Table 1182 Factors Influencing Human Response To Toxic Compounds

Factor

Effect

Dose

Method of administration Rate of administration Age Sex

Body weight Body fat

Psychological status Immunological status Genetic

Presence of other diseases Pollutant pH and ionic states Pollutant physical state Chemical milieau Weather conditions

Larger doses correspond to more immediate effects

Some compounds nontoxic by one route and lethal by another (e.g., phosgene)

Metabolism and excretion keep pollutant concentrations below toxic levels

Elderly and children more susceptible

Each sex has hormonally controlled hypersensitivities

Inversely proportional to effect

Fat bioconcentrates some compounds (large doses can occur in dieters due to stored pollutants) Stress increases vulnerability Influences metabolism Different metabolic rates

Similar to immunological status; could be a factor in cancer recurrence Interferes or facilitates absorption into the body Compounds absorbed on particulates may be retained at higher rate Synergisms, antagonisms, cancer "promoters," enhanced absorption Temperature, humidity, barometric pressure, and season enhance absorption

It should be noted that scientists cannot measure zero concentration of a chemical—zero concentration is not a scientifically verifiable number. Instead, the terms "nothing detected" or "below the limit of measurement techniques" are used.

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