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7.7 Toxicity

Toxicity refers to the ability of a chemical to cause harmful effects to the body. As was described by Paracelsus (1493-1541):

What is it that is not poison? All things are poison and nothing is without poison. It is the dose only that makes a thing not a poison.”

There are a number of factors that influence the toxic effects of chemicals on the body. These include, but are not limited to:

  • The quantity and concentration of the chemical.
  • The length of time and the frequency of the exposure. 
  • The route of the exposure. 
  • If mixtures of chemicals are involved.