BIOL354 Environmental Toxicology I Spring 2012
Lecture 1: Introduction
- Toxicology: Study of harmful effects in living organisms from exposure to foreign substances.
o Interdisciplinary (multiple facets), different levels of organization.
- Xenobiotic: Abiotic foreign chemical (Synthetic or naturally occurring) that may produce toxic (lead) or
useful (pharmaceuticals) effects.
o Anthropogenic: Synthetic substances, not naturally occurring.
- Toxicants: Abiotic poisonous agents (Chemicals not produced by living organisms)
o E.g. Metals (weathering of rocks), PAHs &PCBs (synthetic)
- Toxin: Biotic poisonous agents (Substances produced by +iving organisms)
o E.g. Hematoxin (snake venom) & Tetrodotoxin[Na channel blocker] (Puffer fish) tired & irritable.
- Pollutants (stressors)
o From the molecular level to the ecosystem level:
Increasing system complexity, impacts relevance, & decreasing certainty.
Effect due to accumulation of multiple stressors @ complex organizational levels.
- No Exposures = No Effects
o Toxicant released, organisms exposed & takes up the toxicant (Modification?), shows responses
on the organism or trans-genera