Ecological and toxicological testing

Use of animal studies

  • Ecological and toxicological testing before our products are launched on the market
  • Use of alternative and complementary methods wherever possible and accepted by the authorities
  • Our projects for developing alternative methods awarded prize in 2013

Before launching products on the market, we subject them to a variety of ecological and toxicological testing. We apply the most current scientific knowledge in the research and development of our products. We conduct animal studies only when they are unavoidable. In some cases, animal studies are stipulated by REACH and other national legislation outside the European Union in order to obtain more information on the properties and effects of chemical products.

We adhere to the specifications laid down by the German Animal Welfare Act as well as the requirements of the Association for Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care – the highest standard for laboratory animals in the world. We are continually developing and optimizing alternative and complementary methods, and put these into practice whenever possible and accepted by the authorities. BASF spent €2.8 million for this purpose in 2013. We use alternative and complementary methods in more than a third of our tests. Currently, 27 alternative methods are being used in our labs and another 16 are in the development stage. In 2013, for example, we developed a test strategy that allows us to predict whether particular substances induce human skin allergies. We will apply this test strategy to classify hundreds of substances in the third registration phase of REACH, enabling us to further avoid animal testing. In addition, we developed a method together with European partners that allows us to test the neurotoxicological potential of substances on test cells grown in the laboratory. In 2013, the German Federal Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Consumer Protection awarded us the Animal Protection Research Prize for our projects on the development of alternative methods.