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Uncaged 1993-2012: This is the archived website of Uncaged. All information correct at the time of archiving - November 2012.

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P&G’s nanotechnology

Animal testing for new ‘nano’ particles

P&G are engineering ultra-tiny ‘nano’ particles that can penetrate skin and hair in ways that naturally occurring molecules don’t. The idea is to produce new types of cosmetics and hair care products, and boost P&G’s already colossal profits [1]. One likely use of nanoparticles is in P&G’s Olay skin creams. P&G are involved in cruel animal tests of nanoparticles.

A study published in Dec 2005 [2] reveals how a thousand hamsters, mice and rats were killed in a test where they were placed in sealed boxes and forced to breath in air contaminated with nanosoot particles. The idea was to see how much damage was caused to the animals’ lungs when they were clogged up with nanoparticles. The lungs of the animals given the highest doses could not cope with the soot, and their lungs were found to have doubled in weight when they were killed and dissected at the end of the test. They suffered severe and persistent lung injury, which was left untreated for several months in many cases.

Several animals died before the end of the test due to a lack of basic care, such as nine rats who were not given water. Hamsters became ill and died because they were moved into plastic cages, despite the scientists knowing that this could harm them: existing in a laboratory cage itself causes fatal stress.

Worse still, the scientists state their intention to perpetuate this kind of research, with the likely inclusion of tests using other nanoparticles. So much for P&G’s claims of trying to stop animal testing.

P&G are also involved in pushing for a massive new animal testing programme to assess how poisonous different nanoparticles are [3]. These painful and lethal tests would include inserting a needle into the animals’ windpipes, force-feeding a large dose of the material [4], and rubbing it into raw, damaged skin.

FOOTNOTES:

  1. See www.businessweek.com and www.fool.com
  2. Elder, A. et al. (2005) ‘Effects of Subchronically Inhaled Carbon Black in Three Species. I. Retention Kinetics, Lung Inflammation, and Histopathology’. Toxicological Sciences, 88 (2) 614-629.
  3. Oberdorster G. et al. (2005) ‘Principles for characterizing the potential human health effects from exposure to nanomaterials: elements of a screening strategy’. Particle and Fibre Toxicology 2005, 2:8. (see www.particleandfibretoxicology.com)
  4. ‘Exposure should be by a single gavage at a dose which would represent the worse case human exposure’ (Oberdörster et al, 2005)
The images on this page are typical of the testing carried out by P&G, not actual P&G images.

Rat being force fed

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Mouse being injected

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Uncaged 1993-2012: This is the archived website of Uncaged. All information correct at the time of archiving - November 2012.