Research into the toxic effects of substances on humans can be traced back to the ancient centres of civilization in Egypt, Greece and China, where toxic chemical substances were used as poisons and sometimes as medicines. “Toxicology is the scientific discipline involving the study of actual or potential danger presented by the harmful effects of substances in living organisms and ecosystems, of the relationship of such harmful effects to exposure and of the mechanism of action, diagnosis, prevention and treatment of intoxications” . Paracelsus’ saying: “Dosis sola facit ” (it is the dose which makes the poison) is well-known and depicts a property inherent to almost every chemical: at a certain dose, effects are inevitable.
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