International Association Against Painful Experiments on Animals

101 Misleading results from Vivisection Animal Experiments

62: "Safe" Eye Solutions Fail the Human Test

Detergents are not only used for domestic and industrial cleaning. In research aimed at increasing penetration of therapeutic drugs across the cornea, a number of dilute detergents were assessed in the eyes of volunteers. Although considered "generally harmless to rabbit eyes", some caused pain and irritation in people. For instance, a detergent called Brij 58 produced "alarming" changes to the surface of the human eye, together with discomfort and blurred vision.(1) In rabbits Brij 58 is classified as a “non-irritant.”(2)

A 3% solution of a similar product, Brij 35, caused delayed irritation in volunteers but was also non-irritating to the rabbit eye, even when undiluted.1 And although another detergent, dupanol, caused immediate severe pain in human subjects,(1) it was considered to have only moderate effects in the eyes of rabbits.(3)


1) R.J.Marsh & D.M.Maurice, Experimental Eye Research, 1971, vol. 11, 43-48.
2) M.Cornelis et al, ATLA, 1991, vol.l9, 324-336.
3) L.W.Hazleton, Proceedings of the Scientifc Section of the Toilet Goods Association, 1952, vol.17, 5-9.

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