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A substance that in relatively small doses produce serious illness or death


poisonous substance secreted by animals and plants
include venom


any substance that produces toxicity following exposure. often associated with human made substances


any substance that is foreign to the body


therapeutic use of chemicals and minerals in medicine
"the right dose differentiates a poison from a remedy

descriptive toxicologist

conduct studies, in lab animals to assess the relative toxicity of chemicals of interest

mechanistic toxicologist

conducts experiments to understand how a chemical functions at the organismal/cellular/biochemical/molecular levels to perturb normal biochemistry and physiology

regulatory toxicologist

evaluate toxicological and epidemiological data to establish standars for the protection of huma health

acute exposure

single dose of a toxicant for less than 24 hours

subacute exposure

repeated dose of the toxicant for one month or less

sub-chronic exposure

repeated doses over a time period of typically one-3 months

chronic exposure

repeated, prolonged exposure


the proportion of dose that is available biologically and which reaches the systemic circulation

individual/graded dose response curve

dose related increase in the severity of the response
usually a measurable threshold for an effect

quantal dose response relationship

describe dose response relationships that are all or none (typically determination of a median lethal dose)

selective toxicity

chemical produces injury to one species or one type of organism without harming another

additive toxicity

the toxicity of the mixture is the sum of the individual toxic responses (pesticides)


(2+0=4) two compounds have different toxic potencies where only one is toxic


2+2=8 two chemicals are both toxic, but co-exposure cause a greater response together than the sum of the individual responses


2+2=1 one compound negates of toxicity of another


disposition of toxic compound in a biological syste

passive diffusion

most important mechanism for absorption for toxic compounds.
concentration gradient
lipid soluble

filtration through pores

translocation of chemicals through membranes by means other than passive diffusion, important only for small chemicals

active transport

translocation of chemicals through membrane that requires energy and specific membrane carrier. goes against concentration

facilitated diffusion

translocation of chemicals through membrane that binds to carrier. does not require energy but requires membrane carrier and a concentration gradient


translocation of chemicals through membrane through fluid membrane forms a vesicle/droplet

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