Sodium chlorite is acutely toxic to birds when administered by gavage. The acute oral LD50 in mallard ducks is 0.49 to 1.00 g / kg and in bobwhite quail the LD50 is 0.66 mg / kg.
Sodium chlorite in the diet of birds was not acutely toxic. Eight day dietary LC50 in mallard ducks and bobwhite quail were both greater than 10 000 ppm in the diet.
What does LC50 mean?
LC stands for "Lethal Concentration". LC values usually refer to the concentration of a chemical in air but in environmental studies it can also mean the concentration of a chemical in water.
For inhalation experiments, the concentration of the chemical in air that kills 50% of the test animals in a given time (usually four hours) is the LC50 value.
Why study LD50's?
Chemicals can have a wide range of effects on our health. Depending on how the chemical will be used, many kinds of toxicity tests may be required.
Since different chemicals cause different toxic effects, comparing the toxicity of one with another is hard. We could measure the amount of a chemical that causes kidney damage, for example, but not all chemicals will damage the kidney. We could say that nerve damage is observed when 10 grams of chemical A is administered, and kidney damage is observed when 10 grams of chemical B is administered. However, this information does not tell us if A or B is more toxic because we do not know which damage is more critical or harmful.
Therefore, to compare the toxic potency or intensity of different chemicals, researchers must measure the same effect. One way is to carry out lethality testing (the LD50 tests) by measuring how much of a chemical is required to cause death. This type of test is also referred to as a "quantal" test because it is measures an effect that "occurs" or "does not occur".