Acute Toxicity

Definition - What does Acute Toxicity mean?

Acute toxicity is a health hazard classification used to describe the adverse effects of a substance that occurs as a result of single or multiple exposures during a relatively short period of time (usually within a 24 hour time period). The manner of exposure can be oral, dermal or via inhalation. To qualify as acute toxicity, the effects of substance exposure should manifest within 14 days.

Corrosionpedia explains Acute Toxicity

Acute toxicity is distinguished from chronic toxicity, which is used to describe the adverse effects of substance exposure, usually at lower levels, over a longer period of time (typically months or years).

Acute toxicity is one of ten health hazard classifications defined by the OSHA Hazard Communication Standards (HCS 2012). While manufacturers are required to provide information on acute toxicity via scientific research, they are not necessarily mandated to perform testing during the hazard classification process.

Where testing is required, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) prescribes the following methods for determining acute toxicity.

  • Animal testing
  • In vitro testing
  • Limit testing
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