Environmental Toxicology Paper

1318 words - 5 pages

Environmental Toxicology PaperPhillip VolivaENV/410March 3, 2014Alicia Dillon HollowayEnvironmental Toxicology PaperI will first explain the difference between toxicokinetics and toxicodynamics. Toxicants interact with living organisms in a series of five time-dependent processes. The study of these processes is called toxicokinetics. These processes are absorption, distribution storage, biotransformation and elimination. There are unique cellular effects within the organism when they come in contact with the toxicant. Toxicodynamics is an examination of the way these effects happen. There are many similarities as well as important differences between the toxicokinetics and pharmacokinetics of most substances. The same applies to pharmacodynamics and toxicodynamics (Olson, n.d.).The approach for conducting toxicokinetics studies that is recommended by most scholars generally involves three steps. Goehl (1997), "Step 1 is a preliminary study, which uses a minimum number of animals to estimate the range of blood/tissue concentrations, the required quantitation limit for the analytical method, and the optimal sampling times for the definitive toxicokinetic studies. Step 2 is the definitive study and generates blood and/or tissue concentration data for calculating the toxicokinetic parameters. Step 3 is the toxicokinetic study conducted in conjunction with the toxicology study to determine the internal dose and the effects of age and continuous exposure on kinetic parameters" (Toxicokinetics in the National Toxicology Program).There are four primary routes of exposure to chemical contaminants; injection, ingestion, topical and inhalation. Because of the chemical being directly introduced into the body, injection is the only method where the entire amount is absorbed regardless of how much is given. Chemicals may be injected intravenously directly into a vein or intramuscularly. The other methods of injection are subcutaneously, which is under the skin or intraperitoneally, directly into the membrane lining the organs of the stomach (Al-hamad, 2012).Ingestion is the route of exposure most often used for toxic chemicals. The cell membrane diffuses chemicals in the non-ionized form, making the level of ionization important in whether a chemical is absorbed or not. Al-hamad (2012), "Organic acids are in their non- ionized form in an acidic environment (such as the stomach), and they thus tend to diffuse across a membrane, whereas organic bases are non-ionized and thus diffuse across a membrane in a basic environment (such as in the intestine)" (Different route of exposure of toxicant). Because the small intestine is larger than the stomach, its contents are passed to the intestine before the chemicals are absorbed (Al-hamad, 2012).Topical exposure happens when the toxicant is absorbed through the skin. The absorption of the toxicant is directly proportional with the chemical's lipid solubility. The thickness of the layer, the condition, the dryness and...

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