Testing cosmetics on animals
Testing cosmetics on animals is a type of animal testing used to test the safety and hypoallergenic properties of products for use by humans. Because of the harm done to the animal subjects, this testing is opposed by animal rights activists and others. Cosmetic animal testing is banned in the European Union, India, Israel, and Norway.
- 1 Definition
- 2 Legal requirements and status
- 2.1 Places that have bans
- 2.2 Places where prohibitions are considered
- 2.3 Other statuses
- 3 Methods
- 4 Alternatives
- 5 Certification
- 6 Procedures of Animal Testing
- 7 See also
- 8 Notes
Using animal testing in the development of cosmetics may involve testing either a finished product or the individual ingredients of a finished product on animals, often rabbits, but also mice, rats, and other animals.
Re-using existing test data obtained from previous animal testing is generally not considered to be cosmetic testing on animals; however, the acceptability of this to opponents of testing is inversely proportional to how recent the data is.
Legal requirements and status
|This section is outdated. (December 2015)|
Due to the strong public backlash against cosmetic testing on animals, most cosmetic manufacturers say their products are not tested on animals. However, they are still required by trading standards and consumer protection laws in most countries to show their products are not toxic and not dangerous to public health, and that the ingredients are not dangerous in large quantities, such as when in transport or in the manufacturing plant. In some countries, it is possible to meet these requirements without any further tests on animals. In other countries, it may require animal testing to meet legal requirements. The United States and Japan are frequently criticized for their insistence on stringent safety measures, which often requires animal testing. Some retailers distinguish themselves in the marketplace by their stance on animal testing.
Legal Requirements In Japan
Although Japanese law doesn’t require non-medicated cosmetics to be tested on animals, it doesn’t prohibit it either, leaving the decision to individual companies. Animal testing is required mainly when the product contains newly-developed tar colors, ultraviolet ray protective ingredients or preservatives, and when the amount of any ingredient regulated in terms of how much can be added is increased.
Places that have bans
Brazil, São Paulo
The European Union (EU) followed suit, after it agreed to phase in a near-total ban on the sale of animal-tested cosmetics throughout the EU from 2009, and to ban cosmetics-related animal testing. Imported cosmetics ingredients tested on animals were phased out for EU consumer markets in 2013 by the ban, but can still be sold to outside of the EU. Norway banned cosmetics animal testing the same time as the EU.
In early 2014, India announced a ban on testing cosmetics on animals in the country, thereby becoming the second country in Asia to do so. Later India banned import of cosmetics tested on animals in November 2014.
Israel banned "the import and marketing of cosmetics, toiletries or detergents that were tested on animals" in 2013.
Turkey "banned any animal testing for cosmetic products that have already been introduced to the market." 
Animal testing on cosmetics or their ingredients was banned in the UK in 1998.
Places where prohibitions are considered
Association of Southeast Asian Nations
In Australia, the End Cruel Cosmetics Bill will be introduced to Parliament in March 2014, which would ban local testing, which generally doesn't happen there, and importation of cosmetics tested on animals.
Brazil's legislation will vote on a nationwide animal testing for cosmetics ban by the end of March 2014.
In March 2014, the Humane Cosmetics Act was introduced to the U.S. congress which would ban cosmetic testing on animals and eventually would ban the sale of cosmetics tested on animals.
South Korea are also potentially "making strides toward ending cosmetics testing on animals."
Taiwan has launched a bill proposing a ban on cosmetic testing on animals.
China passed a law on 30 June 2014 to ban the requirement of animal testing on cosmetics in China. Though animal testing on domestically produced ordinary products of China cosmetic goods do not require testing, animal testing may be tested on cosmeceutical products. Exported goods before the law have never been required, which is why China is a large root of where cosmetic companies are located. China's requirement ban of animal testing has created a great amount of difference for over a dozen countries to re-evaluate their future plans for the guidelines of animal testing requirements.
In 2013, the Russian Ministry of Health stated "Toxicological testing is performed by means of testing for skin allergic reaction or test on mucous tissue/eye area (with use of lab animals) or by use of alternative general toxicology methods (IN VITRO). In this manner the technical regulations include measures which provide an alternative to animal testing".
Methods of testing cosmetics on animals include many different tests that are categorized differently based on which areas the cosmetics will be used for.
Draize test: This is a method of testing that may cause irritation or corrosion to the skin or eye on animals (e.g. Draize test), dermal sensitization, airway sensitization, endocrine disruption, and LD50 (which refers to the lethal dose which kills 50% of the treated animals).
Acute toxicity: This test is used to determine danger of exposure to a chemical by mouth, skin, or inflammation. Rats and mice are injected in lethal does 50 (LD50). This test can cause animal convulsions, loss of motor function, and seizures.
Skin corrosivity or irritation: This method of test assesses the potential of a substance causing irreversible damage to the skin. It is typically performed on rabbits and involves putting chemicals on a shaved patch of skin. This determines the level of damage to the skin that includes itching, inflammation, swelling, etc.
Skin sensitisation: This is a method that determines if a chemical causes an allergic reaction. The chemical adjuvant is injected to boost the immune system. In the past it was performed on guinea pigs, and applied on a shaved patch of skin. Substances are assessed based on appearance of skin.
Dermal penetration: Rats are mostly used in this method that analyzes moment of a chemical, and the penetration of the chemical in the bloodstream. Dermal penetration is a method that creates a better understanding of skin absorption.
Cosmetics manufacturers who do not test on animals may now use in vitro screens to test for endpoints which can determine potential risk to humans with a very high sensitivity and specificity. Companies such as CeeTox in the USA , recently acquired by Cyprotex ,specialize in such testing and organizations like the Center for Alternatives to Animal Testing (CAAT), PETA and many other organizations advocate the use of in vitro and other non-animal tests in the development of consumer products. By using safe ingredients from a list of 5,000 which have already been tested in conjunction with modern methods of cosmetics testing, the need for tests using animals are negated.
Companies producing beauty and household products which do not to test their products on animals for any market can request membership of The Leaping Bunny Program which allows to feature Cruelty Free International's Leaping Bunny logo on their products. The program sets global standard of operations and sales. Certification can be obtained in the US from The Coalition for Consumer Information on Cosmetics (CCIC) In 2013 over 500 companies were certified. However, some company's certifications were revoked after it was discovered they continued to test on animals in Asia 
Procedures of Animal Testing
There is a strategy used in animal testing laboratories titled the ' Three R's:' Reduction, refinement, and replacement (Doke, "Alternatives to Animal Testing: A Review"). The approach of reduction is built upon the ethics to have a minimal number of animal subjects being tested on for current and later tests. Refinement suggests the planned distress and pain caused to an animal subject be as little as possible. Refinement focuses on making a home for the animals before entering testing grounds in order to elongate the life of laboratory animals. Discomfort to animals causes imbalance in hormonal levels which create fluctuating results during testing. Replacement provides the opportunity to study the response of cellular models, but in other words, replacement searches for alternatives that could be done otherwise than testing on animal subjects.
- Animal testing on invertebrates
- Animal testing on non-human primates
- Animal testing on rodents
- The Three Rs (animals)
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