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INTRODUCTION TO TOXICOLOGY

Learning objectives

This module will facilitate the learner to

Define toxicology
Know the various branches in toxicology

Understand the various terms used in toxicology

Toxicology - definition
Toxicology Poisons science of poisons naturally occurring or man-made chemicals, entry via any route in relatively small quantities produce biochemical abnormalities and/or physical lesions. also known as toxicants or toxic agents. Toxicology Science and art Science of toxicology observational and data-gathering phase Art of toxicology utilization of data to arrive at outcome to animal populations. Helps people make informed decisions and balance RISKS vs. BENEFITS

Toxicology definition contd.


Descriptive definition of toxicology 'the study of the adverse effects of chemicals or physical agents on living organisms and the ecosystems, including the prevention and amelioration of such adverse effects'.

Concerned with all aspects of poisons and poisoning.


Includes identification, chemical properties biological effects of poisons the treatment

Toxicology phases
Three phases of Toxicology
exposure phase, toxicokinetic phase and toxicodynamic phase

Toxicology - Branches

Toxicology - Branches
Veterinary toxicology - poisons causing toxicity in animals Immuno toxicology - toxins impairing functioning of the immune system Forensic toxicology - unlawful use of toxic agents and their detection for judicial purposes and medicolegal aspects Molecular toxicology - why and how chemicals cause harm to life - basis of cellular and molecular processes leading to toxic effects

Toxicology Branches contd.


Clinical toxicology effects of poisons/toxicants living organisms, diagnosis treatment and methods for detection etc.

Nutritional toxicology toxicological aspects of food/feed stuffs and nutritional habits. Environmental toxicology effects of toxicants used purposely industrial effluents or pollutants / contaminants, on health of organisms and environment.

Toxicology Branches contd.


Analytical toxicology application of analytical chemistry tools in the quantitative and qualitative estimation of the agents involved

Occupational toxicology occupational hazards associated with individuals working and their correlation with the possible toxicants and possible remedial measures

Ecotoxicology

fate and effects of toxic substances on ecosystem

Toxicology Branches contd.


Regulatory toxicology toxicological studies as per the regulatory agencies.

Developmental toxicology adverse effects on developing organisms occurring any time during the life span of the organism due to exposure before conception, during prenatal development or postnatal until the time of puberty. Toxicoepidemiology quantitative analysis of the toxicity incidences in organisms, factors affecting toxicity, species involved and use of such knowledge in planning of prevention and control strategies.