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Alternatives to Laboratory Animals - ATLA

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OECD Test Guidelines for Non Animal Tests


The OECD is responsible for accepting validated methods into the regulatory testing framework

The processes leading to the validation of a method involve research laboratories and European, US and Japanese centres for the validation of alternative methods, namely ECVAM (EU), ICCVAM (US) and JaCVAM (Japan), working together to develop, validate and peer-review methods before they are presented for approval by the EU and, ultimately, by the OECD.


FRAME and the FRAME Alternatives laboratory are involved in method development, evaluation and peer-review


The OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) produce a series of Test Guidelines (TGs) for the testing of chemicals.


These are internationally agreed test methods, used by governments, industry and independent laboratories to determine the safety of chemicals and chemical preparations.


This series of tests cover physico-chemical properties, human health effects, environmental effects and degradation and accumulation in the environment.


Of most concern to FRAME are those TGs which involve the use of live animals/fish.

Over the years, a number of non-animal TGs have been approved which, either fully replace or partially replace the need for animal tests for certain endpoints.


A number of other TGs have been approved or existing TGs updated to reduce or refine animal use.

OECD TGs which do not involve the use of live vertabrate animals are generally found in the areas of dermal toxicity and mutagenicity testing (see below).



Dermal Toxicity


The following methods are used to improve the quality of risk assessment without recourse to using additional animal tests. They are not direct replacements of animal tests, with the exception of the in vitro skin corrosion tests that are partially able to replace Draize testing in rabbits.

TG 428: In vitro Skin Absorption link to TG 428

TG 430: In vitro Skin Corrosion (Transcutaneous Electrical Resistance Test) link to TG 430

TG 431: In vitro Skin Corrosion (Human Skin Model Test) link to TG 431

TG 432: In vitro 3T3 NRU Phototoxicity
link to TG 432


TG 435: In vitro Membrane Barrier Test for Skin Corrosion link to TG 435

Mutagenicity Testing


The following methods help to reduce the overall numbers of animals used in mutagenicity testing. They are used before animal tests, to identify chemicals and substances that are least likely to cause DNA damage in humans.

TG 471: Bacterial Reverse Mutation Test (Ames)
link to TG 471

TG 473: In vitro Mammalian Chromosomal Abberation Test
link to TG 473


TG 476: In vitro Mammalian Cell Gene Mutation Test link to TG 476

TG 477: Genetic Toxicity: Sex-linked Recessive Lethal Test in Drosphilia Melanogaster
link to TG 477

TG 479: Genetic Toxicity: In vitro Sister Chromatid Exchange Assay in Mammalian Cells link to TG 479

TG 480: Genetic Toxicity: Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Gene Mutation Assay link to TG 480

TG 481: Genetic Toxicity: Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Mitotic Recombination Assay
link to TG 481

TG 482: Genetic Toxicity: DNA Damage and Repair, Unscheduled DNA Synthesis in Mammalian Cells In Vitro link to TG 482