Eye irritation: An ECETOC overview

The European Chemical Industry Ecology and Toxicology Center (ECETOC) has reviewed the Draize test and ways to evaluate the eye irritancy of chemicals with less reliance on animals. When animal test results are needed, ECETOC recommends that a minimum number of animals be used and that a step-wise approach be adopted, a single animal being evaluated initially after prior consideration of any other relevant information. Current candidate in vitro procedures for estimating eye irritancy appear to be unsuitable as total replacements for the Draize test but may have potential for reducing the amount of animal testing needed. Finally, a plea is made for harmonization of eye irritancy classification schemes and for the generation of reference human response data base.