Toxicology is the study of the adverse effects of chemical, physical, or biological agents on living organisms and the ecosystem, including the prevention and amelioration of such adverse effects.
Toxicology is an applied science with many areas of specialization. Toxicology involves integration of information from many different areas of expertise. Most toxicologists work to assess and understand how chemicals affect living systems, and their work involves:
Founded in 1961, SOT is a professional and scholarly organization of scientists from academic institutions, government, and industry representing the great variety of scientists who practice toxicology in the United States and abroad. The Society’s mission is to create a safer and healthier world by advancing the science and increasing the impact of toxicology.
While toxicologists work in many subspecialties and there are many specialized areas of toxicology, there are few major areas of focus in toxicology.
Focuses on how chemicals produce adverse effects and how biological systems protect themselves against adverse effects.
Toxicity testing which assesses the concentration-dependent hazard a chemical may present to human, animal, or environmental health. Toxicity testing often looks at a broad spectrum of responses to determine toxicity, including functional effects, such as immunological responses; growth inhibition; reproductive impairment; increase in cancer incidence; and mortality.
Involved in setting rules and assuring compliance for product registration and allowable concentrations in food or environmental media. Toxicity evidence is the basis, but often rules are modified by political and legal considerations, as well a technical feasibility.
The mathematical modeling process that yields estimates for safe or allowable chemical concentrations and involves hazard identification, dose-response assessment, exposure characterization, identify unique effects of chemical mixtures, risk characterization, and uncertainty characterization.
The application of biomedical research and drug development to efficiently use a promising drug in the right patient circumstances and assess its efficacy in the human using appropriate indicators such as biomarkers.