1994 Volume 19 Issue 1 Pages 25-35
A stepwise, simple screening test for skin and eye irritations, suitable for industrial chemicals or pesticides which are not required to be examined for their exact potential irritancy levels, was developed. The efficacy of the test was evaluated using 15 chemicals including typical irritants (acetic acid, ammonia, chloroacetic acid, dioxane ethanolamine, formaldehyde, formic acid, hydrogen peroxide, phenol, phosphoric acid, propionic acid, sodium hydroxide, sodium hypochlorite, sulfuric acid, and trichloroacetic acid). Chemicals were chosen so as to represent irritants which act by different mechanisms (i. e., strongly acidic, alkaline, reactive to protein, oxidizing etc.). The method consisted of physicochemical tests and animal tests using rats, mice or guinea pigs, namely, a skin irritation test, an intradermal reaction test and an eye irritation test in a sequential manner such that further tests are not required if a positive result is obtained in earlier steps. Results obtained between two laboratories using this method were very similar. Comparison of our results with the data obtained by the conventional method using rabbits showed fairly good coincidence. The method was shown to be useful in assessing skin and eye irritation of chemicals and causes minimal suffering to animals.