1. Learning Outcomes

    After taking the modules in this elearning course, you will be able to:

    MODULE 01 - Introduction to toxicology

    • Define the term 'toxicology'
    • Describe the different ways in which chemicals can cause harm
    • Explain the impact that physical forms can have on toxicity and exposure

    MODULE 02 - How to assess for toxicity

    • Define the terms 'in vitro', 'ex vivo', 'in vivo'
    • Explain what is meant by the term 'alternative methods' and how the 3R’s form part of these
    • Describe what other non-animal alternatives are available for finding test data
    • Explain what is meant by in vivo studies and two of the main issues regarding their use

    MODULE 03 - Risk, hazard and exposure

    • Define the terms 'risk', 'hazard' and 'exposure'
    • Describe the three main routes of exposure and the significance to toxicity

    MODULE 04 - Dose response effects

    • Define the terms 'dose' and 'response'
    • Draw a “typical” dose response curve and describe the key parts
    • Explain what is meant by the term 'threshold'
    • Explain the difference between thresholded and non-thresholded effects with examples
    • Define the terms 'NOAEL' and 'LOAEL'

    MODULE 05 - Irritation and corrosion

    • Define the terms 'local effect', 'irritant' and 'corrosive'
    • Explain what is meant by irritant contact dermatitis and how it typically occurs
    • Explain the common testing methods that are used to detect chemical corrosives and irritants

    MODULE 06 - Toxicokinetics

    • Define the term 'toxicokinetics'
    • Explain what happens at each of the respective stages: absorption, distribution, metabolism and excretion

    MODULE 07 - Acute toxicity

    • Define the term 'acute toxicity' and explain how it differs to 'repeated dose toxicity'
    • Explain why it is not possible to use acute toxicity data to predict repeated dose effects
    • Describe the common testing strategies that can be used to assess acute toxicity

    MODULE 08 - Repeated dose toxicity (target organ effects)

    • Define the terms 'systemic effect' and 'target organ effect' with examples
    • Explain the different types of repeated dose studies and the basic differences between these
    • Describe the common testing strategies that are used for repeated dose toxicity

    MODULE 09 - Carcinogens

    • Define the terms 'carcinogenicity', 'benign and malignant tumours', 'genotoxic and non-genotoxic carcinogens'
    • Outline the steps in carcinogenesis
    • Describe the common causes of cancer
    • Describe the common testing strategies for detecting chemical carcinogens

    MODULE 10 - Genetic toxicology

    • Explain the differences between DNA, genes and chromosomes
    • Define the terms 'mutagenicity' and 'genotoxicity'
    • Describe the types of effects that can occur (on genes, chromosomes and DNA itself) as a result of chemical exposure
    • Explain the significance of genetic toxicology and its relationship with carcinogenesis
    • Describe the common testing approach and methods that are used for genetic toxicology

    MODULE 11 - Reproductive and developmental effects

    • Define the terms 'reproductive toxicology' and 'developmental effects'
    • Give examples of common adverse effects that are typical of reproductive or developmental toxins
    • Outline the common testing strategies that are used to investigate such effects

    MODULE 12 - Chemical allergies

    • Describe how an allergy develops
    • Define the term 'allergic contact dermatitis'
    • Explain the difference between allergic contact dermatitis and irritant contact dermatitis
    • Define the terms 'respiratory hypersensitivity', 'occupational asthma' and 'work-related asthma'
    • Explain the significance of developing an allergy to a chemical in the work place
    • Outline the common testing methods used to detect respiratory and skin sensitisers


    • Define the term 'adverse outcome pathways' (AOP)
    • Identify the three main pieces of information which are required to develop an AOP
    • Explain the usefulness of AOP in toxicology
    • Identify two current issues related to the use of AOP

    MODULE 13b - EMERGING CONCEPTS – Combined effects

    • Explain the current issues related to toxicity testing for mixtures
    • Describe what is meant by the terms 'additive', 'synergistic', 'antagonistic' and 'potentiation'

    MODULE 13c - EMERGING CONCEPTS – Endocrine disruptors

    • Describe what is meant by the endocrine system and its function within living organisms
    • Explain the term ‘endocrine disruptor’ and ‘endocrine active’ substances
    • Describe what is meant by low dose effects and non-monotonic dose response
    • Outline the key issues related to the assessment of endocrine disruptors

    MODULE 13d - EMERGING CONCEPTS - Nanoparticles

    • Explain what is meant by the term 'nanoparticle'
    • Give two examples of nanomaterials
    • Outline the current key issues related to nanoparticles

    MODULE 14 - Toxicology & Human Health Risk Assessment

    • Explain what is meant by the term ‘risk assessment’
    • Outline the main stages of risk assessment
    • Define the term ‘DNEL’ and explain how it is used
    • Explain what is meant by safety factors/uncertainty factors and assessment factors, and how these are used
    • Describe the two approaches which can be used for exposure assessment
    • Explain what is meant by risk characterisation and how it is used