For those human beings who are lucky enough to live in the up to date world, life has never been better. Thanks to medicine, hygiene and agriculture we may expect to live up to or beyond the age of 70-80. But at every corner we may find threats and hazards. Why do we worry about risks when our lives are healthier than our ancestors’? Rather than enjoying the advanced technology, we are obsessed with some hazards. We like cell phones, but protest against new antennae erected in our neighborhood. Smallpox, measles, polio, mumps – are conquered thanks to medicines, but we refuse to give them to children because we are afraid that they could experience some side effects. We attend supermarkets and purchase lots of food but fear of risks of genetically modified crops. However, we eat so much that put ourselves at risk of obesity, diabetes, heart disease. Nobody wants to give up on computers, but we fear of their influence. It is a foolish situation: while science has made our lives safer and richer, we fear risks – real and imagined.
Unfortunately, despite the new technologies and sometimes in consequence of their appearance people today come into contact with incalculable substances that could at some amounts be poisonous. This applies to well-known matters like mercury, lead, alcohol, radon and even caffeine. We’re exposed to different chemical substances in our every day lives, from the food we eat, the air we breathe, the toys we play to the water we drink. Toxicology was significant historically because knowledge of animal and plant poisons served opposite ends, some helpful to society and others not. And it is significant to know about the health effects of chemicals and how we can prevent the consequences of toxicological risks.
The most important concept is the dose-response. We respond to certain doses of a substance. Dose-response is an essential principle of toxicology. It was declared by Paracelsus 500 years ago, “All substances are poisons … the dose differentiates a poison and a remedy.” This principle concerns not only some drugs, but also caffeine and alcohol. Despite toxicological progress assuring that our food is pure, it is vital to realize what products are safe to consume. In addition to worries about naturally occurring essences in foods, toxicologists investigate the safety of some additional components that have been added purposely or accidentally. When consuming food products, people should pay attention to their cooking and the eating amount to prevent poisoning. Generally speaking, before new consumer goods may be created and marketed, toxicological test is needed to guarantee that these goods can be used safely.
Also, it should be mentioned that children have the right for an environment where they can reach total potential. And all species do. People have power to dispense chemicals around the environment and control the development of many species. So, the usage of all substances that affect people, animals and plants should be thoroughly controlled.
Introduction to Toxicology and Dose-Response. toxlearn.nlm.nih.gov
Retrieved from: http://toxlearn.nlm.nih.gov/htmlversion/module1.html