Conventional Test Method:

Acute dermal irritation/corrosion (In Vivo Rabbit Skin Corrosivity Test) (OECD TG 404)

Alternative Test Method:

Name & Description:

Transcutaneous Electrical Resistance (TER) Test (In Vitro Skin Corrosion)

The epidermal surface of skin discs from humanely killed young rats are exposed to the test substance for up to 24 hours. Then the discs are washed and the transcutaneous electrical resistance (TER) of the skin is measured. Corrosive substances are identified by their ability to produce a loss of normal stratum corneum integrity and barrier function, measured as a decrease in TER below a threshold level of 5kW. TER measurements of ≤5kW undergo confirmation testing with a dye-binding step to ensure that decreased electrical resistance is a result of the physical destruction of the stratum corneum and not to other factors.

Validation Status:

EU: Endorsed as valid by ECVAM for  distinguishing between corrosive and non-corrosive chemicals (1998)

US: Endorsed as valid by ICCVAM to identify corrosive chemicals (substances identified as non-corrosive will require confirmation with animal-based tests) (2002)

Regulatory Status:

OECD: TG 430 (2013)

EU: The European Scientific Committee for Cosmetic Products and Non-food products (SCCNFP) supports use of this method for the safety assessment of chemicals used as cosmetic ingredients. (1998); Accepted for corrosivity testing (Method B.40 in Annex of  Commission Regulation 440/2008/EC) (2000, 2008)

Effect or Potential Effect on Animal Use:

(skin from one rat may be used to test up to five chemicals; in US substances identified as non-corrosive will require confirmation with animal-based tests)


(Uses killed instead of live animal)

Information Last Reviewed:
June 2014