The evaluation of eye and skin irritancy potential is essential for the safety of individuals in contact with an increasing number of industrial and consumer products. The Draize rabbit eye and skin irritant test has been used for 60 years in attempts to predict the human ocular and dermal irritancy of a wide variety of substances designed for industrial, pharmaceutical or cosmetic use.
To study the eye and skin irritation, different protocols have been developed, using red blood cells, haemoglobin or organotypic methods. Different commercial kits has been developed to study eye and skin irritation, based on the action of chemicals on the proteins presents in the cornea.
A review of the principal alternatives developed to replace the use of animals in the study of the irritancy of chemicals is presented in this paper, paying attention to the reproducibility of each method.
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