Lush has partnered with Animal Aid to support its ‘time for better science’ campaign, which calls for the replacement of “outdated and cruel” lethal dose tests. This campaign centers around Animal Aid’s petition to encourage the government, industry regulators, pharmaceutical and chemical companies to eliminate the ‘Lethal Dose 50’ test. We’re here to explain what is currently being used to test for acute toxicity, why it’s flawed and why it’s time for better science…

Photo credit: Lush

What’s currently used to test Acute Toxicity?

More than 80,000 animals are currently used every year in acute toxicity testing in the EU alone, using the outdated “LD50” type methods, even though they’ve been widely discredited. The LD50 test involves dosing the animals (usually rats) with the test substance to find out the amount which causes death in 50% of the individuals – the lethal dose, hence LD50.

Why is the LD50 test flawed?

Not only is the test ethically unacceptable, it’s poor science too, with very little relevance to humans due to the anatomy and response of rodents being so different to us as well as the doses administered being highly unlikely in ‘real life’. The LD50 method is of extremely limited value when it comes to interpreting the consequences for day-to-day life, when humans are exposed to much lower concentrations in a range of application scenarios. For example, our exposure to an ingredient in a personal care product could vary enormously depending on whether it’s a rinse-off or leave-on product. When it comes to make-up, the extent of use can play a big part, for example, how many times a day lipstick is re-applied. When it comes to household cleaning products, some users may wear a mask or gloves and use the product more regularly than others.

Why is developing a non-animal acute toxicity test so important?

  • It saves innocent animals’ lives
  • Animal-free testing methods are much more reliable – accurately predicting results with increased relevance to humans
  • Innovative research using the latest science will change the future

Sign the petition now and help end lethal dose animal tests.

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