Archive for 'Unit 8-Toxicology'
I know that the threshold dose has to do with the effects, but I just do not feel like I completely understand the meaning of this term. Can someone please explain if it is when the effects first start to take place or is it when it is enough to be very harmful? Not really sure
If all creature react differently to chemicals, than couldn’t it be possible that the precautionary approach might actually hamper use of chemicals that are not harmful to humans. Let’s say that to a frog, chemical…Z is incredibly deadly. It affects the lungs of the young tadpole so that they develop to quickly, and they go belly up before reaching adulthood due to an inability to breath. Since humans never have to deal with this problem, would not chemical Z be fine for industrial use with humans.
Hey guys I just wanted to ask you guys what you think the free response will be/what you think is most important to study for a possible free response…obviously everything is but I mean like what sub topic would be most likely to be the free response topic…
I was thinking LD50 with maybe a graph and explaining why it is different between animals and people/ why it is complicated between different individuals? But I’m not sure..
I am having some trouble seeing the difference between the LD50 and the LC50. I believe what we actually did in class was a LC50 lab. Is the only difference the way the toxin was taken in by the body? Also, what is the difference between the threshold dose and the TDLO? Thanks!
Yep, you gotta check this research out (brief ad shows before the news clip)…
Today we spent most of our time discussing the complications of LD50 tests. The notes are in the box if you weren’t there.
Then, we spent a little time discussing animal testing, watching a few short videos to stimulate thought/discussion.
*If those videos on monkeys and spiders (wink) piqued your interest (or if you were absent), here are some other sources you might investigate:
For an in-depth overview (oxymoron?), try Wikipedia. Has some good data/graphs on which animals are used:
Here is a statement from our Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on animal testing:
The European Union has agressively fought animal testing:
Here is a very pro-animal testing story from a British paper:
Here is a very anti-animal testing web page from PETA:
How do you feel?
If you want to know more, more, more, here is a link to a great Environmental Contaminants and Toxicology Reader at The Encyclopedia of the Earth web site. We’ve only scratched the surface, and this will give you a much more complete picture of toxicology studies and principles. Maybe a great review site before the AP Exam. LD50 is just one, very common way to rate acute toxicity, this site will show you others.
So, today we discussed how children are likely to be more vulnerable than adults to the effects of environmental toxins.
Three reasons we discussed:
1. Age/developmental stage. Children don’t just pop out of the womb with fully developed detox organs (liver, kidneys, lungs) or immune systems, so they may react differently to a toxin than an adult.
2. “Living low” and oral habits. Very young kids (esp. those that haven’t learned to walk yet) spend a lot of time on the floor crawling, and can transfer trace toxins from hand to mouth often since that’s how they explore the world.
3. Pound for pound, they take in more of a toxin than adults do. If a 20 lb. child takes in 1 ounce of a toxin, then he receives a higher does than a 200 lb. man taking in the same amount. Make sense?
If you missed the video today, I don’t have a full digital version but you can get some tidbits at this EPA page under the link:
Chemicals – “NOW with Bill Moyers: Kids and Chemicals.”
If you are curious about chemicals in your own home, take a quick interactive tour of a typical house at this EPA website. Each room has a little surprise…
And, on a related note if here is a USA Today Special Report that allows you to check out how toxic the air is around any school (full of kids!). Just click the link below, then enter our school, our city, and our state and see what comes up…
Toxic Air and America’s Schools
If you missed the last two days, I kicked off our unit on toxicology. First, I laid out the 4 categories of hazards you text states might cause “harm:” biological, cultural, physical, and chemical. You had a good background in the biological (pathogens-infectious disease) hazards to health last year, so I plan to focus more on the chemical.
Second, I tried to deconstruct some of the language in your text concerning toxicology. I really don’t like the definition of a toxin from your text as it implies all toxins=poisons. Not all toxins are poisons, as typically a poison is absorbed in the gut after ingestion (or through the skin). I’m sure all of you can think of some that is “harmful” that you don’t have to ingest! So, in the most general sense, a toxin is a chemical (or form of energy) that causes “harm” at a certain dose. Some texts are particular about the terms, with toxin used for a chemical made by an organism and toxicant for a man-made chemical. Your text uses toxican most often. That led to the discussion of a phrase from the book: “The dose makes the poison.” This saying is attributed to Paracelsus. By this definition, any “chemical” could be “harmful.” So, water (seemingly harmless) could be poisionous!? Yes. If you have not heard of water poisoning or intoxication, check out this story. Conversely, something harmful like alcohol can be consumed often if the dose is small enough. So, toxicity is based on a dosage scale-chemicals are not simply “good” or “bad” for you. Doctors have to deal with this concept daily as the determine how much of a medicine a patient can take without causing “harm.”
So, is toxicology that simple? It’s just about the amount or concentration of a substance? No, of course not. I think this webpage gives a more complete account of factors that complicate if and when a “chemical” is “harmful:”
* You can also ask a classmate for a list of the factors we came up with besides dose when you get back.