not test their products on animals but some of their ingredients are of animal origin.

This happened because the authorities in China used to require companies that sell cosmetics there to test them on animals. There now exist methods that are as effective as or even more effective than those that use animals.

Experimenting on animals

More importantly, engaging in such a practice requires disregarding the reasons to give moral consideration to animals and the arguments against speciesism. Some of these companies had not tested on animals for a long time, but began to do so in order to sell their products in China. They now do not need to do so and it remains to be seen what their policies will be in the future.

It is interesting to note, however, that some companies actually chose not to sell their products there and put pressure on the Chinese authorities to change the law before the ban on the requirement for animal experimentation was passed. The company LUSH did this. But, contrary to what is sometimes thought, there is not a legal requirement that products sold in the United States be tested on animals. In the United States there is often confusion about this because companies that use animals for cosmetics testing often protest that they are obliged to do so.

European Cooperation

Actually, they are not. The only requirement of the Food and Drug Administration FDA is that the products be tested to certify that they are safe through toxicity tests.

  1. Other approaches Other approaches to animal experiments One writer suggests that we can cut out a lot of philosophising about animal experiments by using this test.
  2. Rabbits, guinea pigs, mice and rats are commonly used for animal testing. It may seem that animal experimentation is particularly unacceptable for testing cosmetics, because this is a goal that many people would deem trivial.
  3. Testing ban — prohibition to test finished cosmetic products and cosmetic ingredients on animals; Marketing ban — prohibition to market finished cosmetic products and ingredients in the EU which were tested on animals.

There is no requirement that these tests be done on animals. This is a list of companies that do test on animals: Methods of testing not using animals In cosmetics testing there is a great number of standardized methods that do not involve the use of animals in laboratories.

There are companies dedicated to that end, like CeeTox. This is due largely to the situation in the European Union, where cosmetic companies have had a lot of time to develop their testing methods. Information can also be gathered by the use of population studies, from previous studies and from decades of research that has already been done.

  1. Blood samples are taken periodically and the animal is inevitably killed. Ban on Animal Testing The Cosmetics Directive provides the regulatory framework for the phasing out of animal testing for cosmetics purposes.
  2. These tests cause a great deal of suffering to the animals forced to endure them due to handling, restraint, force-feeding and the horrific effects of some chemicals. Male animals are also dosed before mating.
  3. The chemical that is being examined is placed on the skin of the animal, inhaled or administered orally. The Draize Test The Draize test is used to measure the toxicity of a substance.
  4. The Draize Test The Draize test is used to measure the toxicity of a substance.
  5. After two years the animal is killed and examined.

The ban in Europe has not had a negative impact on consumers but it has had a positive impact for animals. This measure could be applied to the rest of the world.

  • History of the ban Review of the 2013 implementation deadline of the marketing ban According to Article 4a 2;
  • We have 4 possible new drugs to cure HIV;
  • During these tests animals may be force-fed the chemical that is being tested, the chemical may be injected directly into them, or the animal may be placed in a tube as in the case of mice, for example and forced to inhale the substance.

It is mainly speciesism and economic interests that prevent bans on cosmetics testing from happening in other places today. The companies that sell cosmetics and household products lobby so that bans will not be enacted. A ban on animal testing would mean these companies would have to change the way they work, and it would cost them time and money.

Cruelty Free International

In the countries in which their lobby is strong enough and there is not significant pressure from the public, legislation to ban cosmetics testing on animals cannot be introduced.

In other cases, there is an inertia to keep using existing systems that prevents such laws from being introduced. It may seem that animal experimentation is particularly unacceptable for testing cosmetics, because this is a goal that many people would deem trivial.

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But this does not mean that other harms caused to animals in other areas of exploitation are acceptable. For more information you can check out our list of links with databases and resources about methods for experimenting that do not use animals. Further readings Abbott, A. More than a cosmetic change, Nature, 438, pp.

Alternatives to Animal Experimentation, 29, pp. EU regulatory decision making and the role of the United States, Hessen: Springer Fachmedien Wiesbaden, pp. Annex 2Brussels: European Commission [accessed on 23 April 2017]. Dilemmas of animal experimentation, New York: In order to launch into the Chinese market, at the moment the registration process requires that our products would have to be tested on animals. As our anti animal testing policy is such a core element to our business we will not do anything that would be a risk to this.