Chapter 4: Acute Lethal Toxicity
Acute systemic toxicity testing is conducted to determine the hazard potential of a single exposure to a chemical or product (by the oral, dermal or respiratory routes). The assessment of lethality, which forms part of acute systemic toxicity testing, has conventionally relied on the in vivo measurement of the median lethal dose (LD50), i.e. the dose of a test chemical that kills 50% of the animals in the experimental group. During acute toxicity testing, nonlethal endpoints can also be assessed, to identify specific target-organ and target-system toxicities.