Testing On Animals

by JH


        Do you know how products are tested on animals?  Testing on animals is considered safe but I think it is cruel and harsh.  There are three ways to test products on animals.  First there is the draize, then the dermal, and finally the LD50. 

        The draize is a test that is only used on rabbits.  This is because rabbits can’t make tears so the product can’t wash out of its eyes.  To prepare for the draize, scientists put the rabbit in a restraining box.  Without a painkiller, the testers drip the substance into the rabbit’s eyes and wait for three days.  During those three days, the scientists observe the rabbit’s eyes for swelling, redness, bleeding, or any type of ulcers.  After the test is complete, the rabbit is either killed or used again for the dermal.  Household products and make-up are tested by using the draize.

        The dermal is a test that is very painful.  The animals used in the dermal are mainly rabbits and guinea pigs.  Like the draize, scientists place the animal in a restrainer but for the dermal, scientists use a stock which is also known as a neck restrainer.  Next the animal has its fur shaved.  Done without a painkiller, the animal’s skin is scratched with a needle.  Scientists then paint the product on the raw skin and they observe the animal for approximately two weeks.  They watch for any kind of blistering, swelling, or cracking skin.  This is a dangerous procedure because the animal might try to struggle and that can lead to spinal damage.  This procedure can also kill the animal.

        The most common way to test a product is the LD50.  There are two ways to do the LD50.  The first way is to gather up a small group of small animals.  Then scientists place them in a small chamber.  After that, scientists fill the room with the product making the animals inhale the gas.  The second way is to force a tube down the animal’s throat so that the tube goes all the way down to the stomach.  Then the scientists force the product down the tube.  Scientists then wait for several days to watch for any type of bleeding.  Make-up and household products are tested this way.

Spring 2002