Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences - Department of Chemistry

Toxicology for Chemists

Why is knowledge about toxicology important for chemists?

General aspects – Scope of toxicology and links to other natural sciences, methods of acute and chronic toxicity testing. Toxicokinetics: uptake, distribution, biotransformation and elimination of xenobiotics. Toxicodynamics – biochemical and physiological principles of toxic action of chemical substances, metabolic activation of toxicity.

Radicals and other reactive species in human toxicology – Oxygen radicals and activation of lipid peroxidation.

Chemical cancerogenesis – mechanism and role of chemical substances in initiation, promotion and progression of cancer, direct and indirect cancerogenesis.

Toxic effects of chemicals on liver, kidney and lung – specific reasons, types and symptoms of toxic impairments of the organs.

Toxic effects on blood, coagulation system and immune system – chemical injury of formation and action of blood cells, disseminated intravascular coagulation, allergy.

Toxic effects on the cell metabolism – blockade of enzymes, decoupling of oxidative phosphorylation, chemically induced acidosis.

Toxic effects on the nervous system – chemically induced neuropathy, axonopathy and myelinopathy, toxic effects on the action of synapses, acetyl choline esterase inhibitors.

Toxic hazards of special substances – the mechanisms and symptoms of acute and chronic poisonings with many substances are shown in context of the topics given above and in examples of case reports: aflatoxins, alkylating agents, aromatic amines, arsine, benzene, carbon monoxide, chlorohydrocarbons, coumarines, cyanide, dimethyl sulfate, dinitro-o-cresol, dioxins, formaldehyde, halogens, hydrogen sulphide, metal ions, methanol and other organic solvents, monofluoroacetic acid, nitrosamines, nitrous gases, organic isocyanates, pesticides, ozone, paraquat, phosgene, phosphoric acid esters, polychlorinated biphenyls, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, tricresyl phosphate, vinyl chloride, many other poisons.

G. Eisenbrand, M. Metzler: „Toxikologie für Chemiker“, Georg Thieme Verlag, Stuttgart 1994
H. Greim, E. Deml: Toxikologie: „Eine Einführung für Naturwissenschaftler und Mediziner“, VCH, Weinheim 1996
H. Marquardt, S. Schäfer: „Lehrbuch der Toxikologie“, Wissenschaftliche Verlagsgesellschaft, Stuttgart 2004