The LD-50 test is significant because its validity is questioned by the scientific community as well as by animal research opponents. Critics of the test suggest that factors which contribute to the mortality rate, such as genetic history or metabolism, are not given consideration. Also, there exist alternative research methods which yield more precise data using fewer animals. The tests have also been used in instances where it is not the toxicity so much as sheer volume which killed the animal (distilled water and talcum powder, for example) (Francione 811). The Draize rabbit test seeks to establish the specific effect of a product on the eye. Highly concentrated solutions are put into the rabbit's eyes and the damage is measured according to the size of the injured area, degree of redness, swelling, and amount of tears. Other species can be used, but the rabbit is the most common animal used for this test.
Critics of this test use many of the same arguments as critics of the LD-50 test. The test itself is crude, and the findings may vary depending on the particular laboratory conditions and the person making the measurements. The findings may not also translate exactly to humans. Since the test is used to establish the effects of cosmetics and household products, animal welfare groups also question whether the human need for research is not overstated. Those seeking reform in this area suggest that the animals be subject to smaller amounts of the product, or that analgesics be administered to alleviate the pain.
In recent years, use of the LD-50 test has decreased, and the Draize test has come under increased scrutiny. That the tests were carried out for so long even though they were questioned even by members of the scientific community, suggests the high level of participation necessary by opponents of such testing.
In fact, opponents of animal research have had some victories. During the late 1940s and 1950s,...
Using animals for laboratory Research. (2000, January 01). In LotsofEssays.com. Retrieved 21:07, October 31, 2014, from http://www.collegetermpapers.com/viewpaper/1304131442.html