Poisons and Toxins - Research Article from Encyclopedia of Childhood and Adolescence

Chris Wooding
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Toxicity

Acute Toxicity

Biochemical responses to exposure to chemicals range from mild irritation to loss of function, tissue damage, or death. When there is obvious tissue damage, illness, or death after a short-term exposure to a large dose of some chemical, the condition is referred to as acute toxicity. One index of acute toxicity is known as the LD50, which is based on the dose of chemical that is required to kill one-half of a laboratory population of organisms during a short-term, controlled exposure. Even seemingly harmless substances—such as table sugar—can be toxic in high doses.

Some examples of acute toxicity levels for laboratory rats (measured in milligrams [mg] of chemical per kilogram [kg] of body weight) are shown in the table below

Chronic Toxicity

When toxic effects of chemicals develop after a longer period of exposure to smaller concentrations than are required...

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This section contains 804 words
(approx. 3 pages at 300 words per page)
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Encyclopedia of Childhood and Adolescence
Poisons and Toxins from Encyclopedia of Childhood and Adolescence. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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