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A literature review inAlternatives to animal testing

and edited by Florian Weighardt, H&PC Today, TKS Publisher


On March 11th, 2013 the final ban on marketing cosmetics containing ingredients tested in animal experiments entered into force, after the Commission communicated to the European Parliament and the Council that it had decided not to propose any changes to the animal testing related provisions in Directive 76/768/EEC (Cosmetics Directive) and Regulation 1223/2009/EC (Cosmetics Directive and Regulation respectively).
In the European Union animal testing of finished cosmetic products has been banned since 2004, while the testing of cosmetic ingredients has been banned since March 2009. Due to the lack of alternatives to animal testing for the testing of the endpoints repeated-dose systemic toxicity, skin sensitization, carcinogenicity, reproductive toxicity, and toxicokinetics, the marketing ban had been extended to March 11th, 2013 to allow time for the development and validation of suitable alternative methods. Moreover, the ban has effects reaching far outside the borders of the EU, since, from 2009 on, it also affects the marketing in the EU of cosmetic products and their ingredients, which have been tested on animals outside the EU.
Given the importance of this topic we have decided to provide our readers a literature review of recent relevant literature on alternative methods to animal testing applied to cosmetics and more in general to toxicology. Our selection of articles, far from being complete, includes, among others, publications that we believe could represent a stimulus for further reflections and discussions in the broad field of toxicological analysis. We believe that this literature review could be a useful tool for all our readers who want to deepen their knowledge on this strategically important topic.


A basic important work on alternatives to animal testing in the field of cosmetics is represented by this 119 pages long review of 2011. The review provides the findings of a panel of scientific experts tasked with assessing the availability of alternative methods to animal testing in view of the full marketing ban in 2013 for cosmetic products and ingredients tested on animals in Europe:
Alternative (non-animal) methods for cosmetics testing: current status and future prospects—2010
By Sarah Adler, David Basketter et al. Arch Toxicol (2011) 85: 367–485. DOI 10.1007/s00204-011-0693-2

The NRC report on “Toxicity Testing in the 21st Century: A Vision and a Strategy” released in 2007 in the USA, started a paradigm shift for an evidence based validation of validation studies.
National Research Council. Toxicity Testing in the 21st Century: A Vision and a Strategy. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press, 2007.

Finally the book of 1959, which started everything in the field of alternatives to animal testing, “The Principles of Humane Exp ...

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