"Eye irritation testing" may also be conducted, in which the test substance is instilled into one eye of each test animal and its reaction to the stimulus is observed. The animals are tied to restrainers to prevent them from rubbing their eyes with their paws, and observed for 96 hours. Rabbits are commonly used for this test because they have thin lachrymal glands that produce few tears, thus test substances are easily retained on their corneas. Moreover, they do not cry out in pain. Rabbits that appear to be suffering acute pain are euthanized immediately. Some people say that the test results show high variability and tests using rabbits, whose eyelids, corneal structures and tear volumes differ from humans', lack credibility.


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