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Industrial Hygiene - Essay Example

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Toxins are substances that are produced by living organisms; however, toxins that are created through synthetic processes qualify as a biological agent, which are widely used as chemical weapon. According to the International Red Cross Convention, the Biological Weapons…
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Industrial Hygiene
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Toxins are substances that are produced by living organisms; however, toxins that are created through synthetic processes qualify as a biological agent, which are widely used as chemical weapon. According to the International Red Cross Convention, the Biological Weapons Convention encompasses toxins that are “produced biologically, as well as those produced by chemical synthesis” (ICRC, 2010). And considering that toxins are basically made up of chemical agents, they are included in the definition of toxins of the Biological Weapons Convention (ICRC, 2010). Also, the United States Code defines toxin as a deadly and poisonous substance that is either produced by plants, animals, or by artificial processes (US Code, 18, 2008).
Toxins are classified into two main groups: bio-toxins and environmental toxins. Bio-toxins are toxic materials that unequivocally substantiate biological origin. Common types of bio-toxins are systemic toxins, neurotoxin, cytotoxin, and hemotoxin. On the other hand, environmental toxins are those that include man-made poisons. Most common types of environmental toxins are neurotoxic shellfish poisoning, and toxic triggers like pesticides and monosodium glutamate.
Exposure to toxins does not necessarily cause disease. The amount or dose of the toxic material and length of time at which a person is exposed to the toxin determine the risk of developing serious diseases (CCOHS, 2009). Parkinson’s disease is considered to be caused by exposure to toxins. However, case studies show that there is no direct correlation between developing the disease and exposure to chemicals. In fact, it “involves combination of genetic and environmental risk factors, which include exposure to manganese, lead, etc. (Schmidt, 2001).
Canadian Center for Occupational Health and Safety. (2009). What makes chemical poisonous?
Retrieved from:
International Red Cross Convention. (2010). The biological weapons convention: An overview.
Retrieved from:
United States Code. (2008). Chapter 10: Biological weapons. Retrieved from: 20AND%20((
Schmidt, C.W. (2001). Toxic triggers: genes, pesticides, and Parkinson’s disease. Retrieved
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