CPSC Moves to Limit Animal Tests

The amendments it proposes for its testing policy would clarify that any approved test method is acceptable, and a weight of evidence analysis suffices for eye irritants or corrosives.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has published proposed changes to reduce the amount of animal testing done under the Federal Hazardous Substances Act. It plans to include language clarifying that any approved test method is acceptable, and a weight of evidence analysis will suffice for eye irritants or corrosives, and toxic substances.

The current animal testing policy was adopted in 1984, and it advises product manufacturers to use alternatives to animal testing whenever possible, including prior human experience, existing animal or limited human test results, and expert opinion.

CPSC's proposed rule says the changes it is making will make its policy more accurately reflect the recommendations of the Interagency Coordinating Committee on the Validation of Alternative Methods and the test methods CPSC has approved.

The Federal Hazardous Substances Act requires warning labels on certain hazardous household products if they are toxic, corrosive, irritants, flammable, combustible, or strong sensitizers. Animal testing, mainly using rabbits, is done to check that products meet the definitions of these terms.

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