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Toxicology is the study of natural or chemical substances that affect an organism in an adverse way. It includes the study of symptoms that occur after the ingestion of the chemical, the mechanism of the chemical inside the body, detecting the chemical in the body and the treatment to be given.

These substances which act as poisons are called toxins as they are toxic. These chemical toxins include

• Inorganic substances like heavy metals (mercury, arsenic, cadmium, etc.), salts (oxides of metals, sulfates of metals, etc.), ammonia, nitrites, etc.
• Organic substances like pesticides, herbicides, preservatives, antibiotics, bio toxins, artificial colors, benzene, xylene, organic heavy metals, carcinogenic compounds, etc.

There are two types of toxins - Endogenous toxins which are produced with in the body as biochemical byproducts which can accumulate in the joints or muscles and exogenous toxins external toxins which ingested or absorbed by the body in the form of water, air, food, drugs etc.

Toxicology has different branches

Clinical toxicology-
It deals with emergencies occurring due to overdoses of drugs, poisonings. It also deals with identifying the compound and the amount of toxin present in the body.
Also deals with study of signs and symptoms of occurring due to the toxin and how to control the poison.

Forensic toxicology-
It is a branch of forensic science that deals with the study of the cause of death, extracting the toxin from the specimens, amount of poison present and identifying the poison is the main aspect. These studies will lead to the relation between residual levels of the toxins and the cause of death.

Chemical toxicology-
This deals with the study of chemical toxins, their structure, the mechanism of these toxins and the toxic effects on the living organisms.

Aquatic toxicology –
As the name suggests this deals with the study of effects of toxins on the aquatic organisms. These toxins may be either from manufactured chemicals or can be natural materials. It also deals with the study of the effects of toxins at subcellular level of the individual aquatic organisms.

This branch deals with the study of the effect of toxins at all levels of biological organization from molecular level to the level of the ecosystem.

Industrial toxicology-
This deals with the study of effects of chemicals released from the industries on the environment and the living organisms. It also deals with the safety of workers of the industry, their exposure to the chemicals, the safety measures to be taken while working.

Environmental toxicology-
This branch deals with the study of the toxic effects of various substances on the environment. Deals with the study of effects of pollution of water, soil, air and the effects of pollutants on the living organisms, wildlife and deals with the movement of chemicals in the environment and their residual time.

Biochemical and molecular toxicology-
This deals with the study of determining the modes of action of the toxins, the effect of the toxins at molecular levels. This will include the effects of different toxins on the DNA level i.e. the mutations that can be caused to the genes, treating the defected genes, etc.

Product development toxicology-
This branch of toxicology deals with the study of effects of the chemicals and drugs on the organisms before released to the market. This will lead to the improvement of the product to decrease the level of any harmful effects that may be caused by the product. This includes the evaluation of the toxic potential of a drug and the chemicals used to prepare the drug. This will help establish the safe amount of the drug that can be used.

Regulatory toxicology-
This deals with the regulating i.e. deciphering and analyzing the data of toxins for risk estimation, the thresholds of solvent vapors in industries and the safe level of drugs for organisms.

This deals with the gene and molecular profiling of the toxins.

Toxicology is that branch of science which is included in every aspect of life of all the organisms as there are so many toxins affecting the lives. Many of these substances are used in our daily lives as necessary items, these if used in the level of safe dosage helps us and more than the safe dosage of anything taken is harmful to the organisms and its effects can be temporary, permanent and some may be lethal.
Forensic toxicology is playing vital role in finding causes of death especially in sudden or accidental deaths or in the crimes.
Toxicology is a branch of chemistry, biology, and pharmacology dealing primarily with the study of the negative effects of chemicals on living organisms, especially people. Toxicology came from the Ancient Greek term toxicos meaning "poisonous". That is why it is a study referring to the detection, mechanisms, symptoms, and treatment of poisoning.

Toxicology started as far as the reign of Roman emperor Nero, where Greek physician, Dioscorides, made the initial attempt on plant classification with their therapeutic and toxic effects. Between the 9th and 10th century, a certain Ibn Wahshiya published the Book of Poisons. Around 1500s, Theophrastus Phillipus Auroleus Bombastus von Hohenheim was also referred with the same title. He was also known for his quote, "All things are poison and nothing is without poison; only the dose makes a thing not a poison."

In 1813, toxicology was further discussed, and the first who made a formal treatment became the father of it, Matheiu Orfila. It was during 1850 that the first recorded death caused by poison was recorded. The medium was said to be nicotine.

The United States Code Title 18 defines toxin as the "toxic material or product of plants, animals, microorganisms (including, but not limited to, bacteria, viruses, fungi, rickettsiae or protozoa), or infectious substances, or a recombinant or synthesized molecule, whatever their origin and method of production..."

Biotoxins are those of biological origin. They have two primary functions: a) Predation like wasp, jellyfish, scorpion, snake, spider, etc. and b) Defense like poison dart frog, wasp, honeybee, termite, ant, bee, etc.

Biotoxins have several types. These are:
a. Cyanotoxins - produced by a blue-green algae or also known as cyanobacteria.
b. Hemotoxins - pass through the bloodstream and target red blood cells.
c. Necrotoxins - destroy and cause death to cells they get to encounter
d. Neurotoxins - affect the organism's nervous system
e. Cytotoxins - do harm via cellular level either random or specific
f. Apitoxin - produces local inflammation and has anticoagulant effects
g. Mycotoxins - makes immune system disturbances and is caused by fungi or molds