The word Toxicology is derived from the Greek word TOXIKON, which means an arrow. Modern study is defined as a study on the adverse effects of both chemical and physical agents on biological systems. An important goal of toxicology is the application of the discipline to safety evaluation and risk assessment.
It is a scientific discipline, Overlapping with biology, Chemistry, Pharmacology, and medicine, that involves the study of the adverse effects of chemical substances on living organisms and the practice of diagnosing and treating exposures to toxins and toxicants. It has a broad scope. It deals with toxicity and mechanisms of toxicity of chemicals used in medicine for diagnostic, preventive and therapeutic purposes, in the food industry as direct and indirect additives, in agriculture as pesticides, Growth regulators, Artificial pollinators, and in the chemical industry as solvents, Components, and intermediates of plastics and many other types of chemicals.
It also concerned with the health effects of metals, petroleum products, Wastes of paper and pulp industry, Air pollutants, and animal and plant toxins. Risk assessment of deleterious of health effects induced by chemicals is a major enterprise in toxicology.
Types of Toxicology
- Analytical Toxicology: It deals with the study of detection and assay of poisonous chemicals including their metabolites that could affect the biological system.
- Forensic Toxicology: It is the disciplines such as analytical chemistry, Pharmacology and clinical chemistry to aid medical or legal investigation of death, poisoning, and drug use. The primary concern for forensic toxicology is not the legal outcome of the toxicological investigation or the technology utilized, but rather the obtainment and interpretation of results.
- Computational Toxicology: It is a discipline that develops mathematical and computer-based models to better understand and predict adverse health effects caused by chemicals, such as environmental pollutants and pharmaceuticals.