L’Oréal and the Environmental Protection Agency are teaming up to test 20 key chemicals prevalent in cosmetics, with the goal of creating an alternative program so their toxicity won’t need to be tested on animals. Sounds like something that should already have happened, yes?
Well, to its credit, this new initiative expands upon several decades’ worth of the beauty behemoth’s animal-friendly efforts. The $1.2 million research project focuses on the EPA’s ToxCast, a computer prediction model intended to replace animal testing in determining chemicals’ effects on the human body. L’Oréal, which claims it has spent around $800 million over the past 30 years in researching alternatives to animal toxicology, hopes that by partnering with the EPA, ToxCast can be further developed to end animal testing for good. (The company made a pledge to end animal testing of finished cosmetics in 1989, and further European Union laws already greatly restrict the company’s use of the practice.)
Hats off, then, to the latest research project. And most promising of all, if ToxCast is successful, its findings will be made public — meaning other companies can access that data and thus circumvent their own need for animal testing.