If you’ve been holding your breath waiting for the day when rats are no longer shoved into tiny containers and forced to breathe chemicals for six hours a day for up to 90 days in order to test chemicals and products such as cigarettes, asbestos, popcorn butter flavoring, jet fuel, and household stain removers, you are probably blue in the face by now. But you may be able to breathe a sigh of relief soon.
Scientists have developed a new apparatus called a lung-on-a-chip that can be used to replace these cruel chemical tests. This artificial lung can mimic the physiology of the organ and can even “breathe.”According to a story in New Scientist, the device, which behaves like a real lung, is an “encouraging sign that ethically acceptable and cheaper alternatives to animal testing may be on the way.”
PETA’s regulatory testing experts (or, as I call them, “really smart staffers”) are working hard to reform the government’s chemical testing practices and are trying to get government officials to implement modern technology like the lung-on-a-chip. You can help by urging your senators to require the use of alternatives to animal tests in government testing programs. It is the 21st century, after all.
Written by Heather Moore