The human body is a highly complex, finely regulated, and highly adaptive biochemical organism. It contains many biological regulation systems to ensure that organs work properly in response to external conditions. Poisoning is the entrance into the body of any harmful or polluting substance (natural or manufactured) in a certain quantity that will harm the body.
Intoxication may happen through:
– swallowing (mouth)
– touching (skin)
– Direct injection into the blood vessels
– stinging and biting(insects and reptiles)
A toxin is a substance that enters the body in enough quantities to cause temporary or permanent, serious damage. The majority of poisoning victims are children, and their poisoning is usually caused by the use of drugs or chemicals such as detergents, pesticides, etc. But poisoning can happen at different ages, and some even deliberately poison themselves as a means of suicide, particularly among teenagers and those suffering from depression.
There are several environmental pollutants, including:
– Pollutants from the burning of fossil fuels and precipitated radionuclides or industrial processes (effects of toxic elements, radionuclides, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, and dioxins).
– Components of packaging materials or high-purpose products (screens, stabilizers, polymers, plasticizers, PCBs, cleaning and washing products, disinfectants).
– Residues of plant protection agents (PPA) and what remains of farm animal and poultry care (veterinary medicines and additives).
Types of toxics
There are mainly three types of toxins. They are classified as follow :
● Chemical toxins: They include inorganic substances like lead, mercury, hydrofluoric acid, and chlorine gas, as well as organic compounds like methanol and most medications and toxins from living organisms. Even though some radioactive materials are also toxic chemicals, many are chemically non-toxic because the results of radiation intoxication result from exposure to ionizing radiation from radioactive material rather than from chemical reactions with that material itself.
● Biological toxins: This includes bacteria and viruses that can cause illness in living organisms. Biological toxicity is sometimes difficult to measure because, theoretically, a single virus or bacterial cell or perhaps a parasite or worm can replicate itself to cause a very serious infection. It is a function of the strength of the affected immune system and its ability to treat the pathogen.
● Physical toxins: Substances that penetrate and interfere with biological processes as a result of their physical nature. For instance, coal dust, asbestos fibers, silicon dioxide granules, all of which can lead to death by inhalation, and corrosive chemicals. It is physically toxic because it destroys tissue but is not directly toxic unless it directly interferes with the biological activity of the organism. Water can act as a physical poison if it is taken in very high doses because the concentration of vital ions decreases drastically if there is too much water in the body, and asphyxiant gases may also be considered physical toxins, as they act by blocking oxygen in the environment.
Types of food poisoning
Food poisoning is a group of symptoms resulting from the consumption of food contaminated with bacteria or toxins generated by these organisms. It is the result of eating foods contaminated with various types of viruses, germs, pests, and toxic chemicals. Food poisoning usually results either from bacteria secreting their toxins or from bacteria multiplying inside the bowel and the destruction of the intestinal wall.
1-Food poisoning by bacterial toxins: Most cases of food poisoning (60-90%) are caused by bacteria(e.gStaphylococcus aureus, Salmonella, or Shigella coli or fungi and molds).
Salmonella is a very dangerous disease and is an infection by toxins of about 300 species: but it is a closely connected organism. Infection is characterized by endogenous fever, gastroenteritis, and salmonella septicemia: the sources of infection vary, but they are closely related organisms. The infection is characterized by endogenous fever, gastroenteritis, and septic salmonellosis. The presence of Escherichia coli initially indicates the presence of fecal contamination, which is of particular importance. These bacteria penetrate the strain of endotoxin, a particularly dangerous strain.
2- Food poisoning by mycotoxins: There are over 200 types of mycotoxins produced under certain conditions by 120 types of fungi and molds. Mycotoxins are especially important in food storage and storage. Infection of rye and, to a lesser extent, other cereals by the fungus Claviceps purpurea (ergot) is responsible for an illness known as ergot poisoning (with symptoms of gangrene and convulsions).
Environmental Toxic Metals
1- Arsenic: Arsenic tops the list of hazardous substances published in 1999 in the USA, because of its frequent presence in the environment, its toxic activity, and the high potential for human exposure to it. A non-dangerous amount of oral arsenic is likely to be 0.3 µg/kg BW per day.
2- Mercury: Mercury poisoning occurs in foods that contain organic mercury compounds such as dimethylmercury (CH3, – Hg – CH3). Methylmercury and ethylmercury salts are highly toxic and soluble in fats. Mercury is absorbed directly and builds up in the red blood cells and central nervous system. Some of these toxins are used to kill fungi and treat seeds. Methylmercury compounds are formed by the deposition of inorganic mercury salts found on the bottom of lakes and rivers. As a result, the amount of these compounds may increase in fish and other aquatic organisms. The dose that an adult weighing 70 kg may take is 0.35 mg Hg weekly, of which 0.2 mg is a maximum of highly toxic methylmercury.
3- Lead: Environmental pollution with an increase in leather d with the expansion of industrialization, and emissions from cars that operate on fuel are added to lead. Tetraethyl lead is added to fuels to improve throbbing and increase octane and is converted with fuel combustion to PbCI2, Pbo, and other inorganic lead compounds.
It should be noted that environmental lead contamination has not resulted in a significant increase in lead content in food, because the lead in the soil has stopped (it does not move), the increase in the level of lead in the plant is not proportional to the extent of the soil contamination.
Broad vegetables (spinach and cabbage) can contain higher levels of lead when grown in the vicinity of a lead-emitting source. Lead does not pass to animals that eat contaminated plants because the body does not absorb much lead and the majority is excreted in feces.
Other sources of lead contamination include tin-lead in kitchenware, soldered metal cans, and lead paint. 1.75 mg lead per week is an acceptable dosage for adults weighing 70 kg.
4- Cadmium: Cadmium ion is not similar to lead and mercury ions, as it is directly absorbed by plants and distributed evenly throughout their tissues. Consequently, it is not possible here to decontaminate by removing the skin and outer leaves, as is the case with lead. Some types of wild mushrooms, horse mushrooms, giant mushrooms, etc.), peanuts, and flaxseeds contain higher amounts of cadmium. Sources of pollution are industrial wastewater and sludge from filtration plants, which are often used as fertilizers.
Long-term uptake of cadmium results in its accumulation in human organs, especially in the liver and kidneys, where a concentration of -0.3 0.2 mg/g causes the onset of the renal cortex. The dose to be tolerated weekly in adult humans (70 kg) is 0.49 mg cadmium.
5-Fluorosis: Fluoride is known to help protect teeth from decay, but eating large quantities of it can cause poisoning that adversely affects teeth and bones. Poisoning occurs when a person is exposed to multiple sources of fluoride, whether in food, beverages, or air, but water is the primary source of poisoning, in particular water on mountain slopes or in the seas, containing a high percentage of fluorine, in addition to water pollution, fires and explosions that cause human exposure to high concentrations of fluorine. The first and most common degree of fluorosis occurs when moderate amounts of fluorine are ingested and result in bite and discoloration. In severe cases, the enamel may be damaged. The second degree of fluorosis occurs when a large amount of fluoride is ingested for prolonged periods. Fluoride gradually collects in the bone and does not suddenly appear. The first degree of fluorosis occurs when some initial symptoms occur, namely stiffness and pain in the joints. The second degree of fluorosis occurs when the bony structure is affected and impaired, the ligaments are calcified, resulting in muscle pain. The third and most dangerous degree of fluorosis occurs when acute exposure to a very high proportion of fluoro is considered a rare condition.
Noxious substances in thermal processes
● Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH): combustion of organic materials such as wood (wood smoke and its semi-dry distillation products and wood smoke in the vapor phase) and coal or oil generate pyrolysis reactions that produce a large number of PAHs (characteristics of approximately 250 of them) with more than three cycles of fused benzene or in italics are all terms at different levels. The quantity and variety of these compounds produced are generally influenced by the conditions under which combustion takes place.
● Furan: is a potential carcinogen. It is present in hot foods, particularly in roasted coffee. Analysis using dilution and isotopes using furan [H] as the internal standard yielded 2.4-4.3 mg/kg in various coffee powder products. Baby foods like mashed carrots, mashed potatoes, and spinach contain 74 and 75 mcg/kg. Furan is made up of amino acids which produce acetaldehyde and glycolaldehyde by the effect of pyrolysis. This is followed by reaction stages which include condensing, rotating, and dry states. Other precursors to furan include carbohydrates, unsaturated fats, and carotenoids. Furan is formed when ascorbic acid breaks down thermally.
● Contamination of food by corrosive polycyclic compounds of air (as often occurs with fruits and leafy vegetables in industrial areas) or by direct drying of grain with combustion gases, by smoking or grilling charcoal, smoking sausage or fish, or roasting coffee). PAHs build up in tissues with high-fat content.
The severity of symptoms varies from person to person, depending on the type of toxins exposed, the amount, duration of exposure, and age. Major symptoms are as follows:
– Feeling numb
– Blurred vision
– Dry mouth
– Difficulty pronunciation
– Dysfunction of the nerve system
– Flaccid paralysis can cause respiratory insufficiency
– Change in baby’s crying sound.
– Inability to control head movement
– Excessive salivation
– Acute soreness in the abdomen
– Twitching and muscular convulsions
– Tingling in the extremities
– Change in the cutaneous pigment
– Infection with skin lesions
– Hyperkeratosis (hard patches that appear on the palms of the hands and soles of the feet)
– Skin cancer
– Behavioral disorder
– Influence on the rhythm of the child’s cerebral development
– Low IQ
– Hostile behavior among children
– Low attention and educational achievement in children
– Renal insufficiency
– Remove paints that contain elevated levels of lead and reduce occupational exposure to these types of paints.
– Spreading awareness about lead poisoning.
– Separate raw and roasted foods.
– Cook the food well.
– Store food at correct temperatures.
– Use of safe water and feedstock.
– Know how to properly apply fluoride.
– Replace arsenic-rich water with other water sources, like rainwater or treated surface water.
– Try to achieve an acceptable level of arsenic in water by mixing low arsenic water with other high arsenic water.
Initial Care Procedures
– Rescue breathing should be carried out as soon as possible if the injured person does not show any signs of life, for example, movement, breathing, or coughing, and some of the following procedures can be used pending help to arrive.
– Inhalation of toxic substance: Transport casualty to fresh air.
– Skin poisoning: Remove contaminated clothing with gloves and flush skin with water for 15-20 minutes.
– poisonous vomiting: tilt the victim’s head to the side; To avoid suffocation.
– Eye poisoning: Gently rinse eyes with cold or warm water for a minimum of 20 minutes, or until help arrives.
– Swallowed poison: Remove any leftover poison from the victim’s mouth, and if the poison is a household cleaner, you can read its label and follow the instructions on how to handle accidental poisoning.