The adjective toxic is used to qualify what has poison or that it can generate poisoning. A poison, meanwhile, is a substance that causes health damage and until death when a living being comes into contact with it.
The term toxic can also be used as a noun. The more effective a poison, the greater toxicity: this notion refers to the level of damage that can be caused to a person, an animal or a plant.
The toxins, in short, are natural or artificial substances that have toxicity. When a living being ingest, touch or inhale a poison, you can suffer various inconveniences and even lose your life.
The toxic effect of an element is linked to the dose. This is because every substance has a certain degree of toxicity: what is considered a poison has a higher toxicity than most substances.
In addition to the chemical characteristics (the minimum amount that is needed to cause a toxic effect) and the dose (the amount that came into contact with the living being), the toxicity depends on the properties of the receiver. Organisms react differently to each poison.
When someone is continuously exposed to a poison, they speak of a chronic exposure. On the other hand, if you are exposed to a high dose only once, it is a serious exposure. While chronic exposure causes long-term problems, severe exposure can result in lethal. The protection when handling toxics, therefore, it is essential in all cases.
In this framework we speak of the three phases of the toxic phenomenon: exposure, toxicokinetics and toxicodynamics. In the first we can find the poison in the environment around the living organism, which has a relative risk of absorbing it. Let’s take lead as a point of reference, a heavy metal that is present in the city and the countryside, although the main focus of exposure is in the work environment.
The lead It can be a source of poisoning in extractive mining, in industries that rely on battery recycling (for example to manufacture electricity accumulators) and metallurgy (both primary and secondary). It should be noted that it is also possible to be exposed to this poison at home, either through drinking water or by eating a food with a high content.
With respect to toxicokinetic phase we must say that it takes place when the toxic moves through the organism alive. The dose ratio can be taken as a reference point to calculate the level of toxicity; however, kinetics (that is, movement) can be the determining factor, and yield two absolutely different results based on two equivalent doses in the same organism.
The toxicodynamics It is the action that takes place between the poison and the target organ, that is, the part of the organism in which its effects adverse. This phase of the phenomenon focuses on the study of the first biochemical lesion, the one that causes the disturbances after said interaction. Returning to lead, its effects are due to the fact that it is closely related to sulfhydryl groups, in particular to enzymes that depend on zinc.
Outside the scientific field, it can be said that an interpersonal relationship is toxic when it causes serious damage psychological in one of the parts. You can also describe the person responsible for them in this way. In general, the victim is characterized by having a level of self-esteem that is too low, which allows the other to control it to their liking.