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Encyclopedia > Toxic
Look up toxic and toxicity in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.
A common symbol for poison

Toxicity (from Greek τοξικότητα - poisonousness) is a measure to the degree to which something is toxic or poisonous. The study of poisons is known as toxicology. Toxicity can refer to the effect on a whole organism, such as a human or a bacterium or a plant, or to a substructure, such as the liver. By extension, the word may be metaphorically used to describe toxic effects on larger and more complex groups, such as the family unit or "society at large". Toxic is the second single from the album In the Zone by Pop singer Britney Spears, released during the first quarter of 2004. ... Wikipedia does not have an article with this exact name. ... Wiktionary logo Wiktionary is a sister project to Wikipedia intended to be a free wiki dictionary (including thesaurus and lexicon) in every language. ... Image File history File links Toxic-trans. ... The skull and crossbones symbol traditionally used to label a poisonous substance. ... Toxicology (from the Greek words toxicon and logos) is the study of the adverse effects of chemicals on living organisms. ... In biology and ecology, an organism (in Greek organon = instrument) is a complex adaptive system of organs that influence each other in such a way that they function as a more or less stable whole and have properties of life. ... Phyla/Divisions Actinobacteria Aquificae Bacteroidetes/Chlorobi Chlamydiae/Verrucomicrobia Chloroflexi Chrysiogenetes Cyanobacteria Deferribacteres Deinococcus-Thermus Dictyoglomi Fibrobacteres/Acidobacteria Firmicutes Fusobacteria Gemmatimonadetes Nitrospirae Omnibacteria Planctomycetes Proteobacteria Spirochaetes Thermodesulfobacteria Thermomicrobia Thermotogae Bacteria (singular, bacterium) are a major group of living organisms. ... Divisions Land plants (embryophytes) Non-vascular plants (bryophytes) Marchantiophyta - liverworts Anthocerotophyta - hornworts Bryophyta - mosses Vascular plants (tracheophytes) Lycopodiophyta - clubmosses Equisetophyta - horsetails Pteridophyta - true ferns Psilotophyta - whisk ferns Ophioglossophyta - adderstongues Seed plants (spermatophytes) †Pteridospermatophyta - seed ferns Pinophyta - conifers Cycadophyta - cycads Ginkgophyta - ginkgo Gnetophyta - gnetae Magnoliophyta - flowering plants Adiantum pedatum (a fern... The liver is one of the largest internal organs of the human body. ... In language, a metaphor (from the Greek: metapherin) is a rhetorical trope defined as a direct comparison between two seemingly unrelated subjects. ... A family of Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso in 1997 A family is a domestic group of people, or a number of domestic groups, typically affiliated by birth or marriage, or by comparable legal relationships including domestic partnership, adoption, surname and in some cases ownership (as was the case in the Roman...


In the science of toxicology, the subject of such study is the effect of an external substance or condition and its deleterious effects on living things:organisms, organ systems, individual organs, tissues, cells, subcellular units. A central concept of toxicology is that effects are dose-dependent; even water is toxic to a human in large enough doses, whereas for even a very toxic substance such as snake venom there is a dose for which there is no toxic effect detectable. Dose can refer to several things: n An amount of medication to be taken at one time. ... Water (from the Old English word wæter; c. ... Superfamilies and Families Henophidia Aniliidae Anomochilidae Boidae Bolyeriidae Cylindrophiidae Loxocemidae Pythonidae Tropidophiidae Uropeltidae Xenoplplplpeltidae Typhlopoidea Anomalepididae Leptotyphlopidae Typhlopidae Xenophidia Acrochordidae Atractaspididae Colubridae Elapidae Hydrophiidae Viperidae Snakes are cold blooded legless reptiles closely related to lizards, which share the order Squamata. ... It has been suggested that Snake poison be merged into this article or section. ...


There are generally three types of toxic entities; chemical, biological, and physical.

  • Chemicals include both inorganic substances such as lead, hydrofluoric acid, and chlorine gas, as well as organic compounds such as ethyl alcohol, most medications, and poisons from living things.
  • Biological toxicity can be more complicated to measure, as the "threshold dose" may be a single organism, as theoretically this one virus, bacterium or worm can reproduce to cause a serious infection. However, in a host with an intact immune system the inherent toxicity of the organism is balanced by the host's ability to fight back; the effective toxicity is then a combination of both parts of the relationship. A similar situation is also present with other types of toxic agents. In particular, toxicity of cancer-causing agents is problematic, since for many such substances it is not certain if there is a minimal effective dose or whether the risk is just too small to see; here too the possibility exists that a single cell transformed into a cancer cell is all it takes to develop the full effect. Mixtures of chemicals are more difficult to assess in terms of toxicity, such as gasoline, cigarette smoke, or industrial waste. Even more complex are situations with more than one type of toxic entity, such as the discharge from a malfunctioning sewage treatment plant, with both chemical and biological agents.
  • Physically toxic entities include things not usually thought of as such by the lay person: direct blows, concussion, sound and vibration, heat and cold, non-ionizing electromagnetic radiation such as infrared and visible light, ionizing non-particulate radiation such as X-rays and gamma rays, and particulate radiation such as alpha rays, beta rays, and cosmic rays.

Toxicity can be measured by the effects on the target (organism, organ, or tissue). Because individuals typically have different levels of response to the same dose of a toxin, a population-level measure of toxicity is often used which relates the probability of an outcome for a given individual in a population. One such measure is the LD50, "LD" standing for "lethal dose", which is a concentration measure for a toxin at which fifty-percent of the members of an exposed population dies from exposure. When such data does not exist, estimates are made by comparison to known similar toxic things, or to similar exposures in similar organisms. Then "safety factors" must be built in to protect against the uncertainties of such comparisons, in order to improve protection against these unknowns. A chemical substance is any material substance used in or obtained by a process in chemistry: A chemical compound is a substance consisting of two or more chemical elements that are chemically combined in fixed proportions. ... Inorganic chemistry is the branch of chemistry concerned with the properties and reactions of inorganic compounds. ... This article is about the chemical element. ... R-phrases , S-phrases , , , , Flash point non flammable RTECS number MW7875000 Supplementary data page Structure & properties n, εr, etc. ... General Name, Symbol, Number chlorine, Cl, 17 Chemical series halogens Group, Period, Block 17, 3, p Appearance yellowish green Atomic mass 35. ... An organic compound is any member of a large class of chemical compounds whose molecules contain carbon, with the exception of carbides, carbonates, carbon oxides and gases containing carbon. ... Ethanol, also known as ethyl alcohol or grain alcohol, is a flammable, colorless chemical compound, one of the alcohols that is most often found in alcoholic beverages. ... The human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) A virus is a submicroscopic parasite that infects cells in biological organisms. ... A worm is an elongated soft-bodied invertebrate animal. ... An infection is the detrimental colonization of a host organism by a foreign species. ... The immune system is the system of specialized cells and organs that protect an organism from outside biological influences. ... An agent is an autonomous entity with an ontological commitment and agenda of its own. ... Gasoline is a petroleum-derived liquid mixture consisting primarily of hydrocarbons, used as fuel in internal combustion engines. ... Various smoking equipment including different pipes, and cigars. ... Industrial waste is a waste caused by industrial factories or mills. ... See Oscillator (disambiguation) for particular types of oscillation and oscillators. ... A red-hot iron rod cooling after being worked by a blacksmith. ... Look up cold on Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Electromagnetic radiation can be conceptualized as a self propagating transverse oscillating wave of electric and magnetic fields. ... Ionizing radiation is a type of particle radiation in which an individual particle (for example, a photon, electron, or helium nucleus) carries enough energy to ionize an atom or molecule (that is, to completely remove an electron from its orbit). ... In the NATO phonetic alphabet, X-ray represents the letter X. An X-ray picture (radiograph) taken by Röntgen An X-ray is a form of electromagnetic radiation with a wavelength approximately in the range of 5 pm to 10 nanometers (corresponding to frequencies in the range 30 PHz... This article is about electromagnetic radiation. ... An alpha particle is deflected by a magnetic field Alpha particles or alpha rays are a form of particle radiation which are highly ionizing and have low penetration. ... Beta particles are high-energy electrons emitted by certain types of radioactive nuclei such as potassium-40. ... Cosmic rays can loosely be defined as energetic particles originating outside of the Earth. ... An LD50 test being administered In toxicology, the LD50 or colloquially semilethal dose of a particular substance is a measure of how much constitutes a lethal dose. ... Factor of safety (FoS), also known as Safety Factor, is a multiplier applied to the calculated maximum load (force, torque, bending moment or a combination) to which a component or assembly will be subjected. ...


Factors influencing toxicity

Toxicity of a substance can be affected by many different factors, such as the route of administration (is the toxin applied to the skin, inhaled, injected), the time of exposure (a brief encounter or long term), the number of exposures (a single dose or multiple doses over time), the physical form of the toxin (solid, liquid, gas), the genetic makeup of an individual, an individual's overall health, and many others. Several of the terms used to describe these factors have been included here.

acute exposure
a single exposure to a toxic substance which may result in severe biological harm or death; acute exposures are usually characterized as lasting no longer than a day.
chronic exposure
continuous exposure to a toxin over an extended period of time, often measured in months or years

See also

Biological warfare, also known as germ warfare, is the use of any organism (bacteria, virus or other disease-causing organism) or toxin found in nature, as a weapon of war. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... Nephrotoxicity is a poisonous effect of some substances, both toxins and medication, on the kidney. ... The term neurotoxic is used to describe a substance, condition or state that damages the nervous system and / or brain, usually by killing neurons. ... Paracelsus Paracelsus (November 11 or December 17, 1493 - September 24, 1541) was a famous alchemist, physician, astrologer, and general occultist. ... Physiologically-based pharmacokinetic modelling (PBPK) is a mathematical modelling technique for human health risk assessment and investigation of toxicity. ... The skull and crossbones symbol traditionally used to label a poisonous substance. ... RTECS, also known as Registry of Toxic Effects of Chemical Substances, is a database of toxicity information compiled from the open scientific literature that is available for charge. ... The venom of the black widow spider is a potent latrotoxin. ... In pathology, a carcinogen is any substance or agent that promotes cancer. ... In biology, a mutagen (Latin, literally origin of change) is an agent that changes the genetic information (usually DNA) of an organism and thus increases the number of mutations above the natural background level. ... Teratogenesis is a medical term from the Greek, literally meaning monster making. ...

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Toxicity of Pesticides (3136 words)
Toxicity is usually divided into two types, acute or chronic, based on the number of exposures to a poison and the time it takes for toxic symptoms to develop.
Acute toxicity is due to short-term exposure and happens within a relatively short period of time, whereas chronic exposure is due to repeated or long-term exposure and happens over a longer period.
The commonly used term to describe acute toxicity is LD LD means lethal dose (deadly amount) and the subscript 50 means that the dose was acutely lethal to 50% of the animals to whom the chemical was administered under controlled laboratory conditions.
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