ICCVAM Biennial Report 2014-2015

ICCVAM Biennial Report 2014-2015

Acute Systemic Toxicity

All chemicals, drugs, and natural substances are potentially poisonous, or toxic, at high enough doses. Acute systemic toxicity tests identify short-term toxic effects that appear soon after a substance is swallowed (oral toxicity tests), absorbed through the skin (dermal toxicity tests), or inhaled (inhalation toxicity tests). If appropriate, data from acute systemic toxicity tests are used to develop warning labels, protective packaging, occupational personal protective equipment requirements, and environmental release limits.

Traditional acute systemic toxicity tests yield an LD50, or the dose that causes death in 50% of the animals tested. The LD50 is used to categorize toxic substances and determine the hazard classification used on product labels. The currently applied alternatives (up-and-down procedure, acute toxic class method, and fixed dose procedure) reduce the number of animals used for classification and labeling compared to the traditional acute systemic toxicity test. However, ICCVAM member agencies are actively seeking additional methods that can replace these tests with non-animal alternatives or further reduce the number of animals required for acute toxicity testing.

ICCVAM and ICCVAM Agency Activities

Illustration from 2015 Acute Tox Workshop Poster

Workshop on Alternative Approaches to Acute Systemic Toxicity

This workshop, co-organized by NICEATM, the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, and the PETA International Science Consortium, was held Sept. 24-25, 2015, at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland.