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Balmaceda 1

Jessica Balmaceda

Professor Moore

English 1301

27 October 2017

Animals in Cosmetics Testing

For a company to be able safely develop and distribute new cosmetics worldwide, it must

prove to be safe for humans. Companies will test their product for possible allergic reactions,

irreversible skin damage, and potential organ damage. Millions of animals are used each year for

cosmetics testing. Rabbits and mice are some of the many animals used in toxicity experiments

each year. By law, a company must test their new products for adverse effects in humans that

may be harmful and potentially life threatening. In 1938, the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act was

passed. This law was created after several deaths and health problems were reported by

consumers after using products that were later determined to be unsafe. Animal cosmetic testing

has been an important topic surrounding issues on protection laws, and ethical alternatives that

may provide different outcomes when evaluating the safety of new products on humans.

With the advancements of technology today, there are alternate testing methods that can

help significantly reduce or eliminate cosmetics animal testing. Because animals and humans are

physiologically different, cosmetics animal testing can create inaccurate results. Some

ingredients in cosmetics that may prove to cause no side effects in animals may still cause harm

to humans. One alternative method to animal cosmetic testing is the use of In Vitro. The institute

for In Vitro Sciences uses reconstructed 3D skin models made up of human cells and tissue

samples donated by individuals for the use of experiments to develop safe cosmetics. Scientists

can determine if a new ingredient is toxic by evaluating previous ingredients found to be toxic,
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and then looking for the same reactions in new molecules. This alternative method also gives

scientists the ability to study the long-term effects of a culture because the samples can last a

long time. It is also believed to be more cost efficient than animal testing methods, and give

faster and more precise results (Derita 1). Although In Vitro can be helpful in determining some

of the side effects in cosmetics, researchers say that it is difficult to test other problems that can

occur in humans. A cosmetic that is meant to lay on the skin could potentially cause harm if it

goes through the skin and reaches the organs. Recreating these models is difficult because the

exposure to toxic is hard to determine since there is no way to trace the path that the chemicals

go through. Animals have the same organs and nervous system functions as humans do so it is

easier to trace for toxic exposure on animals. Scientist say that they are working to further

develop a virtual model before this method will be effective in looking at the process that

happens inside of the body and its organs. Until then, the use of animals is still the preferred

method for many researchers.

Animals used in cosmetics testing are covered by laws and regulations that protect the

animals from unethical conditions. The Animal Welfare Act (AWA) became a law in 1966. The

law was created to protect animals used in research. Under the act, all laboratories must be

registered, and all handlers must provide animals with proper housing, food, and water. Some of

the animals protected under the act include dogs, cats, and rabbits. To ensure that facilities are

abiding by the regulations put in place by the AWA, the Institutional Animal Care and Use

Committee (IACUC) is established in each facility to review all proposed experimentations that

will be used on the animals (ProCon 1). Before a new experiment, the facility must have a

justified reason for using the animal, and must also be able to show proof that they have used all

necessary methods ensuring that the animals are enduring as little pain as possible. Although
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there are laws and regulations that are meant to protect animals from unethical conditions during

cosmetics testing, the rules can be vague. For example, a facility can withhold pain relief for the

animals if they believe it is necessary to the scientific experiment. Anti-animal testing

organizations believe there is a lack of adequate laws protecting the animals, and that it is

unethical to use animals for cosmetic testing as it causes physical and psychological suffering

which can ultimately lead to death. A test done on rabbits called The Draize test is used to

measure the amount of toxicity levels it will take to be harmful to the animals and potentially

humans (Cohen 19). Side effects include internal bleeding, seizers, and paralysis. Another

method of The Draize test uses rabbits to check for possible eye irritations. The rabbits are given

eye drops that are applied to each of their eyes. Rarely are the animals given anesthetic to relief

their pain so this procedure can be painful for the animals. After the eye drops are applied, the

animals will usually have adverse reactions to the chemicals, and their eyes will turn red and

blistery. After the animals are no longer needed for the test, they are killed. The Draize test is

only one in a litany of toxicity tests performed on animals, each more horrifying than the last

(Cohen 19). The Humane Society International (HSI) is an advocate for cruelty-free cosmetics

animal testing. Their goal is to educate consumers, and persuade companies to find alternative

methods for testing new products. The HSI helped launch a cruelty free campaign in the EU, and

in 2013, the ban was set in place preventing the sale and import of cosmetics that are tested on

animals. With the success of the ban in the EU, the HSI has continued to be an important

influence for other countries worldwide. By launching campaigns, raising awareness, and

contributing to advance technology, The HSI is working hard to one day end animal testing

forever.
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Testing newly developed cosmetics is mandatory for many companies wanting to

distribute and sell their cosmetics domestically and internationally. Animals have been the go to

method for decades in determining the safety of human cosmetics, but with the advancements of

technology today, there are new methods that many believe can come up with more accurate

results. Animal welfare activists believe that animal experimentation is an unethical practice that

should be eliminated. Their goal is to protect as many animals as they can by informing others of

the harsh conditions that animals may endure each day during their time in captivity. The

controversial issues concerning cosmetics animal testing continues to be an important topic for

many, but as technology advances, the use of animals in experiments may significantly reduce as

alternative methods may be the future of cosmetics testing. But only time will tell.
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Works Cited

Animal Testing." ProCon, edited by ProCon.org, 2017. Credo Reference,

https://libproxy.uhcl.edu/login?url=http://search.credoreference.com/content/entry/procon

/animal_testing/0?institutionId=7275. Accessed 10 Oct 2017

Cohen, Arna. "Do You Know How Your Mascara Is Made?." All Animals, vol. 16, no. 2,

Mar/Apr2014, p. 17. EBSCOhost,

libproxy.uhcl.edu/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=mih

&AN=94617526&site=ehost-live&scope=site. Accessed 10 Oct 2017

Derita, Jamie, and JH Bloomberg School of Public Health. Chapter 3. Johns Hopkins

Bloomberg School of Public Health, 29 Aug. 2012,

caat.jhsph.edu/publications/animal_alternatives/chapter3.html. Accessed 26 2017

National Research Council (US) Committee to Update Science, et al. Regulation of Animal

Research. Science, Medicine, and Animals., U.S. National Library of Medicine, 1 Jan.

1970, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK24650/. Accessed 26 2017

Zurlo, Joanne. "No Animals Harmed: Toward a Paradigm Shift in Toxicity Testing." Hastings

Center Report, vol. 42, Nov2012 Supplement, pp. S23-S26. EBSCOhost,

doi:10.1002/hast.104. Accessed 20 Oct 2017