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French acute toxicity thresholds and incapacitating effects


For land-use planning, French acute toxicity thresholds are developed based on a methodology. This method proposes an exhaustive review of acute toxicological data and is based on expert judgment. Currently, the incapacitating effects are not taken into account in this methodology when setting thresholds. Generally, incapacitating effects are reversible effects but they could prevent the escape or affect the performance of a task. These effects can lead to prolonged exposure to the toxic substance and thus may cause irreversible or even lethal effect. Most of the international agencies (U.S. EPA, AIHA, ...) take into account the incapacitating effects in determining acute toxicity thresholds for emergency. Incapacitating effects can be classified according to their nature (physical, chemical), specificity (local, systemic) and severity. Several options were discussed for the inclusion of this type of effects in the French methodology. First, the definition of the threshold of irreversible effects could be revised to include incapacity. Or a specific paragraph could alert about the possible occurrence of incapacitating effects. Finally, a specific threshold could be developed, intermediate between reversible and irreversible thresholds. Different chemicals were used as case studies to test the different hypotheses. The substances of concern were chlorine, hydrogen fluoride and tetrachloroethylene. As example for tetrachloroethylene, incapacitating effect thresholds has been developed and shown that the third hypothesis seems the most acceptable. Indeed, a threshold of incapacitating effect for tetrachloroethylene is proposed at 250 ppm regardless of the exposure time, based on dizziness and incoordination. This threshold is currently under review.
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ineris-00970851 , version 1 (02-04-2014)



Jean-Martin Vincent. French acute toxicity thresholds and incapacitating effects. 47. European Congress of Toxicology (EUROTOX 2011), Aug 2011, Paris, France. ⟨ineris-00970851⟩


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