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April 13, 1957


JAMA. 1957;163(15):1333-1337. doi:10.1001/jama.1957.02970500017005

• A system of "toxicity ratings" has been established for common household and farm products that may be involved in cases of acute chemical poisoning. This system uses a numerical scale from 1 to 6 and is based on the probable lethal dose in humans (grams per kilogram of body weight), with a value of 6 implying that even a taste (less than 7 drops) might be fatal in an adult. The types of products that fall within each toxicity class are listed. Once the limitations of these ratings are understood, a reference list of ratings enables the physician to formulate an immediate prognosis when he knows the name and the approximate amount of a toxic product that has been ingested.