Adams, Elijah Formerly, Department of Biological Chemistry, School of Medicine, University of Maryland, Baltimore, Maryland.
Last reviewed:June 2021
- Origin and chemistry
- Chemical correlations
- Physiological actions
- Mechanism of action
- Health aspects
- Related Primary Literature
- Additional Reading
A substance which by chemical action and at low dosage can kill or injure living organisms. Broadly defined, poisons include chemicals toxic for any living form: microbes, plants, or animals. For example, antibiotics such as penicillin, although nontoxic for mammals, are poisons for bacteria. In common usage the word is limited to substances toxic for humans and mammals, particularly where toxicity is a substance's major property of medical interest. Because of their diversity in origin, chemistry, and toxic action, poisons defy any simple classification. Almost all chemicals with recognized physiological effects are toxic at sufficient dosage. The same compound may be considered a drug or a poison, depending on dosage, effect, or intended use.
The content above is only an excerpt.
for your institution. Subscribe
To learn more about subscribing to AccessScience, or to request a no-risk trial of this award-winning scientific reference for your institution, fill in your information and a member of our Sales Team will contact you as soon as possible.
to your librarian. Recommend
Let your librarian know about the award-winning gateway to the most trustworthy and accurate scientific information.
AccessScience provides the most accurate and trustworthy scientific information available.
Recognized as an award-winning gateway to scientific knowledge, AccessScience is an amazing online resource that contains high-quality reference material written specifically for students. Contributors include more than 10,000 highly qualified scientists and 46 Nobel Prize winners.
MORE THAN 8700 articles covering all major scientific disciplines and encompassing the McGraw-Hill Encyclopedia of Science & Technology and McGraw-Hill Yearbook of Science & Technology
115,000-PLUS definitions from the McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific and Technical Terms
3000 biographies of notable scientific figures
MORE THAN 19,000 downloadable images and animations illustrating key topics
ENGAGING VIDEOS highlighting the life and work of award-winning scientists
SUGGESTIONS FOR FURTHER STUDY and additional readings to guide students to deeper understanding and research
LINKS TO CITABLE LITERATURE help students expand their knowledge using primary sources of information