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Basic Elements of Toxicology

Basic Science

  1. Bryan Ballantyne MD, DSc, PhD, FRCPath, FFOM, FACOEM, FAACT, FATS, FIBiol, CBiol1,
  2. Timothy C. Marrs OBE, MD, DSc, FRCP, FRCPath, FBTS, FATS2,3,4,
  3. Tore Syversen MSc, Dr Philos5

Published Online: 15 DEC 2009

DOI: 10.1002/9780470744307.gat001

General, Applied and Systems Toxicology

General, Applied and Systems Toxicology

How to Cite

Ballantyne, B., Marrs, T. C. and Syversen, T. 2009. Basic Elements of Toxicology. General, Applied and Systems Toxicology. .

Author Information

  1. 1

    Independent Consultant in Occupational and Clinical Toxicology, Charleston, West Virginia, USA

  2. 2

    Edentox Associates, Pinehurst, Edenbridge, Kent, UK

  3. 3

    National Poisons Information Service (Birmingham Centre) and West Midlands Poisons Unit, Birmingham, UK

  4. 4

    University of Central Lancashire, Lancashire School of Health and Postgraduate Medicine, Preston, UK

  5. 5

    Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Department of Neuromedicine, Faculty of Medicine, Trondheim, Norway

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 DEC 2009


Toxicology is a multidisciplinary science concerned with determining the potential of chemicals and certain physical agents, such as ionizing radiation, to produced adverse effects in living organisms. Adverse effects in the context of this definition are those that are detrimental to the normal functioning or survival of the organism. If such effects occur, it is necessary to know their nature, incidence, mechanism of production, factors influencing their development and reversibility. This overview chapter discusses the following major elements in the science of toxicology: historical aspects; definitions and scope; subdisciplines; routes of exposure; dosage-response relationships; factors influencing toxicity; biohandling of xenobiotics; toxicity of mixtures; conduct and review of toxicology studies; hazard evaluation and risk assessment; professional and ethical issues.


  • toxicology;
  • history;
  • acute toxicity;
  • repeated exposure toxicity;
  • classification;
  • dosage-response;
  • LD50;
  • NOEL;
  • NOAEL;
  • RfD;
  • benchmark;
  • methodology;
  • factors influencing;
  • biotransformation;
  • routes;
  • mixtures;
  • drug toxicity;
  • toxicology studies;
  • human volunteer;
  • hazard evaluation;
  • risk assessment;
  • professionalism;
  • ethics