What are the differences between acute and chronic exposure?



What is acute exposure? 


Acute exposure refers to exposure to high doses of pollutants during a short exposure period (a few seconds to several days). This is the case, for example, when using chemicals (household products, solvents) or when applying resin or paint. Knowledge of the health effects of acute exposure is generally well documented. 


What is chronic exposure? 


Chronic exposure refers to exposure to low doses of a pollutant over a long period of time, either continuously or repeatedly (for several hours each day).

This is for example the case for indoor air pollution or environmental pollution by persistent organic pollutants.

Knowledge of the health effects of chronic exposure is much less documented than for acute exposure.

In recent decades, evidence of the harmful effects of chronic low-dose exposure has accumulated and much remains to be discovered about the health effects of low-dose exposure on humans.