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Types of poisons

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Algaecide or Algicide - a substance used for killing and preventing the growth of algae Avicide - any substance which can be used to kill birds Biocide - a chemical substance capable of killing living organisms, usually in a selective way Fungicide - a chemical compound or biological organism used to kill or inhibit fungi or fungal spores Microbicide - any compound or substance whose purpose is to reduce the infectivity of microbes

Germicide - a disinfectant

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Bactericide - a substance that kills bacteria Viricide - a chemical agent which "kills" viruses outside the body

Herbicide - a substance used to kill unwanted plants Parasiticide - any substance used to kill parasites Pesticide - a substance or mixture of substances used to kill a pest

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Acaricide - pesticides that kill mites Insecticide - a pesticide used against insects Molluscicide - pesticides against molluscs Nematocide - a type of chemical pesticide used to kill parasitic nematodes (roundworms) Rodenticide - a category of pest control chemicals intended to kill rodents

Spermicide - a substance that kills sperm

First aid

Specific information concerning treatment can be obtained from accompanying labels or written documentation such as the MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheet). Expert advice (poison control) and rapid transport to advanced medical care (EMS) is urgently needed in poisoning cases. A poisoning victim may require basic life support at any moment; monitor the victim's ABCs throughout.

Absorbed Poisons[edit]
Absorbed poisons are taken into the body through unbroken skin. Absorbed poisons are especially dangerous as they may not only cause local damage, but they can enter the bloodstream and cause widespread damage. It is important to note that certain poisons such as agricultural chemicals or insecticides may enter the bloodstream through absorption while leaving the skin undamaged.

As with any type of poisoning, EMS should be immediately called and the rescuer should always start with the initial assessment and treat any life-threatening problems before continuing. Once all life-threats are taken care of, then the poison should be removed carefully. Failure to do so may lead to the rescuer

because the poison may harm the alimentary canal or esophagus. Ingested Poisons[edit] Internal poisoning may not be immediately apparent. These might include dilution with water or milk. Basic treatment involves monitoring the patients ABCs. The best indication of internal poisoning may be the presence of an open container of medication or toxic household chemicals. Vomit may also block the airway. and if the person has any allergies to the injection. the poison control center may suggest additional first aid measures pending the arrival of emergency medical technicians. administration of syrup of ipecac or activated charcoal. Get victim to fresh air. Call for help immediately as advanced medical care will be required. and chemicals. Inhaled Poisons[edit] Inhalation injuries can come from a variety of sources including the inhalation of smoke. Don't do this! Do not administer emergency antidotes or induce vomiting without the benefit of expert advice. or the use of other common household products as improvised emergency antidotes. Next. how it was injected. remove any excess poison from the affected area. treating for shock. being careful not to inhale or touch it. The treatment for either form is the same. If possible contact a poison control center and provide information about the suspected poison. From drug abuse to insect bites/stings to animal bites. and calming the patient. induced vomiting may be necessary with some poisons to save the victim's life. If possible. This will decrease the potential for harm and make the next step exponentially easier.succumbing to the poison as well. gain as much information about the poison as you can. observing the patient for an allergic reaction. Induced vomiting may do more harm than good. To help EMS. when it was injected. irrigate the affected area for at least 20 minutes to dilute the poison. such as vomiting are sufficiently general that an immediate diagnosis cannot be made. Appropriate first aid measures vary depending on the type of poison. (For example a bee sting causing anaphylaxis. Rescuers should always wear at least one and possibly two sets of gloves. Depending on the type of poison. Poison Control Centers will provide the best information for first aiders. Check the label for specific first aid instructions for that specific poison. as you may be contaminated in so doing. What it was. capture the poison in a clean secure container for identification purposes.) . Topical poisons tend to be in either a powder or liquid form. Symptoms. Use caution in giving rescue breathing to a person overcome by hazardous chemicals. Filter masks should also be worn to prevent inhalation. However. Injected Poisons[edit] An injection poisoning can occur from a variety of sources. gasses. First.

The skull and crossbones has long been a standard symbol for poison. For other uses. Contents [hide]    1 Terminology 2 Cause 3 Management o 3. Toxins are poisons produced by some biological function in nature. see Poison (disambiguation). and from a venom. The fields of medicine (particularly veterinary) and zoology often distinguish a poison from a toxin. and venoms are usually defined as toxins that are injected by a bite or sting to cause their effect. agriculture and other uses for other reasons than their toxicity. The EU's standard toxic symbol. Pesticides are one application where they are indeed used for their toxicity. In the context of biology.[1] usually by chemical reaction or otheractivity on the molecular scale. poisons are substances that cause disturbances to organisms.1 Decontamination . Poisons are most often applied in industry. when a sufficient quantity is absorbed by an organism.Poison From Wikipedia. the free encyclopedia This article is about the type of substance. as defined by Directive 67/548/EEC. For other uses. while other poisons are generally defined as substances absorbed through epithelial linings such as the skin or gut. "Poisoning" redirects here. see Poisoning (disambiguation).

a person would have to ingest kilograms worth of water to receive a lethal dose. Only the dose makes a thing not a poison. there are many substances used as medications where the LD50 is only one order of magnitude greater than the ED50 such . see nuclear poison. a poison is a substance that obstructs or inhibits a nuclear reaction. particularly corrosive substances. mutagens. Animal poisons that are delivered subcutaneously (e.o o       3.g. while botulinum toxin is lethal on the level of nanograms. once wrote: "Everything is poison. A single organism can be both poisonous and venomous. a poisonous organism is one that is harmful to consume. Biologically speaking. but a venomous organism uses poison (venom) to kill its prey or defend itself while still alive.2 Antidotes 3. For example. the father of toxicology. and to exaggerate the dangers of chemicals. A medical condition of poisoning can also be caused by substances that are not legally required to carry the label "poison". For an example. is poisonous and can cause death. While there is a large disparity in this example. teratogens and harmful pollutants. Paracelsus. In nuclear physics. carcinogens. but is nonhazardous to humans and not classified as a poison." (see Median lethal dose) The legal definition of "poison" is stricter. For instance. if given in large enough amounts. there is poison in everything. by sting or bite) are also called venom. Environmentally hazardous substances are not necessarily poisons and vice versa. The derivative forms "toxic" and "poisonous" are synonymous. such as the bacterial proteins that cause tetanus and botulism. usually referring to naturally produced substances. The term "poison" is often used colloquially to describe any harmful substance. any substance. food industry wastewater—which may contain potato juice or milk—can be hazardous to the ecosystems of streams and rivers by consuming oxygen and causing eutrophication. In normal usage.3 Enhanced excretion 4 Epidemiology 5 Applications 6 History 7 See also 8 References 9 External links Terminology[edit] Some poisons are also toxins. even among scientists. A distinction between the two terms is not always observed.

The patient gradually becomes ill. Inhaled or ingested cyanide. Chronic poisoning most commonly occurs following exposure to poisons that bioaccumulate. which may be synthesized for warfare or industry. Many substances regarded as poisons are toxic only indirectly. used as a method of execution in gas chambers. to the effect that the lethal toxicity is specific to plants. are created to act as poisons to target organisms. Symptoms develop in close relation to the fentanyl. including pesticides. mechanisms. For example. such as lye. although acute or less observable chronic poisoning can also occur in non-target organisms. In the medical sense. an unrelated phenomenon. Exposure to radioactive substances can produce radiation poisoning. or becomes ill after a long latent period.4-D imitates the action of a plant hormone. although they can cause severe illness or even death. quickly stops theheart by eliminating the cell potential necessary for muscle contraction.4-D is not a poison. such as in the execution of prisoners in parts of the United States. substances that destroy tissue but do not absorb. treatment and diagnosis of biological poisoning. including the humans who apply the biocides and other beneficial organisms. but classified as "harmful" (EU). almost instantly starves the body of energy by inhibiting the enzymes in mitochondria that makeATP. Absorption of a poison is necessary for systemic poisoning. by toxication. and the genetic variability of certain liver enzymes makes the toxicity of many compounds differ between individuals. Cause[edit] Acute poisoning is exposure to a poison on one occasion or during a short period of time. Intravenous injection of an unnaturally high concentration of potassium chloride. Toxicology is the study of the symptoms. are classified as corrosives rather than poisons. the herbicide 2. or are biomagnified. such as mercuryand lead. poisoning can be caused by less dangerous substances than those receiving the legal classification of "poison". Indeed. many common household medications are not labeled with skull and crossbones. A better classification would distinguish between lethal substances that provide a therapeutic value and those that do not. Management[edit] . In contrast. An example is "wood alcohol" or methanol. Agents that act on the nervous system can paralyze in seconds or less. and include both biologically derived neurotoxins and so-called nerve gases. Furthermore. 2. but is chemically converted to toxic formaldehyde and formic acid in the liver. Many drug molecules are made toxic in the liver. Chronic poisoning is long-term repeated or continuous exposure to a poison where symptoms do not occur immediately or after each exposure. Contact or absorption of poisons can cause rapid death or impairment. which is not poisonous itself. Most biocides.

The pressure bandage makes sure the poison is not pumped throughout the body and the hot water breaks down the poison. shock. cathartics or laxatives are no longer recommended. However.g. Initial management for all poisonings includes ensuring adequate cardiopulmonary function and providing treatment for any symptoms such as seizures. treating the symptoms rather than the poison. and for the removal of ingested packets of drugs (body packing/smuggling). toxins that are not absorbed by activated charcoal (i.[5] It is still sometimes used if it can be performed within 1 hour of ingestion and the exposure is potentially life threatening.g. followed by administration of water or saline down the tube. the stomach contents are then removed by suction.[2]  In the majority of poisonings the mainstay of management is providing supportive care for the patient. from the sting of poisonous animals) can be treated by binding the affected body part with a pressure bandage and by placing the affected body part in hot water (with a temperature of 50°C). iron). it is also not recommended for ingestion of corrosive chemicals such as acids and alkalis. charcoal is ineffective against metals such as sodium. a recent review of the procedure in poisonings suggests no benefit.  Activated charcoal is the treatment of choice to prevent poison absorption. or nasogastric aspiration. e. However. lithium. Its major uses are following ingestion of sustained release drugs. this is achieved by giving the patient large amounts of a polyethylene glycol solution.e. is the insertion of a tube into the stomach. It is usually administered when the patient is in the emergency room or by a trained emergency healthcare provider such as a Paramedic or EMT. Gastric decontamination can involve activated charcoal.  Poisons that have been injected (e. and lithium. ethylene glycol poisoning. Lavage has been used for many years as a common treatment for poisoned patients. and pain. . This treatment however only works with poisons that are composed of protein-molecules. and alcohols andglycols. The osmotically balanced polyethylene glycol solution is not absorbed into the body. commonly known as a stomach pump.  Nasogastric aspiration involves the placement of a tube via the nose down into the stomach. This procedure is mainly used for liquid ingestions where activated charcoal is ineffective. Routine use of emetics (syrup of Ipecac).[3]  Whole bowel irrigation cleanses the bowel. gastric lavage. having the effect of flushing out the entire gastrointestinal tract. i.[4]  Gastric lavage. The liquid is then removed along with the contents of the stomach. Decontamination[edit]  Treatment of a recently ingested poison may involve gastric decontamination to decrease absorption. potassium.e. whole bowel irrigation.

magnesium sulfate) and saccharide cathartics (sorbitol).) Calcium Gluconate and/or Glucagon. Diltiazem) Calcium gluconate Cyanide Amyl nitrite/sodium nitrite/sodium thiosulfate or hydroxocobalamin Ethylene glycol Ethanol or fomepizole.[7] Antidotes[edit] Some poisons have specific antidotes: Poison Antidote Anticholinergics Cholinergics (and vice-versa) Antipsychotics such as haldol and/or risperidone Ropinirole or Bromocryptine (and vice-versa) Atropine and/or scopolamine Physostigmine Benzodiazepines and barbiturates Flumazenil Beta-Blockers (Propranolol. Emesis (i.e. Salbutamol is also used (and viceversa) Caffeine and other xanthines Adenosine (and vice-versa) Calcium Channel Blockers (Verapamil. because vomiting is ineffective at removing poisons. They do not appear to improve patient outcome and are no longer recommended. Sotalol. induced by ipecac) is no longer recommended in poisoning situations. and thiamine . magnesium citrate. etc. There are two types of cathartics used in poisoned patients. saline cathartics (sodium sulfate.[6]  Cathartics were postulated to decrease absorption by increasing the expulsion of the poison from the gastrointestinal tract.

deferasirox or deferiprone Isoniazid Pyridoxine Magnesium Calcium Gluconate Methanol Ethanol or fomepizole. and folinic acid Nicotine Bupropion and other ganglion blockers Opioids Naloxone Organophosphates Atropine and Pralidoxime Paracetamol (acetaminophen) N-acetylcysteine Thallium Prussian blue Vitamin K anticoagulants e.g. this may actually worsen the poisoning in some cases. hemodialysis. peritoneal dialysis. exchange transfusionor chelation. hemoperfusion. warfarin Vitamin K Enhanced excretion[edit]  In some situations elimination of the poison can be enhanced using diuresis. hyperbaric medicine. Epidemiology[edit] . so it should always be verified based on what substances are involved.Poison Antidote Hydrofluoric acid Calcium Gluconate Iron (and other heavy metals) Desferrioxamine. However.

respectively. e. because of another chemical property. or. more often. such as specific chemical reactivity.500 emergency department visits in the United States involving poisonings—3.g.Disability-adjusted life year for poisonings per 100.000 inhabitants in 2004. Poisons are widely used in industry and agriculture.[10] Applications[edit] Poisonous compounds may be useful either for their toxicity. They are less common in household use. with occasional exceptions such as ammonia and methanol.[8] no data <10 10–90 90–170 170–250 250–330 330–410 410–490 490–570 570–650 650–700 700–880 >880 In 2010. as chemical reagents. methanol and sodium cyanide. For . solvents or complexing reagents.carbon monoxide.[9] There were approximately 727.000 deaths down from 200.000 in 1990. poisoning resulted in about 180.3% of all injury-related encounters.

and need to ingest relatively large doses before any toxicity appears. For this use.[11][12] As a method of execution. In fact. Biocides need not to be poisons for humans. the preservative thiomersal used in vaccines is toxic. as the ancient . Human toxicity is however hard to avoid with pesticides targeting mammals. intentional application of poison has been used as a method of murder. which has only been produced for chemical weapons uses. phosgene has been used as a chemical weapon. However. as it has no particular industrial use. pestcontrol. but the quantity administered in a single shot is negligible. poison has been ingested. which makes it an excellent reagent for polymerizing diols and diamines to produce polycarbonate and polyurethane plastics. For instance. It can be contrasted with mustard gas. For instance. the same reactivity makes it also highly reactive towards proteins in human tissue and thus highly toxic. History[edit] See also: History of poison "Poisoning of Queen Bona" by Jan Matejko. the herbicide 2. Humans and animals.instance. such as rodenticides. andexecution. phosgene is a highly reactive nucleophile acceptor.4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid is a mimic of a plant growth hormone. millions of tons are produced annually. suicide. leaving only incidental toxicity. Throughout human history. because they can target metabolic pathways absent in humans. are unaffected by this. which causes uncontrollable growth leading to the death of the plant. lacking this hormone and its receptor. The risk from toxicity is also distinct from toxicity itself.

the 14th-century Chinese text of the Huolongjing written by Jiao Yu outlined the use of a poisonous gunpowder mixture to fill cast irongrenade bombs. an example is the Chinese gu poison. Many languages describe lethal injection with their corresponding words for "poison shot"[citation needed]. Poison was also employed in gunpowder warfare. Poison's lethal effect can be combined with its allegedlymagical powers. as withcarbon monoxide or hydrogen cyanide (see gas chamber). or injected (see lethal injection). For example. inhaled.Athenians did (see Socrates).[13] .