WHAT IS TOXICOLOGY?
Toxicology is the study of how chemicals and other agents cause adverse effects in living organisms. This involves identifying what health effects are possible following an exposure, and which exposure levels are likely to cause effects. Toxicologists focus on adverse effects that cause harm to both individuals and populations. The broad field of toxicology can include studying not only the effects of chemicals and agents, but also their detection in biological (tissue) and environmental (soil, water) media, and the treatment of affected organisms and environments.
HOW IS TOXICOLOGY WORK PERFORMED AT THE APHC?
The Directorate of Toxicology largely focuses on the study of chemicals that are unique to the military, as well as more common chemicals that have military-specific applications. While other agencies, such as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency may develop protective toxicity values, TOX develops values for chemical without values of military relevance and those that are specifically protective of warfighters and other related sub-populations that might use these chemicals differently than the general or worker populations.
The Toxicology Directorate has cultivated the following capabilities in order to conduct its mission. For more information on each of these topics, to include how to request toxicological support, click on the capability that you would like to learn more about:
- Consultations (Toxicological Support)
- Emergency Response
In silico assessment such as quantitative structure-activity relationship (QSAR) modeling to predict toxicity
In vitro toxicology assays using bacteria, invertebrates, or cell-culture methods
In vivo small and large animal studies ranging from acute to chronic durations
In vivo animal models for oral and inhalation toxicity studies using various lab and wild species
Ex vivo assessments such as precision-cut tissue slices
- Expertise with challenging materials:
- Energetics, smokes, pyrotechnics
- Toxic industrial chemicals, aerosols, powders
- Fire-suppression agents, combustion by-products
- Toxicologic and Diagnostic Pathology
- Immunohistochemical specialty stains
The Toxicology Directorate regularly generates the following products in support of our customers.
- Toxicity Clearances
- Toxicity Assessments
- Wildlife Toxicity Assessments
- Technical Reports
- Information Papers
- Fact Sheets
- Technical Guides
HOW WE DO THIS
The Toxicology Directorate provides toxicology expertise and services of exceptional quality to meet customer needs. We do this by—
- Conducting all toxicology studies consistent with the phased approach to best serve RDT&E and acquisition.
- Leading and participating in a wide variety of multi-agency national and international steering committees and working groups, which provides the technical basis for policy decisions and informs our mission.
- Performing all experiments in compliance with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Good Laboratory Practice (GLP) regulations.
- Working closely with the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee to ensure animal facilities and the APHC Animal Care and Use Program maintain American Association for Laboratory Animal Care* (AALAC) accreditation and strict compliance with Federal and DoD laws, directives, regulations, policies, and guidelines.
TOX SUBJECT MATTER EXPERTISE
- Toxicology in Risk Assessment
- Toxicology of Energetics
- Toxicology of Metals
- Reproductive Toxicology
- Inhalation Toxicology
In vitro Toxicology
In silico Toxicology Predictions (QSAR)
- Dermal Toxicity
- Developmental Toxicity
- Fluorine-free AFFFs
The two Divisions of the Toxicology Directorate center their efforts on occupational toxicology (Toxicity Evaluation Division) and environmental toxicology (Health Effects Division). Occupational toxicology relates to the identification and assessment of health hazards from exposure to chemicals in the workplace. This includes warfighters using the chemicals directly in the performance of their duties and factory workers producing the chemicals. Environmental toxicology relates to the identification and assessment of health hazards from chemicals that enter the environment through oral exposures, such as drinking water or food webs. The Toxicology Directorate Office of Pathology provides critical expert veterinary medical and pathology support to both TOX Divisions.