A Small Dose of Toxicology: The Health Effects of Common by Steven G. Gilbert

By Steven G. Gilbert

Daily, we come into touch with many fairly innocuous ingredients which can, at sure concentrations, be poisonous. this is applicable not just to noticeable applicants resembling asbestos, lead, and gas, but in addition to compounds comparable to caffeine and headache capsules. whereas the sphere of toxicology has a variety of texts dedicated to features of biology, chemistry, and mechanism of motion, the necessity is still for a ebook that locations toxicology in the framework of our day-by-day lives. A Small Dose of Toxicology provides the foundations of toxicology via exploring the consequences of universal chemical brokers reminiscent of caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol. It stories the basics of dose-response and components of person sensitivity in regard to those medicinal drugs, after which applies this data to environmental contaminates corresponding to lead, arsenic, insecticides, mercury, and radiation. Chapters talk about neurotoxicology, chance review, carcinogenicity, and with quite a few particular poisonous brokers, with every one bankruptcy designed as a self-contained module to permit for flexibility within the choice of own or educational fabric. Exploring present toxicology issues inside a human context, this article discusses how toxicology impacts our daily lives whereas offering perception into the wider problems with public wellbeing and fitness and sickness prevention. Environmental and public health and wellbeing execs, in addition to rookies and scholars requiring a uncomplicated beginning in toxicology will locate this source exceptionally beneficial.

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Additional info for A Small Dose of Toxicology: The Health Effects of Common Chemicals

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Determination of an LD50 is based on a single acute exposure to an agent and the single response of death. Although the LD50 can be useful in comparing the gross hazards of agents, it is not necessarily relevant to a response produced by low-level chronic exposure. For example, the LD50 of lead is not particularly important, given its adverse effects on the developing nervous system even at very low levels of exposure. LD50s are misleading if used as the only characterization of the toxicity of a substance.

Allergies to animals such as cats and dogs are examples of specific sensitivities to an agent called animal dander. Other individuals may develop a sensitivity to dust mites. In general the young and elderly are most susceptible to the adverse effects of an agent. The young, particularly the very young, are more susceptible because the organs are still rapidly developing, and dividing cells are more easily harmed than mature cells. For example, lead affects the developing nervous system to a much greater degree than the adult brain.

It was only recently that the government forced the tobacco industry into acknowledging the addictive properties of nicotine and began to recover health costs through litigation. While the adverse effects of excessive alcohol consumption have been recognized for a long time, it was only © 2004 by CRC Press LLC ASDC02 14/1/04 11:20 AM Page 24 24 PRINCIPLES OF TOXICOLOGY in the 1970s that birth defects related to alcohol consumption during pregnancy were recognized. In contrast, the US government has declared that marijuana and many other recreational drugs are illegal based upon their known hazard characteristics.

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