The irritancy potential of seven shampoos was evaluated by a rapid cytotoxicity assay in cultured human keratinocytes and rat hepatocytes. Loss of cell viability was estimated from increases in propidium iodide fluorescence measured using a multiwell fluorescence scanner. The concentration of shampoo causing a 50% loss of cell viability after 15 min of incubation (V50) was determined by probit analysis. Log V50 measured in human keratinocytes showed a strong negative correlation (r = -0.95; P <0.001) with Draize eye scores in rabbits. Log V50 measured in rat hepatocytes did not show a statistically significant correlation with Draize eye scores. The results indicate that cytotoxicity screening of human keratinocytes using propidium iodide and a multiwell fluorescence scanner is highly predictive of Draize eye scores for surfactant-containing shampoos.