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IIVS Announces Initiation by EPA of a Pilot Program to Evaluate Non-Animal Eye-Irritation Methods

GAITHERSBURG, Md., July 30 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The EPA has initiated a new program to evaluate the use of non-animal methods to replace the Draize test for eye irritation labeling for antimicrobial cleaning products. The is the first program of its kind and demonstrates the Agency's commitment to evaluate non-animal methods when valid alternatives are available.

IIVS was an integral part of the collaboration that led up to this initiative. Seven leading consumer product companies - The Procter & Gamble Company, Clorox, Colgate Palmolive, The Dial Corporation, Ecolab, JohnsonDiversey, Inc. and S.C. Johnson & Son, Inc. - provided data from in vitro as well as previously conducted animal studies on more than 300 representative cleaning products. IIVS, acting as a neutral party, collated the data, filled gaps with additional non-animal testing, and analyzed the predictive capacity of the alternative approach. Strong support from the animal protection community was also crucial to the success of the program.

"The acceptance of non-animal data by the EPA under this pilot program is a tremendous step forward in accelerating the application of scientifically sound alternative methods" said Dr Rodger Curren, President of IIVS. "IIVS was proud to contribute our experience and scientific expertise to both generate and analyze these complex data sets. We deeply appreciate the credence the EPA's leadership gives to in vitro methods and hope that this will lead to EPA guidelines that will more permanently cover this type of approach."

The goal of the EPA's pilot program is to evaluate the effectiveness of a non-animal testing method to replace the current Draize rabbit eye test. This approximately 18-month project encompasses the use of three in vitro assays: the Bovine Corneal Opacity and Permeability test (the use of eyes from cattle recently slaughtered for food, the EpiOcular(TM) model (the use of an in vitro model of the human corneal epithelium produced by MatTek Corp., Ashland MA)), and the Cytosensor Microphysiometer assay (the electronic measurement of the metabolic rate of cell populations to evaluate potential cell toxicity). Assessments have been made of the usefulness of these methods, both individually and as part of a testing strategy, to ensure that antimicrobial cleaning products are appropriately labeled for the protection of consumers.

More information is available on the OPP Web page, "Regulating Antimicrobial Pesticides" at

About IIVS

IIVS is a non-profit organization wholly dedicated to the promotion of rapid and innovative non-animal testing methods. Founded in 1997, IIVS is recognized as a leading provider of in vitro testing in support of toxicological safety evaluations. Rigorous scientific programs coupled with educational and outreach initiatives have established IIVS as a global leader in the advancement of alternatives to animal testing.

For more information please visit

SOURCE Institute for In Vitro Sciences
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