|Faculty:||College of Arts and Science
|Description:||Toxicology is the science that deals with the harmful effects of chemical and physical agents on living organisms and biological systems. Generally speaking, toxicology is the study of poisons and pollutants. During the last four to five decades, the world has seen a rapid growth in industrial activity, development of new technology and the synthesis of new chemicals. Some of these chemicals are approved for direct use in people and animals (e.g. drugs and food additives). Others are released into our environment, either intentionally (e.g. pesticides and household products), unintentionally (e.g. through industrial effluents and emissions) or by accident (e.g. spills and releases). In many cases, our knowledge of the effects of these new chemicals and the risk that they pose to environmental and human health is inadequate.
The potential adverse effects on people, wildlife and ecosystems from these chemicals are now being recognized and have become a matter of concern to scientists, regulatory agencies and the public at large. Industrial emissions and effluents released into our environment have caused global changes such as atmospheric ozone layer depletion, global warming, acid rain, surface and ground water pollution, contamination of natural and processed food supplies, disease, and large-scale wildlife and fish kills. The socio-economic impacts of these pollution events have been enormous, and the need for trained toxicologists to address these issues is growing.
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