What is Toxicology?
Toxicology is a field of science that helps us understand the harmful effects that chemicals, substances, or situations, can have on people, animals, and the environment. Some refer to toxicology as the “Science of Safety” because as a field it has evolved from a science focused on studying poisons and adverse effects of chemical exposures, to a science devoted to studying safety.
Toxicology evolved rapidly during the 1900s. The exponential growth of the discipline can be traced to the word war II era, with its marked increase in the production of drugs, pesticides, synthetic fibre and industrial chemicals Along with the other sciences, toxicology contributes to the development of safe chemicals to be used as drugs, food additives, pesticides, industrial chemicals, and several other chemicals required for use in everyday life.
Global modes of poisoning
Developing Nations: Pesticide Poisoning / Narcotic drugs poisoning
Developed Nations: Sedatives/ Anti-depressants/ Harmful Chemicals/ Drugs overdose& Medicine
In 2016, deaths due to suicide were around 800 000 worldwide, implying an annual world suicide rate of 10.5 per 100 000 population. However, in India, the suicide rate is almost double (18.5 suicide deaths for 100 000 population).
Toxicology in India
A major hurdle in providing effective and accurate treatment to the cases of poisoning is the development of only a few Poisons information centres. In India, poisoning information centres can be counted on the fingertips. Many persons in India die due to a lack of proper information about the various aspects of the poisons. Drugs of addiction are an important source of concern to the toxicologist as drugs are being used for recreational and intoxication purposes. Another important raw area of toxicology is qualitative analysis rather than quantitative analysis in various chemical examiner’s laboratories across India.
Kulkarni, Krishna. (2014). Trends of poisoning in India. Souvenir of XVII th Silver Jubilee, Annual Conference of Medico legal Association of Maharashtra at Mahabaleshwar,.. 1. 92-100.
Mittal, C., Singh, S., Kumar-M, P., & Varthya, S.B. (2021). Toxicoepidemiology of poisoning exhibited in Indian population from 2010 to 2020: a systematic review and meta-analysis. BMJ Open, 11.