Understanding Toxicology Definition
Toxicology is one of the most talked about aspects of medicinal science or pharmacology with many people questioning the scope of the study of toxicology and what are the perimeters in which the branch works.
There are various toxicology definitions that maybe found online. Almost every definition talks about toxicology as a branch of science and is considered an important aspect of pharmacology in general. Moreover, most definitions enlist toxicology as the study of poisonous agents and chemicals and their effects on the living organisms. Some definitions extend the study of toxicology to detection and treatment of such toxins or poisons as well. To cut a long story short, almost every toxicology definition agrees that toxicology revolves around all types of materials that cause poisoning and extends itself to studying the adverse affects of these materials and to devising plans or treatments which can prevent or reverse these affects in living organisms.
Poison and Toxicology
Poison is the main center of attention for all toxicologists with most actually learning about the chemical composition, structure and behavior of most poison types during courses. However, it is important to understand that any material can’t be classified as ‘poison’ just because of the harmful effects it might have on the body. Poison has always been and will always be a dose related concept. As it is said that even good things in high doses can prove to be lethal, the concept is similar when it comes to poison. Many items, in safe doses, might be considered beneficial but turn out to be ‘poisonous’ in high doses.
It is for this reason that a toxicology definition does not limit itself to the study of poisonous agents but actually also extends itself to overdosing of items and their effect on living organisms. An example of overdosing and how it relates to toxicology and pharmacology is aspirin. Aspirin in normal quantity proves to be an extremely beneficial medication and is used by millions of people all around the world. Yet, the same beneficial medication turns out to be poisonous and has lethal consequences if used consistently for a long time or used in a high dose for a short time.
Therefore, in order to best understand the toxicology definition, understanding the concept of poison remains important.
Scope of Toxicology
To summarize it all and to give you an idea about the overall scope of toxicology, it remains important that you understand the things that toxicology covers.
- Study of toxins and their affects on living organisms in different quantities.
- Checking for over dosage of any chemical that might have led to toxicity and whether it was chronic (long term use in normal quantity) or large one time exposure.
- Detection of poisonous activity in the living organism due to the use of any chemical or poisonous agent in quantities more than normal.
- Detection of the route as to how the poison entered the body and whether it was due to inhalation, ingestion or skin absorption.
- Treatment of poisonous activity in the living organisms.
All in all, by understanding toxicology definition, you can easily understand the scope of the study and see how it affects human lives overall.