The wide range of chemicals which are in everyday use - such as medicines or household products - as well as chemicals used in manufacturing, or fertilisers and pesticides used in farming, must be tested to make sure that they are as safe as possible for animals and people. Safety testing makes up a very small proportion of animal research and is done to guard against products which could cause damage like cancer or birth defects. This is essential for the health of people, animals and the environment. As well as protecting the consumer, workers involved in production and those that come into contact with chemicals during transport must be protected.
Based on 2016 figures, non-medical safety testing is as follows:
- Industrial chemicals legislation: 71,000 or 13% of procedures for regulatory use
- Veterinary products: 127,000 or 24% of procedures for regulatory use