OECD Guidelines for the Testing of Chemicals, Section 4

Health Effects

2074-5788 (online)
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The OECD Guidelines for the Testing of Chemicals is a collection of about 150 of the most relevant internationally agreed testing methods used by government, industry and independent laboratories to identify and characterise potential hazards of chemicals. They are a set of tools for professionals, used primarily in regulatory safety testing and subsequent chemical and chemical product notification, chemical registration and in chemical evaluation. They can also be used for the selection and ranking of candidate chemicals during the development of new chemicals and products and in toxicology research. This group of tests covers health effects.

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Test No. 402: Acute Dermal Toxicity

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09 Oct 2017
9789264070585 (PDF)

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This method provides information on health hazard likely to arise from short-term exposure to a test chemical by dermal route. Test chemicals should not be administered at doses that are known to cause marked pain and distress due to potential corrosive or severely irritant actions.

Groups of animals, of a single sex, are exposed via the dermal route to the test chemical in a stepwise procedure using the appropriate fixed doses. The initial dose level is selected at the concentration expected to produce clear signs of toxicity without causing severe toxic effects or mortality. Further groups of animals may be tested at higher or lower fixed doses, depending on the presence or absence of signs of toxicity or mortality. This procedure continues until the dose causing toxicity or no more than one death is identified, or when no effects are seen at the highest dose or when deaths occur at the lowest dose.  Subsequently, observations of effects and deaths are made. Animals which die during the test are necropsied, and at the conclusion of the test the surviving animals are sacrificed and necropsied.

The method provides information on the hazardous properties and allows the substance to be classified for acute toxicity according to the Globally Harmonised System of classification and labelling of chemicals.


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