A tiered approach to the use of alternatives to animal testing for the safety assessment of cosmetics: eye irritation

Regul Toxicol Pharmacol. 2009 Jul;54(2):197-209. doi: 10.1016/j.yrtph.2009.04.004. Epub 2009 Apr 22.


The need for alternative approaches to replace the in vivo rabbit Draize eye test for evaluation of eye irritation of cosmetic ingredients has been recognised by the cosmetics industry for many years. Extensive research has lead to the development of several assays, some of which have undergone formal validation. Even though, to date, no single in vitro assay has been validated as a full replacement for the rabbit Draize eye test, organotypic assays are accepted for specific and limited regulatory purposes. Although not formally validated, several other in vitro models have been used for over a decade by the cosmetics industry as valuable tools in a weight of evidence approach for the safety assessment of ingredients and finished products. In light of the deadlines established in the EU Cosmetics Directive for cessation of animal testing for cosmetic ingredients, a COLIPA scientific meeting was held in Brussels on 30th January, 2008 to review the use of alternative approaches and to set up a decision-tree approach for their integration into tiered testing strategies for hazard and safety assessment of cosmetic ingredients and their use in products. Furthermore, recommendations are given on how remaining data gaps and research needs can be addressed.

MeSH terms

  • Animal Testing Alternatives / methods*
  • Animals
  • Congresses as Topic
  • Consumer Product Safety*
  • Cosmetics / adverse effects*
  • Cosmetics / standards
  • Decision Trees
  • Eye / drug effects*
  • Humans
  • Irritants / adverse effects*


  • Cosmetics
  • Irritants