Toxic effects: including neurotoxicity, developmental toxicity, immunotoxicity, teratogenecity, male and female reproductive toxicity, mutagenecity, carcinogenicity, pulmonary toxicity, cardiovascular toxicity, hepatotoxicity, gastrointestinal toxicity and cardiovascular toxicity Toxicology and society: epidemiological studies of chemical-induced diseases in human populations, and a vision for toxicology in the 21 st century.
Mammalian Toxicology is an essential primer for students of toxicology, biochemistry, biology, medicine and chemistry. It is also appropriate for professional toxicologists in research or regulatory affairs, and anyone who needs to understand the adverse effects of toxic agents on the human body. Edited by Mohamed B. Abou-Donia Duke University Medical Center, USA
Toxicology is the discipline that is concerned with investigating the adverse effects of chemicals and radiation. Mammalian Toxicology was tailored after the course that the Editor has been teaching at Duke University since 1980, during which time he has been assisted by a team of toxicologists who are experts in the their fields, from Duke University, the Durham Veteran's Administration Medical Center, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA), the National Institute of Environmental Protection Agency (NIEHS), and the National Toxicology Program (NTP). Many of these toxicologists have contributed chapters in this book.
Chronic diseases and disabilities have become a global problem. In the United States, in particular, chronic diseases have reached epidemic proportions, affecting more than 100 million men, women and children, which is more than one-third of the population. Asthma, autism, birth defects, cancers, developmental disabilities, diabetes, endometriosis, infertility, Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease and other diseases and disabilities that cause increased suffering and concern. The human cost for families and communities is immeasurable, particularly those who are already disadvantaged by persistent economic disparities. The economic cost of these diseases exceeds US$325 billion yearly in health care and lost productivity.
Scientific evidence increasingly indicates a relationship between a range of environmental factors and these diseases and conditions. One important contributor may be an increased exposure to the wide array of chemical substances that are used in modern industrial society, including diverse synthetic chemicals, compounds, metals and related elements such as lead, mercury and arsenic, as well as other pollutants in food, water and air. There are three toxic entities: chemical, biological, and physical:
Chemical toxicants include inorganic substances such as lead, mercury, and chlorine gas; and organic compounds such as methanol, and most modern pesticides.
Radioactive chemicals are not poisonous because of their chemical nature, but because radiations emitted are highly energetic and destroy cells, but radioactive toxicity should not be comprehended in chemical toxicity.
Biological toxicants include bacteria and viruses that can cause disease in living organisms.
Physical toxicants are substances that can do their physical nature interfere with biological processes. Examples include coal dust, asbestos fibers or finely divided silicon dioxide, all can be fatal if inhaled. A sphyxiant gases (e.g., methane) can be considered physical toxicants because they act by displacing oxygen in the environment, although they are inert - not toxic - gases.
While the industrial revolution took place during the nineteenth century, the twentieth witnessed tremendous advances in the chemical industry. In 1900, US minerals consumption was less than100 million metric tons, but by 2000 this had increased to more than 3.3 billion metric tons. Humans are exposed to thousands of chemicals, either naturally occurring or man-made. The known number of chemicals has been estimated to be over five million man-made chemicals, of which only 70 000 are in commercial use today. In addition, it has been reported that there are more than 100 000 naturally occurring substances of known structure. Chemicals have impacted many aspects of life, such as the development of mechanistically based new drugs, pesticides against agricultural pest and health-borne diseases, fertilizers, and industrial chemicals. Advances in chemical industry during the second half of the past century, such as developments in synthetic chemistry, have resulted in an expansion in the number of products that are used in everyday life, including indus