Animal Testing Essay Research Paper Considering the

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Animal Testing Essay, Research Paper Considering the furor raised about using animals for testing, are there alternatives to using such testing? What are the main tests that use animals and alternatives that would achieve similar results? There is a lot of controversy about using animals to test cosmetics. Animal rights organizations feel that it is unnecessary and uncalled for. The Food and Drug Administration have no law that cosmetics have to be tested on animals. The main reason cosmetic companies continue to use animals to test their products instead of the alternatives is because they are afraid of getting laws suites. The alternatives to animal testing have not yet been validated, therefore if they were taken to court they may not win the case if these alternatives

were used. If companies would recognize the consistency and validity of these products then maybe animal testing will not be needed. Two of the main tests that companies use are the Draize Test and the Irritancy Test. These tests are not needed because there are other tests that don’t use animals and give the same if not better results. The Draize Test is used to measure the harmfulness of the ingredients that are in cosmetics and household products. The test involves dripping the substance into a rabbit’s eye and recording the results. Scientists use rabbits because they have large eyes and no tear ducts to wash away the chemical. Reactions vary from slight irritation to ulceration and complete blindness. The rabbits are restrained to keep from clawing their eyes. All of the

animals are usually killed at the end of the test, or "recycled" into toxicity tests. R. Sharpe writes in his book, The Cruel Deception: The Use of Animals in Medical Research, the Draize Test should not be used because there are a number of differences between the human eye and the rabbit eye. Rabbits have a third eyelid, they have less tear fluid to wash away irritants, they have a more alkaline eye (humans have a pH of 7.1-7.3, rabbits have a pH of 8.2), and rabbits have a thinner cornea. Overall the Draize Test overestimates how irritating a product is to the human eye because rabbits eyes are more sensitive than the human eye (Freeberg). This test is also invalid because of the differences in the way the damage is evaluated. In a study performed by Carnegie

University of Pittsburgh twelve substances were sent to twenty-four different laboratories. The results that came back for the same substances ranged from mild to severe reactions. Since the test itself is so unreliable companies should look into some alternatives. An alternative to using animals to test how harmful an ingredient is to the eye is a method called Eytex. Eytex uses a vegetable protein taken from jack beans. This clear protein gel turns clear when it comes in contact with irritating substances. This process is more accurate than the Draize Test is because the "damage" is measured by a spectrophotometer and not estimated by a person. The Eytex Test agrees well with the Draize Test, although the results should be compared to human eye irritation. Until

better methods come along this test could be used instead of animals. Here are some comparisons of the Eytex Test to the Draize Test: % Agreement %Irritants Substances 85% 89% 101 80% 100% 465 The second column shows how closely related Eytex results agreed with Draize Test results, the third column shows what percentage of irritants were identified by Eytex, and the last column shows the number of substances were tested. There is also close agreement between laboratories on the results. One study showed 90% agreement between six different laboratories and ten substances (Kelly). Another study sent sixty substances to twelve different laboratories. In nine of thirteen categories of substances there was 100% agreement between the laboratories. There was 83%-93% agreement between