In the Draize test
, several features of the exposed animal eye are measured including cornea damage, conjunctivae damage, irreversibility of the observed damage and a few others.
This protocol is validated by ECVAM (the European Centre for the Validation of Alternative Methods) and accepted by OECD (Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development) (TG 439) as a non-animal alternative to the rabbit Draize test
According to the non-profit National Anti-Vivisection Society (NAVS), the Draize Test
causes "extreme discomfort and pain" to the animals involved.
Even supposedly simple targets for replacement, such as the Draize test
for eye irritation, have proved difficult to model in vitro and progress through successful external validation despite major efforts by the European Centre for the Validation of Alternatives (ECVAM), industry trade associations, individual companies, and academia.
One commonly used procedure is the Draize Test
, which is used to test household products for harmful chemicals.
had been running on the effects of torture, Spira were after larger game--the Draize test
The irritants depressed metabolism in test cells by amounts that closely parallel Draize test
The groups argue that the Draize test
, as the procedure is known, has never been validated with "modern standards," adding that "evidence exists that animal (dermal) studies are highly variable, of limited reliability, and generally poor predictors of human skin reactions.
Of the 3 chemicals that were classified as non-irritants in the Draize test
, only dodecane was classified correctly in all 3 test laboratories.
Replacing animal tests such as the classic Draize test
for ocular irritancy, described above, "used to be considered a flaky, humane idea," says Henry Spira, a leading spokesman for the movement against animal testing.
While it is known and accepted by regulators and industry that non-animal eye irritation tests may predict slightly higher or lower than the in vivo Draize test
, companies are not comfortable with what they consider the level of over-prediction seen in some cases.