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Report: Alternative (non-animal) methods for cosmetics testing: current status and future prospects - 2010

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May 10, 2011
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The expert report published as a series of scientific articles in a peer-reviewed journal, highlights the most important findings of the experts and will be an important input for the Commission's report to the Parliament expected in mid-2011.

In 2010, the Commission appointed a panel of experts to report on the current status and future prospects on alternative (non-animal) methods for cosmetics testing, and to provide realistic estimates of the time required for the development of alternative methods where not already existing. The resulting expert panel report underwent a period of public consultation. The European Centre for the Validation of Alternative Methods (ECVAM), hosted by the Institute for Health and Consumer Protection of the European Commission's Joint Research Centre, coordinated the whole review activity on behalf of the Commission's Directorate General for Health and Consumers.

The final results of the work, published as a series of scientific articles in a peer-reviewed journal, highlight the most important findings of the experts and will be an important input for the Commission's report to the Parliament expected in mid-2011.

The experts concluded that considerable scientific challenges have to be overcome before a full replacement of animal tests will be possible. Whereas substantial progress has been made over the past years, they predict that, for five specific areas, alternative methods to fully replace animal tests will not be available by 2013. However, the experts noted that significant contributions to reduce, refine and partially replace animal testing have been made and are feasible before full substitution is possible

  • pdf icon Main findings of the Report 

    This document highlights the most important 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 foreseen in Europe in 2013 for cosmetic ingredients tested on animals. The experts concluded that considerable scientific challenges have to be overcome before a full replacement of animal tests will be possible. Whereas substantial progress has been made over the past years, they predict that, for five specific areas, alternative methods to fully replace animal tests will not be available by 2013. However, the experts noted that significant contributions to reduce, refine and partially replace animal testing have been made and are feasible before full substitution is possible.  


Glossary

  • Repeated dose systemic toxicity refers to the general toxicological effects that may occur as a result of repeated (daily) exposure to a toxic substance rather than one single exposure (e.g. the type of exposure that occurs from the repeated use, over a long period of time, of cosmetic products)
  • Reproductive toxicity refers to a wide variety of adverse effects that may occur in different phases within the reproductive cycle, as a consequence of one or more exposures to a toxic substance, including effects on fertility, sexual behaviour, embryo implantation, embryonic/foetal development, parturition, postnatal adaptation, and subsequent growth and development into sexual maturity.
  • Toxicokinetics informs about the penetration into and fate within the body of a toxic substance, including its absorption, distribution, metabolism (producing less toxic metabolites (detoxification) or in some cases more toxic metabolites) and excretion.

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Version 10/05/2011