Replacement cosmetic testing procedures

With the impending EU Cosmetics Regulations coming into play on 11th July 2013, and with the ban on animal testing in the EU already in place, alternative cosmetic testing procedures must be arranged

Proteome Sciences has developed a multiplex assay for sensitiser testing. Christopher Pearce and Dr Ian Pike explain its relevance to the new EU ban on animal testing

In March this year, a ban was introduced in the European Union (EU) on animal testing of ingredients for cosmetics. The ban applies to all new cosmetics and their ingredients sold in the EU, regardless of where in the world testing on animals was carried out. Cosmetics Europe (formerly COLIPA), the European trade association for the cosmetic, toiletry and perfumery industry, is looking to introduce novel in vitro assays for testing key sensitisers/allergens as a replacement for animal testing in cosmetics. This will also apply to other products including chemicals, pharmaceuticals and household products. It means that any product within these categories will have to be tested for the presence of sensitisers.

Research into replacements

In anticipation of the proposed phasing out of animal tests after the 7th Amendment to the Cosmetics Directive (2003/15/EC Amendment VII to the Directive 76/768/EEC) the EU, through a number of different initiatives, funded a range of studies looking at alternative, non-animal tests. Proteome Sciences was invited in 2008 as a partner with COLIPA in Sens-it-iv, a large EU funded research project dedicated to develop and optimise in vitro test strategies that could reduce or replace animal testing for sensitisation studies, in particular dermatological and respiratory allergens.

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