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Organ toxicity - Essay Example

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Toxicologists work very hard to understand the different chemicals and organic toxins that can be dangerous to human beings, other animals, and the environment. They work to determine what the tolerance of toxicity is, what the threshold for toxic experiences are, and how to then avoid ever having that level of exposure to that chemical…
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Organ toxicity
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Download file to see previous pages The thing about toxicants is that there are many different potential, forms, means of exposure, plus reactions due to a combination of exposures that can make determining the safest levels like fitting together a puzzle where the pieces keep changing. Some toxicants are inhaled, absorbed through skin, or ingested, generally, and once inside the body the effects these toxicants may behave entirely differently, in the nature of symptoms, reactions, and what part of the body they target, so to speak. A “target organ” or “target tissue” is a specific organ in body that will be more affected by the toxin, while the rest of the body may not be affected at all. For example benzene specifically affects blood-forming tissues and lead focuses on the central nervous system, hematopoietic system, and the kidneys (National Library of Medicine, 2009). Not all individuals or individual organs react exactly the same way. It is the job of toxicologists to determine exactly what toxins cause the greatest reactions and what the actual organ toxicity is.
The liver is probably one of the hardest working organs in the body. It plays a huge role in digestion, the breaking down of substances, and stores important vitamins and minerals. One of the most important roles that the liver plays is during the process of detoxification. The detoxification process occurs in two phases and is responsible for removing harmful toxins from the body through a complex series of chemical reactions. There are various nutrients and enzymes that are required in order for the Phase I detoxification process to be carried out successfully. The byproduct of this process results in the formation of metabolites that can be more harmful, on occasion, than the original toxin. Phase II prevents there from being a buildup of these metabolites (Farr, 2002). The liver is, also, an organ that can easily suffer from hepatoxicity because of its active role in absorption, digestion, and detoxification. The liver also is subject to many conditions, influenced by toxicants, that can cause disease, damage, or organ death; conditions like hepatic necrosis, intrahepatic cholestasis, hepatic cancer, cirrhosis and these are just a few; there are many other examples (National Library of Medicine, 2009). Human beings and plants share this world but they are entirely different life forms and they differ in what toxicants they react strongly too and the symptoms that the exposure causes. Gasoline is a clear or light brown liquid with a very strong odor. Gasolines contains at least a hundred and fifty different chemicals, including benzene and, sometimes, lead. Gasoline is a necessity of the modern world, it is used as fuel for machinery, vehicles, of course, and sometimes as a solvent ("National library of," 2012). The target organs of Gasoline are dependent on the way it is absorbed; the skin, eyes, central nervous system, liver, kidneys, and respiratory system are typical. The exposed person would show signs of skin and eye irritation, weakness, headache, blurry vision, confusion, and even convulsions. Under extreme exposure conditions it can prove to be carcinogenic (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2011). Plant life responds differently. For plants it has now been proven that exposure to gasoline fumes can cause immediate toxic reactions in plants of differing and multiple species. Within a few hours, no longer than 6, the exposed plants have shown drooping and browning of the leaves. Asbestos is, in fact, a group of six different fibrous minerals that form in certain types of rock and soil. Asbestos has no taste or smell and its ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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