What Is Toxicity (Lesson 2)

By now we should understand that toxic is poison. So let’s look into what toxicity is and what it does. Toxicity is the degree to which a substance ( a toxin or poison) can damage humans or animals.Toxicity can refer to the effect on a whole organism, such as an animal, bacterium, or plant, as well as the effect on a substructure of the organism, such as a cell (cytotoxicity) or an organ such as the liver (hepatotoxicity). By extension, the word may be metaphorically used to describe toxic effects on larger and more complex groups such as  the family unit or society at large.

In general all substances are toxic or poisonings; However at normal levels, these substances are considered allowable or safe. Toxicity is above the allowed levels. A toxic effect may be visible damage, or a decrease in performance or function measurable only by test. The toxicity of a substance depends on three factors: 1) structure 2) the extent which the substance is absorbed by the body 3) and the body’s ability to detoxify the substance and rid it from the body.

 Acute toxicity involves harmful effects in an organism through a  single or short term exposure. Sub chronic toxicity is the ability of a toxic substance to cause effects for more than a year but less than the lifetime of the exposed organism. Chronic toxicity is the ability of a substance or mixture of substances to cause harmful effects over an extended period, usually upon repeated or  continuous exposure, sometimes lasting the entire life of the exposed organism.

Toxicity:  noun

1) The degree to which something is poisioness

2) Grave harmfullness or deadliness

3) The quality of being toxic


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