Broad Categories of Toxins
Toxin can be classified in various groups based on various factors that include the agent, reaction, and physical states among others. The first category of toxin can be founded on the source of toxicants. In this category, toxin can be groups as plant toxicants such as strychnine, curare, and morphine, animal toxicant that include venoms and zootoxins, mineral toxicants that include iron, selenium, lead and copper, and synthetic toxicants that include aluminum phosphide, carbonates and organophosphates. Toxin can also be classified based on their physical states which include gaseous toxicants that include phosphine, hydrocyanic acid, carbon monoxide, and sulphur dioxide, solid toxicants that include atropine, opium, and strychnine, and dust toxicants that include metallic dusts, silicon dust or asbestos dust.
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This can also include fumes toxins which mostly occur when metals are burnt in production process. Toxins can also be classified based on their reaction on the body and the part of the body system or organs they impact. Some of the group examples include hepototoxins which target the liver such as phenol, aflatoxins, and carbon tetrachloride (Clark & Smith, 1984). Others include neurotoxins that impact the neurosystem and they include organophosphorus insecticides, nicotine, anaesthetics, and phrethroids, Nephrotoxins which impacts kidney tissues and cells that include oxalates and heavy metals, and pulmonotoxins that impacts the lungs and include ammonia gas, hydrogen sulphide, and alpha-naphthlthiourea. This can also include dermatotoxicants that impact the skin and that include p-tertiarybutyl phenol, heavy metals and compounds of coal tar. Other form of classifying toxin can be based on toxicant chemical structure or nature. This include two subcategories that include inorganic toxicants that include acids and alkalies such as potassium hydroxide, non-metals such as chlorine, nitrates and phosphorus, and metals which include antimony, mercury, copper and lead. The other subcategory is organic toxicants which include carbon compounds that include hydrocarbons, organic acids, amides, ethers, phenols and alcohols, amides, alkaloids, proteins and esters. Toxin can in addition be classified based on effect. These toxins include carcinogens such as nickel and vinyl chloride, clastogens such as caffeine and UV light, teratogens such as thalidomide and triazines and mutagens such as nitrogen mustards and ethyl methane sulphonate (Silbergeld, n.d.).
Beneficial Applications of Toxins
Toxins can be poisonous and destructives to human. However, they can as well be used to benefit humans especially economically. In agriculture, toxin such as herbicides, insecticides, fungicides and rodenticides are used to destroy various organisms that act against farmers efforts to increase production. These toxins are mostly sprayed on plants to skill insects, weeds or disease on plants increasing production. They are also used to kill animals that destroy farm products either in the farm or stores. Animal venom has been in several cases applied for medical purposes. According to Utkin (2015), various venom components particularly in snake venoms have been identified for having wide applications in haemostatic disorders diagnosis. For instance, protrhrombin activator Ecarin from venom of Echis caranatus is applied for the diagnosis of abnormal form of serine protease Protac prothrombin.
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The characterization and identification of various venom toxins isoforms, together with the search of synthetic and natural inhibitors that include polyclonal and monoclonal antibodies, and molecules with various chemical characteristics that include plant extracts, clotting factors and heparin has increased the probability of utilizing these agents as extra effective alternatives for therapy (De Silva et al., 2014). Poison an also be used in developing important medicine to assist humans. For instance, salicylic acid is a toxic compound produced by wintergreen plan which can be harmful when consumed in high concentration. Nevertheless, in lower dose and in modified form, this same product can be used as aspirin active ingredient. Toxins from fish, snails or snakes have also been found to contain elements or possible elements to relief severe pain, especially among surgical patients. In addition, 300 tests conducted on chemicals created by the Fraser Island funnel web spider demonstrate its ability to treat breast cancer. In addition sweet wormwood plant has offered artemisinin medication for malaria. Thus, although toxin can be harmful to human, it can as well be used to their benefit in right dosage and sometimes with slight modification (Parry, 2013).
Ways Toxicity Manifest
Toxicity can be manifested in human body in various ways. The mode of manifestation varies extensively based on the toxin released and the mode of exposure and the body organs of systems affected by the toxin. Toxin can directly affect the blood a situation that can be considerably fatal. It can also affect specific organs such as liver, heart, kidney or lungs. Toxin can as well impact the nervous system, body muscles, or body cells and skins. The main determinant of what to be affected is the mode of exposure, dosage and exposure duration. Toxin can be manifested in form of shock syndrome which occurs after toxin released by staphylococcus aureus bacteria is released in the body (Meduniv, n.d.). Some of the symptoms related to this toxin include diarrhea and vomiting, hypotension or low blood pressure, sudden high fever, headaches, confusion, seizures, muscles aches, a rash similar to sunburn especially on your soles and palms, and redness of throat, mouth and eyes.
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Toxin diffused to the blood can also result to anemia which is manifested by general body weakness and feeling excessively tired, or affects the heart, resulting to sudden cardiac arrest. Toxic that is exposed to the body through lungs, trachea and nose such as poisonous gases is likely to manifest through respiratory system irritation, choking, coughing and tight chest, difficulty in breathing, low breathing or complete breathing cut. Toxin which affects specific organic such as kidney is likely to manifest through back pain and abnormal urination which can be less or more than usual. Toxic which affect the neurological system is manifested in spinal code and brain through headache, convulsions, dizziness, coma, behavior confusion and depression. Toxin that affects different body muscles can result to muscles clamp, general weakness of muscles. Toxin can also cause affect the skin which is manifested in form of skin irritation, skin burns, skin redness and swelling (Extension Toxicology Network, 1993).
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