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Basic Principles of Toxicology

By Department of Health and Human Services

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Book Id: WPLBN0000222690
Format Type: PDF eBook
File Size: 0.1 MB
Reproduction Date: 2005
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Title: Basic Principles of Toxicology  
Author: Department of Health and Human Services
Language: English
Subject: Health., Medical research, Medical reports
Collections: Medical Library Collection
Publication Date:
Publisher: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention


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Health And Human Services, D. O. (n.d.). Basic Principles of Toxicology. Retrieved from

Toxicology: The study of the adverse effects of a toxicant on living organisms. Toxicology is an applied science that incorporates biology, chemistry, physiology, pathology, physics, statistics, and sometimes immunology or ecology to help solve problems in forensic medicine, clinical treatments, pharmacy and pharmacology, public health, industrial hygiene, veterinary science, agriculture, and more, as well as giving basic insight into how an organism functions. Toxicologist: A living organism who studies the nature of these adverse effects at the molecular, celllular, organ, organ system, organism, or even community level by understanding what the agent does to the system and what the system does to the agent. Toxicant (Poison): Any agent capable of producing a deleterious response in a biological system. “All substances are poisons; there is none that is not a poison. The right dose differentiates a poison and a remedy.” Paracelsus (1493-1541) The shape, size, and solubility of the toxicant will determine how easily it enters the body, how it will distribute within the body, and the rate of its excretion from the body. Dose: The amount of chemical entering the body. This is usually given as milligrams of chemical per kilogram of body weight (mg/kg) so that dose can be compared across specimens. How much, how often (duration and frequency), and how the dose is administered are all important parameters. Adverse Effect (Response): Any change from an organism’s normal state that is irreversible at least for a period of time. Producing an adverse effect depends on the concentration of the active compound at the target site. A description of the dose and the conditions of exposure must accompany a description of the adverse effect due to a chemical. An effect or response can be graded (variations of the degree of damage) or quantal (all or none; i.e., mortality or tumor development). Living Organism: The species, strain, individual genetic variation, gender, age, health conditions, nutrition, and previous and concurrent exposures can affect how an organism responds to a chemical exposure. Risk Assessment: Quantitative estimate on the potential effects of various types of chemical exposure on human health. RISK HAZARD + EXPOSURE...

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