10 Things You Should Know About TOXINS

By Jenn Juarez
10 Things You Should Know About TOXINS
1. There are 5 categories of harmful chemicals : neurotoxins, carcinogens, teratogens, allergens, and
endocrine disruptors.
2. Neurotoxins are chemicals that disrupt the nervous systems of animals and affects their ability to
control nerve transmissions. Examples include lead & Mercury.
3. Carcinogens are chemicals that cause cancer which leads to uncontrolled growth of cells and causes
damage to the genetic material of the cell. Examples include arsenic & asbestos.
4. Teratogens are chemicals that interfere with the normal development of embryos or fetuses. One of the
most common teratogens is alcohol and excessive use reduces the growth of fetuses and can damage
the brain and nervous system.
5. Allergens are chemicals that cause allergic reactions. They can cause breathing difficulties and even
6. Endocrine disruptors disrupt the function of hormones in an animals body & can interfere with the
production of testosterone.
7. There are three studies that are used to asses the risk a chemical posses to an organism. Dose
response studies and retrospective studies and prospective studies. Dose response measures mortality
as a response and observes responses that changes the behavior of an animal.
8. There is a difference between retrospective and prospective studies. Retrospective monitors people
who have been exposed to a chemical in the past. And prospective monitors people who might be
exposed in the future.
9. There are several routes of exposure that an individual might come into contact including how soluble
the chemical is and whether the chemical can biomagnify up a food chain.
10. There are two principles that can help determine whether a chemical is at risk in harming and
individual or organism. The innocent until proven guilty principle and it states that scientists are required
to demonstrate that a chemical causes harm to humans before any restrictions are imposed. The
precautionary principle which states that the use of a chemical should be restricted until scientists can
demonstrate that the chemical is safe.
Citations: textbook Friedland