How to Calculate LC50 Values

Frogs are sometimes used to determine LC50 of chemicals in water.
••• amphibia 6 image by Omely from Fotolia.com

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, LC50 is defined as the concentration of a chemical in air or water which is expected to cause death in 50 percent of test animals living in that air or water. With tests usually done on mice or rats, at the LC50 level 50 percent of the test animals will die after one exposure. Tests done to determine LC50 values specify what animal is used in the test. While toxicity tests on mice and rats do not always extend to people, the LC50 value is important and is used to be on the safe side when humans work around the material.

    Write out your test standards to include what animal will be tested, how many animals are in each test group, what concentrations of the chemical will be tested and the length of exposure.

    Subject one group of test animals to one concentration of the chemical in a controlled laboratory environment. Continue until all groups, except the control group, are subjected to one of each different concentration of the chemical.

    Define the LC50 value as the lowest concentration of the chemical, in parts per million (ppm), where at least 50 percent of the test animals die.

    Things You'll Need

    • Laboratory animals for testing
    • Chemical being tested
    • Laboratory environment

Related Articles

The Best Science Subscription Boxes for Every Age Group
What Is the Purpose of Animal Testing?
Definition of Toxic Endpoint
Pollution's Effects on Animals
What Are the Uses of a Level Titration
Advantages and Disadvantages of Animal Testing
Pros & Cons of Animal Testing
How Is Organic Beef Raised?
Test Your Knowledge on Middle School Science
How to Calculate Chemical Oxygen Demand
Microban Toxicity
Define Chemical Pollution
How to Convert Mg/m3 to Ppm
How to Read a Titer Report
How to Calculate Hazard Ratio
Environmental Concerns With Sodium Bicarbonate
How Land Pollution Affects Humanity
What Is Sodium Magnesium Silicate?
What Is the Density of CO2?
How to Measure the Oxygen Level in the Air
How to Treat High Conductivity in Water