REACH Testing 
Exceptions to the EU ban - REACH

REACH is an EU regulation concerning the registration, evaluation, authorisation and restriction of chemicals and is applied to substances manufactured or imported into the EU in quantities of 1 tonne or more per year.

The hazardous properties of chemicals cannot be sufficiently determined using only non-animal methods therefore animal testing is still required to determine certain human health and environmental data. In order to minimise the use of animals REACH requires companies to share data in order to avoid unnecessary testing.

Those wishing to perform animal tests must obtain approval from the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) who oversees REACH. Animal testing is to be avoided in favour of non-animal methods and registrants can only carry out tests involving the use of animals when there is no other way.

Read more about REACH here.

Substances that are exclusively used in cosmetics

Animal testing is not needed to meet REACH requirements for human health data, with the exception of tests that are done to assess the risks to workers (those involved with the production or handling of the substance on an industrial site) exposed to the substance. In this situation, animal testing is only required when there is no other way.

  • Animal testing is required to meet REACH requirements for environmental data when there is no other way.

  • Environmental data is used to determine the safety of a chemical in biological organisms and across ecosystems.

  • Environmental studies required for REACH include the use of fish.

  • Substances that have mixed uses i.e. not solely used in cosmetics

  • Animal testing is only used to meet REACH requirements for human health and environmental data when there is no other way.