Some animal tests take months or years to conduct and analyze (e.g., 4-5 years, in the case of rodent cancer studies), at a cost of hundreds of thousands—and sometimes millions—of dollars per substance examined (e.g., $2 to $4 million per two-species lifetime cancer study).
The inefficiency and exorbitant costs associated with animal testing makes it impossible for regulators to adequately evaluate the potential effects of the more than 100,000 chemicals currently in commerce worldwide, let alone study the effects of myriad combinations of chemicals to which humans and wildlife are exposed, at low doses, every day throughout our lives.
In contrast, computer modeling techniques are lightning-fast, and many cell-based in vitro methods are amenable to “high throughput” automation using robotics—all at a much lower cost than animal tests.
|Type of Toxicity||Study Cost ($US)|
|Chromosome aberration||animal test||$30,000|
|in vitro test||$20,000|
|Sister chromatid exchange||animal test||$22,000|
|in vitro test||$8,000|
|Unscheduled DNA synthesis||animal test||$32,000|
|in vitro test||$11,000|
|Draize rabbit eye test||animal test||$1,800|
|Bovine corneal opacity and permeability (BCOP) test||in vitro test||$1,400|
|Draize rabbit skin test||animal test||$1,800|
|EpiDerm™ human skin model||in vitro test||$850|
|CORROSITEX® membrane barrier||in vitro test||$500|
|Guinea pig maximisation test||animal test||$6,000|
|Local lymph node assay (LLNA)||reduction alt.||$3,000|
|Rat phototoxicity test||animal test||$11,500|
|3T3 neutral red uptake test||in vitro test||$1,300|
|Rat developmental toxicity test||animal test||$50,000|
|Rat limb bud test||in vitro test||$15,000|
|Non-genotoxic cancer risk|
|Rat 24-month cancer bioassay||animal test||$700,000|
|Syrian hamster embryo (SHE) cell transformation test||in vitro test||$22,000|
|Rabbit pyrogen test||animal test||$475-$990|
|Limulus amoebocyte lysate (LAL)||1st gen in vitro||$85-$160|
|Human blood method (Endosafe-IPT)||2nd gen in vitro||$83-$100|
|Estrogen hormone interactions|
|Rat uterotrophic assay (OVX)||animal test||$29,600|
|Subcellular receptor-binding assay||in vitro test||$7,200|
|Androgen hormone interactions|
|Rat Hershberger assay||animal test||$37,000|
|Subcellular receptor-binding assay||in vitro test||$7,300|
Charles River Laboratories. CRL Price List. Wilmington, MA: CRL (2006).
Corvi R (ECVAM), personal communication.
Derelanko MJ & Hollinger MA (Eds.). Handbook of Toxicology, Second Ed. Washington, DC: CRC Press (2002).
Endocrine Disruptor Screening and Testing Advisory Committee. EDSTAC Final Report. Washington, DC: US EPA (1998).
Institute for In Vitro Sciences. IIVS Price List. Gaithersburg, MD: IIVS (2007).
Stott W (Dow Chemical), personal communication.
Webb S (Proctor & Gamble), personal communication.