Talk:Draize test

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Archive 1

pH values[edit]

The pH values in "Rabbits are more susceptible to damage (alkaline) materials, because the pH of their aqueous humor is .82 compared to .71-.73 for man" are wrong. I think this might be 8.2 and 7.1, but a pH of less than 1.0 is that of a strong, corrosive acid. This should be either corrected from the original source or removed. Tim Vickers (talk) 19:50, 13 December 2007 (UTC)

I'll remove it, since in the talk page archive there is a comment making exactly the same point from two years ago. Tim Vickers (talk) 19:52, 13 December 2007 (UTC)

Identifying the players[edit]

I know this is a contentious issue and most of the people who are interested in it already have their own opinions, but listing this explicitly as an animal rights issue is already giving a certain spin to it.

I'm not editing anything, I have a pro-testing bias (as you might have guessed), and I want to get some consensus before starting a firestorm.

Some thoughts:

"Antivivisectionist" description of the test vs. "Pro-testing" description of the test. Following the "pro-choice" and "pro-life" types of statements, each group's position should probably be headed explicitly by the term preferred by that group. Pro-vivisectionist sounds rather inflammatory to me.

(Continued in new section so people can reply to one or the other)Somedumbyankee (talk) 07:20, 20 December 2007 (UTC)

Data presentation[edit]

The thing on underprediction is not stated very clearly, and including this data under a section labeled "Allegations that the evaluations are unreliable" seems misleading.

It seems like a pretty solid safety test to me, since there's only an 0.01% chance of missing something aggressively harmful and a relatively high chance of detecting any significant irritant. The test is, however, lousy at telling a strong irritant from a mild irritant. For such a tiny number of subjects (1-4 rabbits), that's pretty solid. Chances are that a cosmetic isn't going to be used if it's either, and drugs have many more hurdles yet to clear (i.e. at least 3 phases of human testing).

Current language:

"A 2004 study by the U.S. Scientific Advisory Committee on Alternative Toxicological Methods reported that, using the modern Draize skin test, the "underprediction of an irritant as a mild irritant ranged from 10.3% to 38.7%, an irritant as a non-irritant ... from 0% to 0.01%, [and] a mild irritant as a nonirritant ... from 3.7% to 5.5%." [7] (pdf)."

Proposed language (see page 25 of the source):

"A 2004 study by the U.S. Scientific Advisory Committee on Alternative Toxicological Methods analyzed the modern Draize skin test. They found that the test would:

  • Misidentify a serious irritant as safe: 0-0.01%
  • Misidentify a mild irritant as safe: 3.7%-5.5%
  • Misidentify a serious irritant as a mild irritant: 10.3%-38.7%[7]"

If there are no objections to these changes by 21Dec07 or so, I'll make them.

I'd also like to add an "executive summary" of the data.

"In short, the test will identify around 95% of possible irritants and nearly all seriously dangerous substances, but isn't very good at determining how irritating the substance is."

This statement should be reviewed by someone who is against the test, since it's more conclusive than the raw numbers. I will not add it until I receive some sort of feedback on it.Somedumbyankee (talk) 07:20, 20 December 2007 (UTC)


The test means applied to around or directly on the eye. Which one? Ginbot86 (talk) 21:35, 5 August 2008 (UTC)

Image Caption[edit]

I changed the image caption to reflect that it's a PETA-owned snapshot. With no smear intended against the organization, PETA is obviously one of the warring parties on this issue and is therefore an inherently POV source of material. This is reflected in the article via the separate sections for both POVs. The caption lacked the same acknowledgment that the material was generated by one of the POVs in the debate as opposed to being generated by a peer-reviewed news service or some other neutral WP:RS.

Secondly, while closely considering this issue, I am actually rather concerned about the image itself; I have not read or seen any research or even commentary by any expert in the field as to whether or not that actually would be a plausible image of a rabbit undergoing a Draize test. I was tempted to simply say "Looks legit", but the reality is that my opinion isn't valuable here and neither is any other editor's and we need to run on facts. This isn't like the poor monkey with the electrode in it's brain, because the photo shows nothing other than a rabbit with inflamed eyes. Nothing that provides a smoking gun. Rabbits can develop inflamed eyes for many, many reasons. Therefore we're essentially forced to accept a party's claim against their ideological enemy at face value and without any kind of corroboration. I'm not at all comfortable with that. Even the good guys are capable of propaganda. Bullzeye (Ring for Service) 09:45, 6 January 2009 (UTC)

IMHO, we should probably exclude that picture here, or include a picture of the same test provided by Laboratories as well ... (talk) 23:07, 7 April 2009 (UTC)

Source needed[edit]

The following section needs a source.

Ophthalmologist Stephen R. Kaufman argues that the test is scientifically unsound and inapplicable to clinical situations. "As a Chief Resident, I have three years of experience at Bellevue Hospital (an Eye Trauma Center), where I have treated scores of toxic eye injuries in the emergency room. I have never used Draize data to assist the care of a patient... I know of no case in which another ophthalmologist found Draize data useful." He argues that rabbits are used because they have large eyes, are easy to handle, and are inexpensive. But he points to what he says are significant differences between rabbits' eyes and human eyes:[1] [not in citation given]
  • The rabbit epithelial (surface) layer is 10 times more permeable to hydrophilic solutes than the human eye.
  • Bowman's membrane (the next layer) is six times thicker in man.
  • The rabbit's threshold of pain in the eye is much higher than that of humans, so irritating substances are not washed away as readily.
  • Rabbits have a less efficient tearing system than humans.
  • Unlike people, rabbits have a nictitating (winking) membrane (third eyelid), which has an unclear effect on elimination of foreign materials.
  • Humans develop corneal epithelial vacuoles in response to some toxic substances, but rabbits do not.
  • The rabbit mean corneal thickness is .37 mm, while that of man is .51 mm.
  • The cornea represents 25% of the rabbit eye surface area, but only 7% of the surface area in man.

The source provided does not appear to exist, which was why I removed it in the first place. The "letter" is also an utterly ridiculous bit of propaganda, since the purpose of Draize testing is not to provide information for ophthalmologists, but to provide information for toxicologists. It is not supposed "to assist the care of a patient" and he knows it. But then again, what do you expect from PCRM but completely misleading information. Rockpocket 02:34, 30 June 2009 (UTC)

RP, would you mind not posting commentary? I could easily say things like, "What do you expect from vivisectionists but propaganda?" but there's no point. What matters is that the sources are qualified and they strongly disagree. What Kaufman is saying is that he has never found Draize test data useful, even though he has dealt with cases of toxic substances ending up in eyes.
I added a webcitation for the link that had died. What is it exactly that is not in the source? SlimVirgin talk|contribs 02:48, 30 June 2009 (UTC)
The source cited now contains the material it supports.
I don't have a problem with using Kaufman as a source for the differences between the human and rabbit eyes (something he should know about), but I strongly object to us repeating PCRM propaganda about his role as a "Chief Resident". This is what PCRM do, they use their position as physicians to assert false authority over something they have no expertise in. If you want an expert opinion on the value of Draize, cite a toxicologist - the people that use the data - do not cite an ophthalmologist. The reason he knows of "no case in which another ophthalmologist found Draize data useful" is because the data is not useful to ophthalmologists. Its purpose is not to tell us about eyes, it tells about toxicity of compounds. That quote is purposely and perniciously misleading and its shameful that we repeat it in a serious article. Its like saying there is no case in which an ophthalmologist finds cold fission data useful and then using that as a criticism of cold fission. Really, really terrible. Rockpocket 06:49, 30 June 2009 (UTC)
For comparison, here is a much more neutral and responsible way of incorporating Kaufman's criticisms. Rather than repeat his argument from authority, these authors note his opinion "from the perspective of an opthamologist." Rockpocket 07:04, 30 June 2009 (UTC)
RP, someone added that Professor X was a Nobel-prize-winning etc etc, and then I think you placed his comments in giant quotation marks. So it's not only PCRM who does this kind of thing. And Kaufman is talking about toxicity when he says he's never found the data useful.
I could just as easily pick apart other sources. For example, the claim that substances are only tested if already known not to cause pain or a serious adverse reaction (how could that be known if not through testing?) raises the question as to why those substances need to be tested at all. Or are the sources in fact just playing with words, i.e. they've defined the way they use those words to allow them to say it causes no pain (special definition) and no serious adverse reaction (special definition). Then I could ask why we're using such unintelligent sources. SlimVirgin talk|contribs 07:13, 30 June 2009 (UTC)

The Home Office not a neutral source. SlimVirgin talk|contribs 07:52, 30 June 2009 (UTC)

You decline to note, however, that I also removed "Professor X was a Nobel-prize-winning..." for the very same reason. Appeals to false authority work both ways, he didn't win a Nobel Prize for toxicology testing, so its not relevant. I notice you didn't revert that particular edit at the same time you reverted Kaufman's claims. Works both ways? Anyway, that entire quote can be removed now, as far as I am concerned because the Home Office guidelines tell us the same information straight from the horses mouth.
You say The Home Office not a neutral source; but what exactly does that mean? Its the best source to support their own guidelines (which is what it is being used for). There are no POV claims made, only what is and what is not legally mandated by the Home Office in the UK. How is neutrality even an issue for that?
If you are going to "pick apart" so-called "unintelligent" sources, its probably best starting by picking apart what they actually say. You are seriously, though I hope not purposefully, misrepresenting the source. The Home Office does not "claim that substances are only tested if already known not to cause pain or a serious adverse reaction". They state that compounds with known chemical properties that are known to cause pain (such as corrosives, acids or alkalies) should not be tested. There are, however, plenty of substances that do not have known chemical properties, and those are the ones that are tested. Rockpocket 01:18, 1 July 2009 (UTC)
The Home Office supports animal testing. It's fine to use as a source, but it shouldn't be portrayed as a neutral one. There are no neutral sources that I'm aware of. The problem was only that you used it outside the "pro" and "anti" framework to give a description of the test, which implied it was a neutral description. SlimVirgin talk|contribs 01:43, 1 July 2009 (UTC)
It is a neutral description of their guidelines. It offers no description, one way or another, of any particular test. It simply states what is legally required in the UK. There is a difference between describing a test and describing mandated guidelines for that test. One is subjective, the other is not. Rockpocket 02:28, 1 July 2009 (UTC)
Under the regulations header, it is fine, but you had it under "description," as though it was a neutral description of the test. It's fine where it is. SlimVirgin talk|contribs 02:46, 1 July 2009 (UTC)

Unsourced info in lead, dubious?[edit]

"The Draize Test is an acute toxicity test devised in 1944 by Food and Drug Administration (FDA) toxicologists John H. Draize and Jacob M. Spines. Initially used for testing cosmetics, the procedure involves applying 0.5mL or 0.5g of a test substance to the eye or skin of a restrained, conscious animal, and leaving it for four hours.[1]"

^ Carbone, Larry. What Animals Want: Expertise and Advocacy in Laboratory Animal Welfare Policy. Oxford University Press, 2004, p. 63, used as a source for "conscious and restrained."

You can view the page sourcing this in question here. On that page you will notice nothing saying the chemical is applied for 4 hours. What I have heard of the Draize test is that the chemical is left in for anywhere between a couple of seconds to a few minutes, and then rinsed out, and the rabbit observed immediately, and then at progressively longer intervals. What would be the purpose in leaving a burning chemical in a rabbits eye for 4 hours? No human is going to get something in their eye for 4 hours and just leave it there stinging and burning their eyes without washing it out. I am going to remove this until this is clarified and a source to back it up. AerobicFox (talk) 07:02, 31 January 2011 (UTC)

The footnote says explicitly which part Carbone was used as a source for. SlimVirgin TALK|CONTRIBS 07:15, 31 January 2011 (UTC)
I am sorry that I linked to the wrong page, but I am unsure how to link it to page 63. If you scroll down to page 63 though you will see what I was trying to refer to. It mentions the part about being restrained and conscious, but does not mention being left in for 4 hours. AerobicFox (talk) 07:30, 31 January 2011 (UTC)
I agree. I was only pointing out that the footnote makes that clear. It says "used as a source for 'conscious and restrained.'" Carbone was never intended as a source for the four hours edit. SlimVirgin TALK|CONTRIBS 07:35, 31 January 2011 (UTC)
I'm sorry. I misunderstood your attempt to direct readers to the right page as believing that I was reading the wrong page. AerobicFox (talk) 07:45, 31 January 2011 (UTC)