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The European Union Reference Laboratory for Alternatives to Animal Testing (EURL ECVAM) has released its strategy on how to achieve an animal-free solution for assessing chemicals for skin sensitization. The strategy went through extensive consultation with its advisory and stakeholder bodies and aims to satisfy regulatory requirements within various pieces of EU legislation. ECVAM, in collaboration with Cosmetics Europe, EPAA (the European Partnership for Alternative Approaches to Animal Testing) and international partners will focus its efforts on the development of one or more non-animal Integrated Testing Strategies (ITS) for identification and classification of skin sensitizers according to the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling for chemicals (GHS).

Successful implementation of this strategy in the coming years will satisfy, for example, information requirements under REACH and CLP (Classification Labeling and Packaging) and will also help address the safety assessment of cosmetic ingredients. This will result in a significant reduction in the use of animals for regulatory purposes.

In the absence of validated and regulatory accepted alternative test methods, the assessment of the skin sensitization potential of chemicals currently relies on animal testing.

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