Toxicology testing, also known as safety assessment, or toxicity testing, is conducted to determine the degree to which a substance can damage a living or non-living organisms. It is often conducted by researchers using for example for medicines and pesticides. Much toxicology is considered to be part of the field of preclinical development. Stages of in vitro and in vivo research are conducted to determine safe doses of exposure in humans before a first-in-man study.
Toxicity Tests are required to assess potential hazards to humans through the acute, subchronic, and chronic exposure of laboratory animals to pesticides. The more specific types of toxicity that are determined include carcinogenicity; developmental (including teratogenicity in offspring) and reproductive toxicity; mutagenicity; and neurotoxicity. Detailed information on the metabolism or biotransformation of the pesticide is also obtained. Consideration is given to testing individual metabolites in animals, and in or on pesticide-treated plants to which humans could exposed through their diet. The extent of metabolite testing required depends on the level of potential toxicity and environmental persistence of the metabolite. With the exception of the acute toxicity tests, most tests are conducted to determine the nature of any toxicity that can be produced by repeatedly dosing animals over an extended period.