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LD50 Toxicity Analysis Graphing Activity

LD50, or the lethal dose for half of a population, is one of the more commonly used indicators of the lethality of a chemical compound. This activity presents students with LD50 data taken from administering two different toxins to a population of lab mice: arsenic and cyanide. Students will calculate the percent of the mouse population that was killed by each successive dosage of the toxin, then use those graphs to determine the LD50 of each compound. At the end of the activity, students will compare the relative LD50 values for several other compounds.

Essential concepts: LD50, lethal dose, toxicity, animal testing, risk assessment.

Answer Key: Available for purchase at the environmental science instructor resources subscription page.

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