OECD Guidelines for the Testing of Chemicals, Section 4

Health Effects

2074-5788 (online)
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The OECD Guidelines for the Testing of Chemicals is a collection of about 150 of the most relevant internationally agreed testing methods used by government, industry and independent laboratories to identify and characterise potential hazards of chemicals. They are a set of tools for professionals, used primarily in regulatory safety testing and subsequent chemical and chemical product notification, chemical registration and in chemical evaluation. They can also be used for the selection and ranking of candidate chemicals during the development of new chemicals and products and in toxicology research. This group of tests covers health effects.

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Test No. 431: In Vitro Skin Corrosion: Human Skin Model Test

Test No. 431: In Vitro Skin Corrosion: Human Skin Model Test You or your institution have access to this content


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The test described in this Test Guideline allows the identification of corrosive chemical substances and mixtures and it enables the identification of non-corrosive substances and mixtures when supported by a weight of evidence determination using other existing information. The test protocol may also provide an indication of the distinction between severe and less severe skin corrosives. This Test Guideline does not require the use of live animals or animal tissue for the assessment of skin corrosivity.

The test material (solid or liquid) is applied uniformly and topically to a three-dimensional human skin model, comprising at least a reconstructed epidermis with a functional stratum corneum. Two tissue replicates are used for each treatment (exposure time), and for controls. Corrosive materials are identified by their ability to produce a decrease in cell viability below defined threshold levels at specified exposure periods. The principle of the human skin model assay is based on the hypothesis that corrosive chemicals are able to penetrate the stratum corneum by diffusion or erosion, and are cytotoxic to the underlying cell layers.

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