Project Details Preparation of a consolidated and extended "IUPAC Glossary of Terms Used in Toxicology"

Project No.:
Start Date:
01 July 2013
End Date:
15 September 2017
Division Name:
Chemistry and Human Health Division
Division No.:


The “Glossary of Terms Used in Toxicology” was published as an IUPAC Recommendation in 1993 (, and updated in 2007 (, with coauthors who had already provided a separate IUPAC Recommendations for the “Glossary of Terms Used in Toxicokinetics” ( that was included in the updating process. The IUPAC Recommendations for a “Glossary of Terms Used in Ecotoxicology” followed in 2009 (, and for a “Glossary of Terms Used in Immunotoxicology” in 2012 (

Now we intend to consolidate all definitions from these Glossaries into a single database, eliminating redundancies in shared definitions, and making amendments as required by changing usage and new terminology. We shall extend the data set to include the so-far missing terms in Neuro-toxicology and Reproductive Toxicology/Teratology which will be identified in the related project recently submitted to IUPAC for consideration for funding. Finally we shall consolidate all terms into an electronic database that can be more easily exported between platforms. The consolidated Glossary and database should be available on completion of the project, in an estimated two years.


Firstly, we shall consolidate into a single database all the existing definitions from the Glossaries already published as IUPAC Recommendations in Pure and Applied Chemistry, eliminating redundancies in shared definitions, correcting any surviving errors, and adding new terms related to neurotoxicology, reproductive toxicology and teratology after they are approved by PAC for publication as IUPAC Recommendations. Secondly, we shall have the new and revised definitions reviewed by international experts as normal for IUPAC glossaries. Thirdly, we shall proceed to publication of hard copy.


Oct 2014 update – This project is at the stage of having consolidated the database of all current IUPAC approved toxicology terms. The new glossaries resulting from project 2013-001-2-700 will be added once they have IUPAC approval and have been published in PAC. Finally terms in the consolidated glossary will be subject to revision where usage has changed or developed.

Sep 2017 update – The book has been published by RSC in July 2017: (print ISBN 978-1-78262-137-9)

This book represents a culmination, or at least a resting point, in the long-term project that has resulted in five glossaries published as IUPAC Recommendations in Pure and Applied Chemistry:
1. J. H. Duffus, M. Nordberg and D. M. Templeton, Glossary of terms used in toxicology, 2nd edition, Pure Appl. Chem., 2007, 79, 1153–1344;
2. M. Nordberg, D. M. Templeton, O. Andersen and J. H. Duffus, Glossary of terms used in ecotoxicology, Pure Appl. Chem., 2009, 81, 829–97;
3. D. M. Templeton, M. Schwenk, R. Klein and J. H. Duffus, Glossary of terms used in immunotoxicology, Pure Appl. Chem., 2012, 84, 1113–1295;
4. D. M. Templeton, M. Schwenk and J. H. Duffus, IUPAC Glossary of terms used in neurotoxicology, Pure Appl. Chem., 2015, 87, 841–927;
5. J. H. Duffus, M. Schwenk and D. M. Templeton, IUPAC Glossary of terms used in developmental and reproductive toxicology, Pure Appl. Chem., 2016, 88, 713–830;

This book consolidates all these documents, and expands their contents with the addition of terms that have been newly introduced in toxicology or whose absence in the previous publications we felt should be addressed. The authors have taken the opportunity to harmonize definitions between the various sub-disciplines of toxicology, and to correct a few errors and oversights in our earlier work. Retrospection has also resulted in a uniform syntax and formatting for the construction and presentation of definitions that we believe is an improvement on that used in the earlier glossaries; we hope that the current document will thus contribute to the continuing development of the IUPAC standard for such documents.

This glossary serves as the reference glossary for students and researchers in toxicology, and those involved in chemicals legislation, regulation and risk assessment.

Project completed

Page last updated 19 Sep 2017