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Dose Makes the Poison

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Dose Makes the Poison

A Plain-Language Guide to Toxicology



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The Dose Makes the Poison: A Plain-Language Guide to Toxicology by M.Alice Ottoboni
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The Dose Makes the Poison A Plain-Language Guide to Toxicology Second Edition M. Alice Ottoboni Increasing media coverage of reports on the effects of chemicals, new recognition within government and industry of the need to protect against exposure, and other current issues are elevating the public's concern about the health effects of synthetic chemicals in our environment. Unfortunately, much of this concern is based more on sensational news reports and half-truths than on scientific facts. This second edition of a widely read and highly acclaimed work reviews and explains the facts of chemical dangers in a clear and understandable manner. It objectively discusses the factors determining whether chemicals in our air, food, and water are harmful or harmless, and puts the dose - response relationship of chemicals in proper perspective. Effects of chemicals encountered at home and at work are presented in layman's language to assure understanding without having to turn to other references. Thoughtful discussions of controversial issues help you to understand news media reports on toxicology, avoid the half-truths that lead to "poison paranoia," and make informed judgments about our use and control of chemicals. Extensively revised, the second edition is also reorganized to expedite access to specific information. All experimental and analytical methods are in one section, and references to the origins of toxicology and regulation of chemicals are in another separate section to improve ease of reading. In addition, coverage of subjects such as public distrust of science, epidemiology, reproductive toxicology, and risk have been expanded to provide a better understanding of the relationship of toxicology to current environmental problems. All aspects of exposure and its effects are reviewed, including * How chemicals cause harm - toxicity, sensitization, corrosiveness, irritation, radioactivity, and other properties* Routes of exposure - skin, inhalation, oral, and combinations* Factors that influence degree of toxicity - species, age, sex, nutrition, state of health, presence of other chemicals, adaptation, and possibly, light* Chemicals that cause cancer and birth defects Chapters on toxicity of chemicals address no-effect levels and thresholds, margins of safety, and bioaccumulation. You'll see how the effects of chemicals are studied and how health problems are traced to environmental causes. Also clarified are differences between actual risk and perceived risk of various chemicals. With the media presenting us daily with new findings on chemical risks, this book provides a welcome "antidote" to the confusion. The Dose Makes the Poison is an easy-to-read review of toxicology that has become "required reading" for scientists and managers throughout industry; public health officials; environmental scientists; industrial hygienists; hazardous waste workers; and anyone who wishes to improve his or her understanding of toxic chemicals without taking the time to go back to school.

Table of Contents

What are chemicals?; How chemicals cause harm; toxicology - a brief history; factors that influence toxicity - how much? how often?; factors that influence toxicity - route of exposure; other factors that influence toxicity; acute toxicity; chronic toxicity; mutagenesis; carcinogenesis; reproductive toxicity; methods of study; human experience; epidemiology; risk; public distrust of science. Appendices: table of equivalents; how many molecules?; federal agencies and the substances they regulate.

Author Biography

About the Author M. ALICE OTTOBONI, Ph.D., lectures, writes, and consults in the field of toxicology. As Staff Toxicologist with the California State Department of Public Health for over twenty years, she originated, designed, and performed numerous toxicological studies of environmental factors of importance to public health. She is the author of the first edition of The Dose Makes the Poison, in addition to numerous papers published in scientific journals. She is listed in Who's Who of American Women, American Men and Women of Science, and in the Dictionary of International Biography. Dr. Ottoboni earned the Ph.D. in comparative biochemistry at the University of California, Davis.
Release date NZ
May 1st, 1997
Country of Publication
United States
2nd Revised edition
John Wiley & Sons Inc
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