A rule finalized by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) “codifies its statement of policy on animal testing that provides guidance for manufacturers of products subject to the Federal Hazardous Substances Act (FHSA) regarding replacement, reduction, and refinement of animal testing methods.” The rule, which takes effect January 9, 2013, includes information about comments received on the proposal and CPSC responses.

In a related notice, CPSC announced amendments to its regulations on animal testing methods under FHSA. The notice includes revisions to animal testing regulations and explanations of the rationale for the revisions; it will also take effect January 9.

FHSA “requires appropriate cautionary labeling on certain hazardous household products to alert consumers to the potential hazards that a product may present.” These include products that are toxic, corrosive, irritant, flammable, combustible, or strong sensitizers. The CPSC rule changes clarify the criteria used for classification of substances as “highly toxic,” “toxic,” “corrosive,” “irritant,” “primary irritant,” and “eye irritant,” and emphasize that the use of in vitro and other alternative test methods, including a weight-of-evidence approach, and prior human experience are recommended over in vivo animal tests when possible. See Federal Register, December 10, 2012.