Non-animal test for cosmetic ingredients to comply with Reach regulation

German chemicals giant BASF has announced a new in vitro, cell-based test for allergenic substances. The method aims to replace animal tests for skin sensitising action of new chemicals – particularly those destined to be used as ingredients in cosmetics.

The Reach (registration, evaluation and authorisation of chemicals) regulations will require many thousands of ingredients to be toxicologically tested over the next few years. Animal testing of cosmetic ingredients is banned by EU law, so the industry needs reliable cell- and tissue-based tests capable of processing the required volume of testing.

The protocol has been submitted to the European commission for regulatory validation.