PCRM’s New Animated Video Highlights Chemical Testing RevolutionTail of Toxics Outlines Problems with Existing Testing Methods, Offers Hope for a Safer Future
Many products you see on shelves still contain chemicals that were tested on mice and other animals. But a scientific revolution that is quietly taking place could soon change that—bringing major benefits for animals and human health. To call attention to this shift, the Physicians Committee has released Tail of Toxics: Improving Chemical Safety Without Animals, an inspiring video juxtaposing current testing methods with new, cutting-edge technologies that will end needless suffering and radically improve the safety of consumer products.
Most current chemical testing methods, which rely heavily on the use of animals, leave consumers and the planet vulnerable to toxic chemicals in household cleaners, cosmetics, and other products. The solution? Recently developed technologies—including robots—could fully replace animals and transform this system, saving time, money, and both human and animal lives.
The three-minute Tail of Toxics takes viewers on a provocative tour of the existing chemical testing process, beginning in a family’s kitchen and following the process back to an animal experimentation laboratory. This direct, eye-opening exposure reveals the inherent flaws in a deeply entrenched system. Animal tests are as unreliable as they are cruel, the narrator explains: “Animals are subjected to very high doses of chemicals, up to 1,000 times higher than humans would ever be exposed to.”
Viewers finally arrive in a modern, shining nonanimal testing facility complete with robots and other innovative technologies. These high-tech machines can test more chemicals in a single day than have been tested in the past 20 to 30 years using animals—and they do so at a fraction of the cost.
For now, animal testing is still the norm, which means consumers are still at risk. “We shouldn’t have to wonder whether the chemicals in our homes and the environment are safe,” says toxicology expert Kristie Sullivan, M.P.H., the Physicians Committee’s director of regulatory testing. “Tests on animals simply don’t translate to useful information for humans because animals react to chemicals differently than we do.”
This leads to costly delays and inadequate protections for human health and the environment. These and other drawbacks have led experts at the National Academy of Sciences to recommend a complete shift away from animal testing. The main obstacle is that those who profit from the current system are trying to prevent change.
But change is coming as industries and the government feel increasing pressure to adopt modern test methods. “Recently we’ve seen major advances toward ending animal testing in toxicology,” says Sullivan. “We’re working hard with consumers, scientists, and legislators to keep driving this shift forward.”
Learn more about animal testing and alternatives and watch the video at: TailOfToxics.org.
Be sure to share Tail of Toxics with your friends and family and join the accompanying social media campaign by using the hashtag #TailOfToxics.