The heat shock response has been suggested as a potential biomarker in toxicology. A vast amount of stimuli have been shown to induce heat shock proteins and new techniques to measure the response are constantly being assessed. In this study we use a novel immunocytochemistry technique to measure heat shock protein 70 (hsp70) induction in L929 cells exposed to cadmium chloride. Hsp70 induction was quantifiably measured using a soluble coloured substrate and qualitatively measured using a coloured substrate that precipitated at the location of hsp70. Using the insoluble coloured substrate hsp70 was identified predominantly within the cytoplasm of control cells. At intermediate cadmium concentrations hsp70 was observed to translocate to the nucleus. At these intermediate concentrations a heterogeneous heat shock response was observed. At lethal concentrations a strong heat shock response was observed with a widespread cellular response. This study demonstrates the potential of this immunocytochemistry technique to measure toxicological effects in cells by identifying the response quantitatively and qualitatively.