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7.7.1 Toxic Effects

Toxic effects are generally classified as acute toxicity or chronic toxicity.

  • Acute toxicity is generally thought of as a single, short-term exposure where effects appear immediately and are often reversible. An example of acute toxicity relates to the over consumption of alcohol and “hangovers”. 
  • Chronic toxicity is generally thought of as frequent exposures where effects may be delayed (even for years) and are generally irreversible. Chronic toxicity can also result in acute exposures, with long term chronic effects. An example of chronic toxicity relates to cigarette smoking and lung cancer.