Single Toxicant and its Effects

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A toxicant is any substance that is made by humans or introduced by human beings into the environment through the activities. These toxicants are considered to be poisonous in the environment. Ideally, a toxicant is a synthetic or manmade substance that presents a risk of disease, injury, death or birth defects in both the animals and plants through the processes of ingestion, absorption, and inhalation or through the altering of the environment where the organism is found. It is known that exposure to chemical substances may cause serious effects on the respiratory system of a living organism. The toxicant can affect the trachea, pharynx, bronchi or even the lungs. It has been established through scientific research that exposure to industrial or environmental chemicals can cause impairment to the respiratory functions.

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Cigarette smoking is a toxicant that affects the immune system of human beings. It is well known that cigarette smoking weakens the immune system through the depression of cells and the antibodies that protect the body against the foreign invaders. Cigarette smoking is associated with such chemicals as the nicotine, tar and carbon monoxide which negatively affect the immune system. The increased malignant diseases and respiratory infection is associated with the smoking of cigarette as per the report from the National Center for Biotechnological Information (NCBI) (Rahman, 2013).

Scientific research also shows that the immune cells that normally protect the body tend to decrease with the regular smoking of the cigarette. What is more, when an individual smokes a cigarette, his or her blood cells will be filled with oxyhemoglobin that prevents the smooth flowing of blood in the body. Thus, blood in the body of the cigarette smokers might not be able to circulate to all the organs of the body (Rahman, 2013). Furthermore, the cigarette smoking has been associated with the cancer of the blood as cancer-causing chemicals are circulated throughout the bloodstream and may cause damage to the immune response.

Smoking cigarette is also considered to damage the respiratory system slowly, progressively and deadly. Scientifically, a healthy respiratory is continuously cleansed through the production of mucous by the respiratory tubules. These mucous traps disease-causing organisms and dirt and swept towards the mouth where they are eliminated. However, scientific research impairs with these activities. It is known that when an individual smokes a cigarette for the first time, then cilia will start beating slowly (Sopori, 2002). As smoking continuous, these cilia are paralyzed and lastly eventually damaged altogether. When the cilia have been damaged an individual starts to cough as the mucous is no longer removed by the smoker and has to cough as an alternative way of removing the mucous. Furthermore, the loss of cilia allows the pathogenic organisms to enter into the respiratory system, and respiratory bronchitis and other respiratory diseases develop. What smoking of cigarette also impairs with the breathing efficiency.

Smoking of cigarette is associated with the cancer of the liver. Cigarette smoking is known to result in the hepatocellular carcinoma, a leading cause of cancer deaths all over the world. Smoking of cigarette is known to cause scar in the liver cells and tissues. When the liver cells have been subjected to scar, then it cannot function properly. Scientific research also shows that smoking of cigarette lives chemicals in the liver and the chemicals impair the smooth functioning of the liver cells (Kacew & Lee, 2013). Carcinogenic chemicals can be left in the liver and thus affects the purification of the blood by the liver.


Rahman, I. (2013). Redox Effects of Cigarette Smoke in Lung Inflammation. Cigarette Smoke and Oxidative Stress, 113-164. doi:10.1007/3-540-32232-9_5

Sopori, M. (2002). Science and Society: Effects of cigarette smoke on the immune system. Nat Rev Immunol, 2(5), 372-377. doi:10.1038/nri803

Kacew, S., & Lee, B. M. (2013). Lu's basic Toxicology: Fundamentals, Target Organs, and Risk Assessment (6th ed.). New York, NY: Informa Healthcare.

Unit VI: Comparison of Toxins

A toxin is a small poisonous peptide, molecules or protein that is produced by animals, plants and other organisms like fungi, bacteria, viruses and protozoa (Kacew & Lee, 2013). Toxins are normally defined as the drugs that are produced by the microorganisms. When observed by the body tissues, they can interact with the body enzymes and cause diseases. Some toxins can cause minor discomforts and mild pain while others can cause death.

A variety of toxins affects the nervous system directly or indirectly. An example of a toxin that affects the nervous system is the cyanide. Cyanide is the metallic poison that disrupts the respiratory system. When it affects the respiratory system, it affects the brain from getting sufficient oxygen and thus reduces the energy that reaches the brain. It will, in turn, affect the efficiency of the nervous system. The time of exposure to cyanide is important because it indicates the extent of the effects of the cyanide in the nervous system. High levels of exposure to cyanide in the morning have huge effects in the bran because the cells of the body are active in the morning and can observe huge amounts of cyanide. It is also known that the exposure to cyanide has effects in the neurological cells. Furthermore, the cyanide affects trigger the loss of consciousness and seizures. Muscle paralysis is attributed to the exposure of cyanide chemicals. Whenever the body experiences muscle paralysis, it will be felt in the brain since the blood cannot circulate to the brain at that moment.

A toxin that affects the cardiovascular tissues is the calcium. This is a metallic toxin that inhibits the cardiovascular efficiency. The calcium is poisonous because it inhibits the calcium influx by way of calcium channel blockers (CCBs) (Needleman & Bellinger 2001). The toxin is said to cause the peripheral vasodilation. Calcium also acts as the channel blockers and reduces the pancreatic secretion of the insulin. Thus, the efficiency and the effectiveness of such organs are affected.

Lead is toxin that affects the endocrine system. Lead is a poisonous chemical that interferes with the production and also the activity of the hormones in the man's endocrine system. It is normally known as the endocrine disruptors. The chemical may naturally occur, or it might be manufactured. Its effects can be minor or even serious and depends on the time of exposure. Products human beings use daily contains metals and the overexposure to such metals leads underproduction or overproduction of hormones which in turn have effects on the normal functioning of the body. Lead interferes with the efficiency of the organs in the production and transportation of important hormones (Needleman, & Bellinger, 2001). The characteristics of the lead include the metallic nature. When inhaled or enters the bloodstream, it might block the bloodstream and affect the efficient flow of the blood through the bloodstream. Thus; hormones cannot be transported to the required parts of the body.

Cyanide, lead, and calcium are metallic toxins. They are generated by the metallic substances found in the environment. These three toxins enter the body through either the inhalation by the people in the environment. Whenever metals are containing both calcium, lead and cyanide are burnt in the environment; then they release the chemicals into the environment. Furthermore, the chemicals are passed into the system through the bloodstream. Long exposure to these chemicals leads to serious effects of the body functioning. The characteristics that make these toxins vulnerable include the release of metallic ions. Cyanide, lead, and calcium have the characteristics of impairing with the normal functioning of the organs. For example, cyanide is regarded to block the bloodstream and thus blood cannot reach the brain and reduces the efficiency of the brain (Kacew & Lee, 2013). On the other hand, calcium also blocks the bloodstream and its efficient circulation. The vascular efficiency is also affected by the same blocking of the bloodstream since the blood is required for proper functioning of such organs. Furthermore, blocking of the bloodstream by lead affects the transfer of necessary hormones to parts of the body that require them.


Elcombe, C. R., & SK104TJ, U. K. (2012). Species differences in carcinogenicity and peroxisome proliferation due to trichloroethylene: a biochemical human hazard assessment. Arch. Toxicol. Suppl., 8, 6-17.

Needleman, H. L., & Bellinger, D. (2001). The health effects of low-level exposure to lead. Annual Review of Public Health, 12(1), 111-140.

Kacew, S., & Lee, B. M. (2013). Lu's Basic Toxicology: Fundamentals, Target Organs, and Risk assessment (6th ed.). New York, NY: Informa Healthcare.

Final Project: Toxicant

Air pollutants are the poisonous substances found in the air, and that come from the natural sources such as factory smokestacks. These poisonous chemicals affect the human health or the environment. Inhaling air toxicants are assumed to be the chances of experiencing the problems in the individuals health. For example, when people inhale the fumes that are associated with the benzene it results in health problems. Pesticides are toxicant that is considered to be an air pollutant. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), more than 60% of the pesticides are known to be carcinogenic. The toxicant is associated with the health risks that include cancer, miscarriages, and Parkinson's disease. Sources of the pesticides are found in those used to control pests in the vegetables, fruits, and raised meat. Pesticides affect the non-target species in the environment even though they are sprayed to control the pests in the agricultural field (Falk, 2005). The pesticides have been considered to come with undesirable impacts and thus, limit their use in the environment. Pesticides are associated with the environmental pollution when they drift and are carried away by the wind and potentially contaminating the areas that were not intended to be exposed. Pesticides have been reported to affect the ozone through its reducing effects.

When people inhale the pesticides, they are exposed to health problems. Many pesticides are considered to be carcinogenic. They contain volatile inorganic chemical and metallic compounds. These compounds are carcinogenic in nature and when they enter into the bloodstream of an individual they tend to induce the process of cancer generation. Long exposure to pesticides has been reported to cause adverse effects on the health of the person. Around the world, the use of toxic chemicals have become a common problem and are used everywhere. It is attributed that the widespread use of pesticides has significantly increased the use number of cancer cases. Pesticides such as the organochlorines are considered to promote the growth of the tumor. Leukemia, which is the cancer of the white blood cells, is considered to the result of the organochlorines chemicals (Kesavachandran, 2014). Furthermore, scientific research has shown that regular use of pesticides has increased the lung cancer as well as the breast cancer.

It is important for the agents dealing with the management and use of pesticides to assess the risk of the pesticides in the environment before they are released for used. Whenever an individual uses pesticides, then he or she is advised to note the side effects and go for check-ups regularly to screen for the possibility of cancer as a result of the use of pesticides (Hurley, 2008). Pesticides being a toxicant in the air should be used with proper car...

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