PCL201H1 Lecture Notes - Lecture 27: Exposure Assessment, Forensic Toxicology, Risk Assessment

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14 Sep 2016
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PCL201
Winter 2014
Lecture 27 Toxicology
Toxicology is all around us and has many everyday applications
o Eat food microwaved with plastic wrap
o Drink from plastic bottles
o Consume artificial sweeteners
o …etc.
Pufferfish is highly toxic and must be prepared carefully at restaurants
Toxicology: the study of harmful effects of agents on living organisms; very interconnected with
other fields of science
o to understand the mechanisms of toxicity; if you understand the mechanism, you can
often prevent/treat the toxicity
o and other toxin-related stuff
o Toxicologists work in a wide field and do a broad range of things, #1 employer is
industry
“All substances are poisons; there is none which is not a poison. The right dose differentiates a
poison from a remedy.” –Paracelsus
Can be classified by purpose, affected organs, and research methods
o E.g. forensic toxicology, renal toxicology, molecular toxicology
Toxin: biological toxic substance
Toxicant: anthropogenic toxic substance
Risk assessment:
1. Hazard identification is it toxic?
By various analyses and tests
Mechanisms reversible binding of a stable metabolite vs. irreversible binding
of a reactive metabolite
2. Exposure assessment how frequently are we exposed to it?
a) Acute: <24 hours
b) Subacute: <1 month
c) Subchronic: <3 months
d) Chronic: 3+ months
Biomagnification: things at the top of a food chain accumulate toxins from its
prey (mercury accumulation in tuna)
Laboratory vs. real life
Direct vs. indirect measurements
3. Dose-response assessment at what dose does it become toxic
Graded dose-response curve: looking for intensity of effect
Quantal dose-response curve: looking for frequency of effect
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