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Eye Irritation Testing: The Way Forward The Report and Recommendations of ECVAM Workshop 34

Michael Balls, Ninna Berg, Leon H. Bruner, Rodger D. Curren, Odile de Silva, Lesley K. Earl, David J. Esdaile, Julia H. Fentem, Manfred Liebsch, Yasuo Ohno, Menk K. Prinsen, Horst Spielmann and Andrew P. Worth

This is the report of the thirty-fourth of a series of workshops organised by the European Centre for the Validation of Alternative Methods (ECVAM). The workshop on Eye Irritation Testing: The Way Forward was held in Egham, UK, on 15–17 June 1998, under the chairmanship of Michael Balls (ECVAM, Italy). The workshop had two aims, the first of which was to review some of the previous multilaboratory validation studies on alternatives to the Draize eye test and assess why many promising alternative methods were not successful in these studies. The second aim was to discuss strategies for making progress toward the short-term reduction, refinement, and eventual replacement, of the Draize test, including: a new approach to the validation of in vitro tests for eye irritancy, based on the use of reference standards, which promises to overcome some of the problems encountered in previous studies; the use of stepwise testing strategies which reduce and refine the use of animals in eye irritation testing; the use of multivariate and other statistical techniques for the further analysis of data generated in previous validation studies; and a programme of research aimed at understanding the underlying mechanisms of eye irritation.