Standard Article

Acute Toxicity

Basic Science

  1. David J. Andrew BSc, PhD, DABT, ERT

Published Online: 15 DEC 2009

DOI: 10.1002/9780470744307.gat002

General, Applied and Systems Toxicology

General, Applied and Systems Toxicology

How to Cite

Andrew, D. J. 2009. Acute Toxicity. General, Applied and Systems Toxicology. .

Author Information

  1. TSGE, Knaresborough, UK

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 DEC 2009


Testing for acute toxicity is the most fundamental of toxicological investigations and is routinely performed as a regulatory requirement for a number of different substance and product types in order to ensure human safety. The results of these studies are used to characterize the hazard, to assign the substance to a classification category, to provide information on the likely medical treatment of an overexposure and to inform the design of subsequent longer-term toxicity studies where these are required. The relative simplicity of the study design and the endpoints investigated makes acute toxicity studies obvious candidates for replacement by alternative (in silico and in vitro) methods, and while there has been some progress in the development of these alternatives, regulatory acceptance is currently limited. Incorporation of the use of read-across and the available in vitro and in silico methods, with in vivo studies performed only when required, is recommended in order to give an intelligent and integrated strategy to the assessment of acute toxicity.


  • acute toxicity;
  • toxicity testing;
  • skin irritation;
  • eye irritation;
  • alternative methods