Cosmetic Testing on Animals
Every year, millions of animals suffer and die in painful
tests to determine the safety of cosmetics. Substances such as eye
shadow and soap are tested on rabbits, rats, guinea pigs, dogs, and
other animals, despite the fact that the test results don’t help
prevent or treat human illness or injury.
Cosmetics are not required to be tested on animals and since
non-animal alternatives exist, it’s hard to understand why some
companies still continue to conduct these tests. Cosmetic companies
kill millions of animals every year to try to make a profit.
According to the companies that perform these tests, they are done to
establish the safety of a product and the ingredients. However, the
Food and Drug Administration (FDA) which regulates cosmetic products,
does not require animal testing. Some of the tests used on animals are
eye irritancy tests, acute toxicity tests, and skin irritancy tests.
In eye irritancy tests, a liquid, flake, granule, or powdered
substance is dropped into the eyes of a group of albino rabbits. The
animals are often immobilized in stocks from which only their heads
protrude. They usually receive no anesthesia during the tests.
After placing the substance into the rabbits eyes, lab technicians
record the damage to the eye tissue at specific intervals over an
average period of 72 hours. The tests sometimes last seven to eighteen
days. Reactions to the substances include swollen eyelids,
ulceration, bleeding, swollen irises massive deterioration, and
blindness. During the tests, rabbits eyelids are usually held open
with clips, because of this, many animals try to break their necks as
they try to escape.
Acute toxicity tests, commonly called lethal dose or poisoning
tests, determine the amount of a substance that will kill a
percentage, even up to one-hundred percent, of a group of test
animals. In these tests, a substance is forced by tube into the
animals stomach or through holes cut in their throats. Experimenters
observe the animals reactions which can include convulsions, labored
breathing, malnutrition, skin eruptions, and bleeding from the eyes,
nose, or mouth. The test was developed in 1927 and the testing
continues until at least fifty percent of the animals die (usually
takes 2-4 weeks). Like eye irritancy...