Science, Tech, Math › Science Acute Health Effect Definition What Exactly Is an Acute Health Effect? Share Flipboard Email Print Kwanchai Lerttanapunyaporn / EyeEm, Getty Images Science Chemistry Chemical Laws Basics Molecules Periodic Table Projects & Experiments Scientific Method Biochemistry Physical Chemistry Medical Chemistry Chemistry In Everyday Life Famous Chemists Activities for Kids Abbreviations & Acronyms Biology Physics Geology Astronomy Weather & Climate By Anne Marie Helmenstine, Ph.D. Chemistry Expert Ph.D., Biomedical Sciences, University of Tennessee at Knoxville B.A., Physics and Mathematics, Hastings College Dr. Helmenstine holds a Ph.D. in biomedical sciences and is a science writer, educator, and consultant. She has taught science courses at the high school, college, and graduate levels. our editorial process Facebook Facebook Twitter Twitter Anne Marie Helmenstine, Ph.D. Updated July 11, 2019 An acute health effect is the effect caused by the initial exposure of a hazardous chemical on a human or animal body. When a hazardous material's acute health effect is listed, the effects are generally severe and dangerous adverse effects, but subside after the exposure stops. In contrast, chronic health effects persist following exposure, even if the exposure stops. Acute health effects typically appear immediately or shortly after exposure and occur after relatively high exposure to a hazardous substance. Examples of Acute Health Effects Common examples of acute health effects include: Allergic reactions (including anaphylactic shock)IrritationRashes or dry skinBurnsDermatitisMetal fume feverLethal Concentration (LC)LC50Hearing loss Note dermatitis may also occur as a chronic health effect. Lethal concentration is the amount of a substance that is immediately dangerous to life and may cause death. LC50 is the concentration of a substance that causes death to one half or 50% of test subjects.