“What is there that is not poison? All things are poison and nothing without poison. Solely, the dose determines that a thing is not a poison”
"TOXIC" is the root word from the word toxicology. As a medical technology student, studying comes with stress. I remember back then, the word "toxic" was used to describe the times when we do our research, submit a lot of requirements at the same time and study for a quiz or exam. Stress is like poison to our lives. It's like it kills us slowly by indulging us to exhaustion, hence the word toxic.
Poisons are also called drugs. Everyone of us use drugs and usually for the purpose of treating our illnesses. As a future doctor, it is of great importance to study these drugs as to their function and mechanisms inside the body as wrong prescription may endanger the lives of the patient and possible, may lead to their death.
In order to prevent these mistakes, we need to study drugs, its function and mechanism and with this, TOXICOLOGY is what we need.
What is TOXICOLOGY?
Toxicology is the study of how natural or man-made poisons cause undesirable effects in living organisms.
On the other hand, poison can be deﬁned as any substance that causes a harmful effect when administered, either by accident or design, to a living organism.
Definition of terms:
- Toxicity - the degree to which a substance is poisonous or can cause injury
- Toxic - This term relates to poisonous or deadly effects on the body by inhalation (breathing), ingestion (eating), or absorption, or by direct contact with a chemical.
- Toxicant - any chemical that can injure or kill humans, animals, or plants; a poison.
- Toxin - term used for toxic substances produced naturally
II. Sub-fields of Toxicology
There are various specialized subdisciplines within the field of toxicology that concern diverse chemical and biological aspects of this area.
The field of toxicology can be further divided into the following sub-disciplines or sub
- Environmental Toxicology is concerned with the study of chemicals that contaminate food, water, soil, or the atmosphere.
- Occupational (Industrial) Toxicology is concerned with health effects from exposure to chemicals in the workplace.
- Regulatory Toxicology gathers and evaluates existing toxicological information to establish concentration-based standards of “safe” exposure.
- Food Toxicology is involved in delivering a safe and edible supply of food to the consumer.
- Clinical Toxicology is concerned with diseases and illnesses associated with short term or long term exposure to toxic chemicals.
- Descriptive Toxicology is concerned with gathering toxicological information from animal experimentation.
- Forensic Toxicology is used to help establish cause and effect relationships between exposure to a drug or chemical and the toxic or lethal effects that result from that exposure.
- Analytical toxicology identifies the toxicant through analysis of body fluids, stomach content, excrement, or skin.
- Mechanistic Toxicology makes observations on how toxic substances cause their effects.