Toxic Substances, Nontoxic Policy

Each year, tens of thousands of animals are killed to test industrial chemicals, including ingredients found in common household products in our homes. These animals suffer terribly, as harsh chemicals are rubbed into their skin, forced down their throats, and even dropped in their eyes. Some tests involve administering these chemicals over a prolonged period of time causing horrific deaths.

But now, there’s good news in Congress for modern science-based alternatives to chemical testing that do not rely on animals.

The Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act (S. 697), introduced by Sens. David Vitter, R-La., and Tom Udall, D-N.M., and cosponsored by a bipartisan group of 46 other lawmakers, would significantly improve the science behind chemical testing, resulting in better safety decisions to protect the environment and human health. The bill language would lead to the use of fewer animals in testing and, in some cases, could eliminate it.

Today, I want to call out Senator Cory Booker, D-NJ, for his fierce determination in getting this language included to require the use of existing validated alternatives to animal testing where available, ensure that research and development of new methods is prioritized and create a host of procedures prior to any new testing, making animal testing the final procedure. Senators Udall and Vitter – both determined animal advocates – actively supported his efforts to insert that critical language to make animal testing a last resort.

The bill calls for quickly identifying chemicals that are most likely to pose health problems, and then focusing resources on testing those chemicals more thoroughly. Considering that we are surrounded by tens of thousands of chemicals, it is a practical and common-sense approach that would save time and money: a full battery of safety tests takes —> Read More