Acute Effect


Definition - What does Acute Effect mean?

An acute effect is an adverse reaction in humans or animals when exposed to a harmful or toxic substance. The reaction can trigger severe symptom onset that often escalates quickly.

An acute effect is experienced right after exposure and presents with noticeable symptoms like skin rashes, itching, coughing, wheezing, or sneezing. Acute effects are short term and typically go away once exposure stops. Based on the nature of the exposure, the individual may experience overall malaise, serious injury, or on occasion, death after being exposed. Acute exposure is sometimes referred to as a short term effect.

WorkplaceTesting explains Acute Effect

Acute, or short term, exposure can bring about some quick and short lived symptoms such as throat or nasal irritation from inhaling smoke or paint fumes. Once the irritant is removed, the symptoms dissipate as well. In other cases, inhalation of toxic substances such as carbon monoxide can be potentially fatal and bring about quick death.

As such, it is important for workers to know about the risk of exposure to toxins in their work environment. Repeated episodes of such exposure can lead to chronic health issues that can have long term implications for the individual.

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