- Print ISBN 9780444508683
Toxicology is the study of the nature and actions of chemicals on biological systems. In more primitive times, it really was the study of poisons. However, in the early 1500s, it was apparent to Paracelsus that "the dose differentiates a poison and a remedy". Clearly, the two most important tenets of toxicology were established during that time. The level of exposure (dose) and the duration of exposure (time) will determine the degree and nature of a toxicological response.
Since that time the discipline of toxicology has made major advances in identifying and characterizing toxicants. The growth of toxicology as a scientific discipline has been driven to a large extent by the use of extremely powerful molecular and cell biology techniques. The overall aim of this volume is to demonstrate how these advances are being used to elucidate causal pathways (or linkages) for potential adverse health consequences of human exposure to environmental chemicals or radiation.
A unique feature of this volume is its illustration of how carefully-designed studies of the molecular mechanisms of chemical action provide not only understanding of the potential toxicity of the chemical under investigation, but also new insights into the functioning of the biological system used as an experimental model. Each chapter contains a listing of major peer-reviewed articles and reviews and useful web-sites. In addition, each chapter contains a broad introductory section that outlines the subsequent sections. These Introductory and Overview sections are designed to be stand alone chapters, and may be packaged as a textbook in graduate level courses.