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Toxicant Pathways - Essay Example

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A Discussion on Toxicant Pathways Your Name Due Date In the world we live in today there are many substances, compounds, and chemicals that, although beneficial in some capacity, possess the ability to be rather dangerous to living things, including human beings, and the natural environments that they call home…
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Toxicant Pathways
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Download file to see previous pages The majority of our day to day actions help contribute to the presents of these chemicals and toxins within society. From the cars we drive to the factories we work in; from the water we drink and the foods we eat to the very air that we breathe. The ability to limit ones exposure is a matter of self awareness and education. In the meantime, it is important to take the time to understand what could be silently entering your body and how to limit those exposures, as much as possible. Toxicology is approached, primarily, from one of two models. The first is toxicokinetics, which focuses on the course and time frame that a toxicant takes to be absorbed, distributed, biotransformed, and evacuated from the body. Toxicodynamics focuses upon the effects experienced by the organism exposed. Meaning, that it follows the physiological manifestations of the toxic side-effects and tracking how these changes cause other compensatory reactions (Ashauer & Escher, 2010). There are three primary ways that toxicants can find their way into one’s body; through the skin, through the respiratory system, and through the gastrointestinal tract. Touching, breathing in, and eating these toxicants are not uncommon as they are commonplace in our cities and our homes. Once inside the body a toxicant then will move through the circulatory system and, potentially, disrupt, damage, or impair other organs and body systems. There are four ways that a body can “uptake,” which is how the toxicant passes through the call walls ("Toxic pathways," 2009). Passive Diffusion: The small toxicant molecules move along the cells surface and move along a concentration gradient. Facilitated Transport: The toxicant molecules pass through the cell wall while being aided by other molecules in order to enter the cell. Active Transport: Toxicant molecules are actively combined with carriers in order to infiltrate the cell. Pinocytosis: The cell membrane itself will create a fold around the toxicant molecules and once it invades the cell it can undergo the process called biotransformation. Biotransformation is a process that occurs in multiple tissues and organs in the body, eyes, lungs, skin, kidneys, and gastrointestinal tract, but primarily, the liver. There are two important phases to the biotransformation process. In Phase I the toxicant molecules go through chemical changes through one of three processes; oxidation, which occurs when electrons are lost during this process, reduction, which occurs when electrons are gained during the process, and, lastly, hydrolysis, which occurs when there is a chemical reaction to water spillage that leads to a splitting of the toxicant into two fragments or smaller molecules. From here the toxicant may be stored, may become more toxic, and target and damage or destroy a targeted organ. Phase II of Biotransformation involves further chemical changes to be undergone by the toxicant. The process of conjugating determines if the toxicant will be water soluble or not. The toxicant may then pass through your body as sweat or urine. However, it can, also, be reabsorbed, which can lead to the death of cells and organs ("Toxic pathways," 2009). Granted there are a number of other considerations that can contribute to how and at what speed one’s body reacts to the invasion of toxicants, like age, gender, ethnicity, and species. Our bodies are absorbing and “ ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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