House Bill 3-304: Testing Cosmetics on Animals

By: Rebecca Bennett

Testing Cosmetic products on animals may benefit humans, but at what cost?

Cosmetic products have often been found to be tested on animals before hitting the shelves. But how do these products affect the animals that are being tested on? Should these cosmetic products be prohibited from testing on animals?

Most people have agreed that cosmetic products, along with personal care items, should be prohibited from animal testing. Animals (mostly rats, mice, rabbits and guinea pigs) have been found to react negatively to the cosmetic products used on them. A lot of side effects include extreme irritation on their skin and eyes, internal bleeding, birth defects, organ damage, convulsions, and eventually death. Toxic chemicals can also make their way into the animal’s blood, causing fatalities. Even if the animals survive, they are killed by painful methods. Because the animals are not protected under the Animal Welfare Act, companies are not punished for the killings.

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Students in committee. Photo by: Mary Goodwin

Over 100 million animals die each year from these cosmetic testings. Despite people agreeing to prevent and prohibit animal testing for these cosmetics, many people say that there is nothing wrong with the animal tests.

Testing products in animals is a much safer option for humans. According to “Understanding Animal Research”, we share 95% of our genes with mice, which can prove to be an effective way to test cosmetics without affecting humans. Over 50 companies have still been found using animals to test their cosmetic products.

Even with the effective product testing, over 52% of U.S. adults oppose the use of animals in scientific studies or in product tests (according to Pew Research Center Poll). This is due to the fact that no matter how effective animal testing may be, it is a hazard and is fatal towards the animals.

The animals that have been found to have been tested on have suffered through immense pain from the burnings the chemicals cause, and the fumes they are forced to inhale.

There are ways for companies to test products without causing pain to the animals. Removing hazardous chemicals like phthalates, lead, and peg compounds (only naming a few) can reduce the risk of pain caused to animals tested on.

Overall, whether you believe it to be humane or not, there are solutions to the testing of cosmetics on animals without causing harm and may be where cosmetics are headed.

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