Toxins vs. Toxicants

ENV.TOX ENVTOX at MSU.EDU
Tue Feb 13 19:51:17 EST 1996


Greetings and Salutations:

I apologize for interrupting the current thread on animal models (which is very
interesting, and certainly one of the $64.00 questions toxicologists must come
to terms with), but I hope many of you will abide this breif detour and respond
my query.

I would like to solicit the feedback of the group regarding a minor topic I
about which I am curious. It is whether subscribers to this newsgroup in gen-
eral interpret (as I do) the terms  "toxin" and "toxicant" differently, or
whether they consider them to be interchangeable.  I was taught that "toxin"
refers to a substance of exclusively biological origin which elicits a
toxic response (e.g. endotoxins or snake venom), whereas "toxicant" refers
simply to a substance which elicits a toxic response.  I have seen the term
"toxin" used to denote both of the foregoing in papers published by some very
notable figures in public health/risk assessment, and so I am wondering what
the prevailing view is.

Please respond to me personally, so as not to clog up the list.

If sufficient numbers express interest in their votes, I will post the results
to the list.

Thanks for your time...

Best Regards,

B. L. Aaron, MS



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