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Special Feature: REACH and In Vitro Alternatives—Corrosive Potential Testing

Posted: November 28, 2007

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The Draize rabbit skin test can be used to determine if a topically applied material is a corrosive (causes irreversible damage to the skin), an irritant (causes reversible damage to the skin) or a non-irritant. The general procedure for the test is to apply the chemical to be tested directly onto the shaved skin of an albino rabbit and then grade the skin response at various time intervals.5 If the chemical produces irreversible skin lesions that penetrate into the dermis with less than four hours of exposure then the chemical can be classified as corrosive.6 While the Draize rabbit skin test has been in use for over 50 years, it has long been criticized on its ability to accurately predict if a chemical will be irritating to humans.7 In addition, animal welfare groups often dub it as an inhumane testing method.8

*This article appears in the December edition of Cosmetics & Toiletries magazine

aEpiDerm is a product of MatTek Corp.

bSkinethic Human Skin Model is a product of Skinethic