3.1.1. Definitions of poisonings and exposure

Poisoning is generally defined as injury or impairment of organ function or death, following exposure to any substance capable of producing adverse effects (Hodgson, 2004). The toxin can have local and/or systemic effects for varying periods of time. Depending on the severity of the effects, poisoning can be considered acute or chronic, both types with varying degrees of intensity. Often, acute poisoning leads to a rapid death.

Exposure is the encounter of the living organism with the poison. It may be characterised by many parameters: duration, number of replications, interval of time, routes of penetration into the body etc. The evaluation of exposure is the key point in experimental toxicology to provide valuable data.