When asked to name a poison, people may well think of cyanide, arsenic, or strychnine. But these are not the most toxic substances known. More poisonous than these, but still not near the top of the tree, is tetrodotoxin , the pufferfish toxin that poisons around 50 Japanese people every year. The fish is a delicacy in Japan, but can be lethal if prepared incorrectly. It also crops up in the blue-ringed octopus and was more recently discovered in tiny frogs in Brazil. On this scale, for example, sodium cyanide comes out at around 6 milligrams per kg. The LD50 of tetrodoxotin, by comparison, is around micrograms per kg if orally ingested, and as little as 10 micrograms per kg if injected. Assessing toxicity is not easy. The chemical state of a substance is important, as is how we ingest it. If we swallowed liquid mercury metal as distinct from inhaling the vapour , it would very likely pass straight through us harmlessly.
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Nature of a toxic substance
Poisoning is injury or death due to swallowing, inhaling, touching or injecting various drugs, chemicals, venoms or gases. Many substances — such as drugs and carbon monoxide — are poisonous only in higher concentrations or dosages. And others — such as cleaners — are dangerous only if ingested.
Entry 1 of 3 1 a : a substance that through its chemical action usually kills, injures, or impairs an organism b 1 : something destructive or harmful 2 : an object of aversion or abhorrence 2 : a substance that inhibits the activity of another substance or the course of a reaction or process a catalyst poison poison. Poverty is a poison to society. Verb How did the murderer poison the victim?
A poison is any substance that is harmful to your body. You might swallow it, inhale it, inject it, or absorb it through your skin. Any substance can be poisonous if too much is taken. Poisons can include. The effects of poisoning range from short-term illness to brain damage, coma, and death. To prevent poisoning it is important to use and store products exactly as their labels say. Keep dangerous products where children can't get to them. Treatment for poisoning depends on the type of poison. If you suspect someone has been poisoned, call your local poison control center at right away. Learn More Specifics.