“Beauty without cruelty” is the outcry that can be heard from animal right activists around the world. The FDA does not require companies to perform tests on animals but if the cosmetic product contains chemicals that can be seen as toxins, testing becomes a necessity. There are currently thirteen safety tests that are performed on animals.
Anti-testing activists deem these unnecessary and consider them to be cruel. “Fourteen million animals are used currently in the U.S. to test toxicity and irritancy of cosmetics and household products” (Hannah). Many new forms of safety tests are being developed by companies to save money along with the lives of innocent animals.
There are three common safety test that are in use and considered to be the most
controversial. Among these are the Draize, LD50, and the skin irritancy test. The Draize test is a test of how a chemical effects irritation in the eye. This test is performed on rabbits who under controlled supervision have a chemical force into one of their eyes. The eyelid is then held shut to prevent the chemical from being flushed out. For the next couple of weeks the rabbits are tested for blindness and other damages that result. Besides being abusive, the test is imprecise given the fact that a rabbit eye is unlike the human eye in physical makeup. A rabbit eye lacks tear ducts to flush out foreign objects unlike humans who can produce tears to protect the eye.
The cornea in a rabbit eye is also much thinner and sensitive than a humans.
The LD50 is short for “lethal dose in 50 percent”. In this test the chemical being tested if force fed to rats or mice in small amounts until the dosage is in excess. This is continued until at least 50% of the test subjects die. Although the test rodent may not die right away, it may experience seizures and internal damage. This test is considered to be the most cruel of the tests and can only determine how much of a chemical substance is needed to kill a small animal not a human being.
In the skin irritancy test the chemical is applied directly onto...