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Acute Effect

Last updated: May 12, 2017

What Does Acute Effect Mean?

An acute effect is a physiological reaction in a human or animal body resulting in serious symptoms that develop rapidly during short-term (acute) exposure to toxic chemicals or substances. Symptoms are dangerous and severe but often subside after the exposure stops. In some instances, acute exposure can cause sickness, severe injury or even death within hours or days, although these instances are rare.

Excessive or prolonged exposure to the irritating and/or dangerous agent is known as acute exposure. If the cause for the acute effect is not removed, it can become a chronic health effect. It can have long-term, life-changing and potentially fatal health implications, ranging from developing cancer to eczema, bronchitis or a range of other medical conditions.

Safeopedia Explains Acute Effect

Brief one-time (acute) exposure to a high concentration of certain dangerous chemicals or substances is incredibly unlikely to cause long-lasting or permanent health effects. However, exposure to other chemicals or substances, even if for a brief period, can result in a serious chronic health effect called chemical hypersensitivity. This is why workers should be familiar with the chemicals they work with in terms of acute and chronic health effects, the relative risk associated with exposures, and the proper procedures to protect themselves.


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