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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

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

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

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

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

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

magnesium sulfate) and saccharide cathartics (sorbitol).e. Diltiazem) Calcium gluconate Cyanide Amyl nitrite/sodium nitrite/sodium thiosulfate or hydroxocobalamin Ethylene glycol Ethanol or fomepizole. magnesium citrate. and thiamine . etc.[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. saline cathartics (sodium sulfate. They do not appear to improve patient outcome and are no longer recommended. induced by ipecac) is no longer recommended in poisoning situations. because vomiting is ineffective at removing poisons. Emesis (i.) Calcium Gluconate and/or Glucagon. There are two types of cathartics used in poisoned patients.[6]  Cathartics were postulated to decrease absorption by increasing the expulsion of the poison from the gastrointestinal tract. Sotalol. Salbutamol is also used (and viceversa) Caffeine and other xanthines Adenosine (and vice-versa) Calcium Channel Blockers (Verapamil.

warfarin Vitamin K Enhanced excretion[edit]  In some situations elimination of the poison can be enhanced using diuresis. hemoperfusion.Poison Antidote Hydrofluoric acid Calcium Gluconate Iron (and other heavy metals) Desferrioxamine. peritoneal dialysis. deferasirox or deferiprone Isoniazid Pyridoxine Magnesium Calcium Gluconate Methanol Ethanol or fomepizole. exchange transfusionor chelation. hemodialysis.g. However. this may actually worsen the poisoning in some cases. Epidemiology[edit] . 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. hyperbaric medicine. so it should always be verified based on what substances are involved.

methanol and sodium cyanide. poisoning resulted in about 180. For . as chemical reagents. Poisons are widely used in industry and agriculture. or.000 deaths down from 200.500 emergency department visits in the United States involving poisonings—3.g. more often. because of another chemical property.000 in 1990.[9] There were approximately 727. such as specific chemical reactivity. They are less common in household use. with occasional exceptions such as ammonia and methanol. e. solvents or complexing reagents. respectively.Disability-adjusted life year for poisonings per 100.000 inhabitants in 2004.[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.carbon monoxide.3% of all injury-related encounters.[10] Applications[edit] Poisonous compounds may be useful either for their toxicity.

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

For example. or injected (see lethal injection). an example is the Chinese gu poison. Poison was also employed in gunpowder warfare. Poison's lethal effect can be combined with its allegedlymagical powers.[13] .Athenians did (see Socrates). 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. as withcarbon monoxide or hydrogen cyanide (see gas chamber). inhaled. Many languages describe lethal injection with their corresponding words for "poison shot"[citation needed].