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What is Modern Toxicology?


Modern Toxicology, the science of the mechanism of harmful and toxic effects on the human body

Modern toxicology is to study from the perspective of modern medicine various (chemical, physical, biological) harmful factors exposed to human production and life practice on organisms, especially the mechanism of harm and toxicity to the human body, as well as medical protection and The science of environmental protection. It is not only a basic discipline of modern medicine, but also an applied discipline closely related to economic construction, people's life and ecological environment protection. It will play a pivotal role in safeguarding human health, maintaining the balance of the ecological environment and promoting sustainable economic development in the 21st century. Toxicology covers classification of Bio-Medical Model Substances Natural Toxins in Animals and Plants.

Table of Contents

1. Development history

2. Research content

3. Research methods

4. Research trends



What is the development history of toxicology?

In order to survive and multiply, in the process of fighting against various poisonous substances in the outside world, human beings continue to discover and understand poisons until they study poisons for human use. It has gone through a long history of about 5,000 years. modern toxicology. It can be seen that the entire development process of modern toxicology is the development process of human origin and civilization history.

Research Content on Toxicology

Ancient people's understanding of poison and poisoning process

In primitive society, people lived by gathering, hunting, fishing and other production methods, and in the process of obtaining food, they often ate poisonous animals and plants and caused poisoning. 

In the "Xiu Wu Xun" chapter of the ancient Chinese book "Huainanzi", it contains "Shen Nong tasted the taste of all kinds of herbs, and encountered seventy poisons in one day". 

After long-term practice, the ancients learned to identify poisonous and non-poisonous substances through the shapes, colors, and tastes of many animals, plants, and minerals, and recorded them in words. "Zhou Li Tiangong" called bile alum, cinnabar, realgar, purple stone and magnet as "five poisons".

The ancients also used poison as a tool for their hunting, war and murder. For example, in the 4th century BC, ancient Rome used poison as a tool for killing. Until 82 BC, Sulla issued a law prohibiting the use of poison as a tool for killing. V

arious vocabulary related to poison was gradually created and derived from the practice of ancients. For example, the word "toxic" in English originated from the Greek word "toxon", which means bow and arrow, and from which "toxicology" (toxicology) was derived. During this period, there were records of poisons and poisoning in the middle of ancient Egyptian and Western books.

In the fight against diseases, people have gradually accumulated experience in using natural products to treat diseases. Shennong's Materia Medica, the first pharmacology in ancient my country, contains 252 kinds of botanical medicines, 67 kinds of animal medicines, and 46 kinds of mineral medicines, totaling 365 kinds, which are divided into upper, middle and lower grades. 

The ancients believed that: the top grade "doesn't hurt people when taken for a long time".

The middle grade "non-toxic and poisonous should be considered appropriate"

It shows that the ancients have recognized that drugs have toxic and side effects, and they know the relationship between toxic and side effects and the duration of medication

dose relationship. 

Toxicology test

Chao Yuanfang of the Sui Dynasty wrote "On the Origin and Symptoms of Diseases" with unique insights into etiology.

Song Ci of the Song Dynasty wrote "The Collection of Cleansing and Immunization", which mentioned that he died due to poisoning (suicide or homicide).

In the Ming Dynasty, Li Shizhen revised the Compendium of Materia Medica, which lasted 20 years. It was a masterpiece that had a great influence on my country and the world.

Research Methods on Toxicology

The Emergence and Development of Modern Toxicology

1. Germinate

The study of toxicology began in the 16th century, and its background was that Western Europe began to enter the era of capitalism. With the progress of science and technology, the productivity developed by leaps and bounds. 

After a long period of scientific practice, a group of scholars engaged in scientific research have realized that We should get rid of knowing things only by experience and intuition, and observe the regularity and essence of things through experiments. 

The most worth mentioning is that a Swiss scientist Paracelsus (1493-1541) first laid the experimental foundation of toxicology, and began to germinate the buds of modern toxicology. And the method of logical reasoning to observe the nature and laws of things, and made unprecedented achievements. 

Toxicology tsting

Paracelsus was also a noted medical scientist. He has a famous saying "What is there that is poison? All substances are poisons, there is none which is not a poison .The right dose differentiates a poison and a remedy." The translation into Chinese is "All substances are poisons, no The same is not poisonous, only the correct dose can make the drug not become a poison." It is clearly pointed out that the dose of a chemical substance and its toxicity relationship are central issues in toxicology. During this period, he and other scholars jointly researched occupational lead poisoning, mercury poisoning, toxic hazards of soot and soot, etc., and put forward the early concepts of occupational toxicology, forensic toxicology and environmental toxicology, which are the key to modern toxicology. Origin lays the foundation.

2. Develop

Toxicology as an independent discipline in the 19th century was first proposed by the Spanish scholar Orfila (1787-1853). The early 19th century was the beginning of the European Industrial Revolution. Many workers were engaged in heavy handicraft production in factories and mines. The working environment was harsh and lacked protection. There have been many severe acute poisoning incidents, such as lead poisoning in ceramic workers, and most mining workers. 

Mercury poisoning and phosphorus poisoning occurred, most miners suffered from silicosis, and formaldehyde poisoning was also common. In order to meet the needs of the time, many scholars carried out a large number of experimental research work on chemical substances exposed to various occupations, which led to the rapid development of experimental toxicology. 

Magendie (1783-1855), Orfila (1787-1853), Lewin (1854-1929) and others successively conducted a series of experimental toxicology studies, which laid the foundation for pharmacology, experimental therapeutics and occupational toxicology. He has made an experiment with thousands of dogs in France, and repeatedly observed that there is a "dose-response (response) relationship" between toxic substances and the toxic effects of biological organisms, and established the biological organization. 

The chemical analysis method for identifying poisons in body fluids has opened up the use of autopsy materials and chemical analysis methods as legal evidence of poisoning for forensic science and criminology, and promoted the development of forensic science and criminology. 

1815 Orfila published the first monograph on toxicology "Traite de loxicoloie (French)" and proposed that toxicology was a separate discipline. In the same period, many scholars conducted experimental research, such as the famous French physiologist Claude Bernard (1813-1878) to study the toxic effects and properties of carbon monoxide and curare. 

Until the end of the 19th century, German scientists published many experimental methods and descriptions of various poisons. The monograph promoted the maturity of modern toxicology. From the end of the 19th century to the beginning of the 20th century, modern toxicology became an independent discipline.

The Formation and Characteristics of Modern Toxicology

The 20th century was a period of great development of toxicology, and also an era of stubbornness and rapid development of life sciences. 

It can be said that the development of modern toxicology and the development of life science are carried out simultaneously, and the new theories and new technologies of life science have promoted the rapid development of modern toxicology.

The discovery of the double helix structure of DNA in 1953 revealed the mystery of life. The deciphering of the genetic code, the establishment of the central dogma of genetic information transmission, the establishment of recombinant DNA technology, etc., promote the concept and technology of molecular biology to fully penetrate into all fields of life science, and also penetrate into modern toxicology. 

After the 1940s, branches of modern toxicology have sprung up and developed vigorously. There are more than 30 branches of modern toxicology that have established professional committees in my country, and academic exchanges are very active. 

After the establishment and application of new methods of molecular endpoints, molecular toxicology and genetic toxicology have opened up new methods for predicting carcinogenic chemicals. prospect.

The formation and development of modern toxicology is based on the modern toxicology, and after more than 100 years of development, the modern toxicology with strong application and marginality has been perfected. 

Toxicology Research Trends 

What are the characteristics of modern toxicology?

Modern toxicology has the following characteristics:

1. The characteristics of multi-disciplinary development in the post-India era in the 20th century

(1) Industrial toxicology, environmental toxicology, food toxicology, military toxicology, drug toxicology, clinical toxicology, forensic toxicology, analytical toxicology, veterinary toxicology, feed toxicology, management toxicology , Insect toxicology, animal toxicology, plant toxicology, radiotoxicology, toxicology history toxicology.

(2) Classification by target organ Liver toxicology, renal toxicology, lung toxicology, blood toxicology, ocular toxicology, neurological and psychotoxicology, behavioral toxicology, immunotoxicology, reproductive and developmental toxicology, skin toxicologyc

(3) Classification by mechanism research Biochemical toxicology, molecular toxicology, membrane toxicology, cytotoxicology, genetic toxicology, receptor toxicology, quantum toxicology.

(4) Classification by chemical substances Metal toxicology, pesticide toxicology, organic solvent toxicology, macromolecular compound toxicology, material toxicology.

The above-mentioned numerous sub-disciplines of toxicology not only form an intersection within the field of toxicology, but also intersect with related disciplines in the field of life sciences, which expands the scope of toxicology research. It can be expected that new sub-disciplines will emerge in the future.

2. The academic team continues to grow, and international academic exchanges are frequent

The United States was the first country in the world to establish a toxicology society (1960), and it was also the country where the first professional journal "Toxicnlogy and pharmacoiogy" was published (1958). This is a milestone in the history of modern toxicology. It not only It marks the maturity of modern toxicology, and also promotes the rapid development of toxicology. Since then, the International Society of Toxicology and the Toxicological Society of various countries have been established successively, and academic conferences and international contacts are frequent. Papers are increasing year by year. 

Countries around the world hold more than 10 academic conferences on toxicology every year on average. More than 70 professional journals have been founded, and 20.25 academic monographs are published every year. 

Large-scale international toxicology conferences held 9 sessions from 1977 to 2001. Conference, has published 9 proceedings. 

Poison testing

Since the advent of Chemical Abstracts in 1907, a total of 67,959 abstracts on the toxicity and toxicology of poisons have been collected by the beginning of 1991, of which 12,584 were collected in just one year in 1991, which is the cumulative total of 10 years in the 20th century (1907-1916) 276 46 times the length of the article. 

The first American Society of Toxicology had only 20 members. 

After 40 years of development, there are now more than 4,000 members. The International Union of Toxicology (IUTOX) has a history of 25 years since its establishment in 1977. At that time, there were only 13 members of national and regional toxicological societies, and now it has increased to 43, with 2000 toxicologists from 37 countries and regions. Yu Ming is the main member of IUTOX.

Following the establishment of the Toxicological Society in the United States in 1960, the United Kingdom, France, Italy, Canada, the European Community, Japan, Poland, and Russia have successively established toxicological societies. 

The Chinese Society of Toxicology came into being in the 1980s, which was a period of great development of health toxicology. At this time, a team of Toxicology Professional Department has been formed, which has more than 100 members, most of which are distributed in preventive medicine scientific research units. 

On December 9, 1993, the Chinese Society of Toxicology was formally established. During the same period, 16 secondary professional committees were successively established, and more than 300 members were developed. 

As of September 2001, there are more than 1,100 registered members, and there are more than 30 secondary professional committees and local toxicological societies. In 1997, the Chinese Society of Toxicology joined the International Federation of Toxicology and the Asian Society of Toxicology. 

In 1995, Chinese toxicologists living in the United States established the Chinese Association of Toxicologists in the United States in order to serve the motherland, actively contacted the domestic toxicology community, conducted academic exchanges, and held "Modern Toxicology and Its Application Workshop" in China. , and published the life science monograph "Modern Toxicology and Its Applications".

Germany has established a post-graduate education model for toxicology workers, which is the product of the combination of education and toxicology, providing the best education covering all disciplines of toxicology. 

System theory training and obtained the certificate "Expert in Toxicology" issued by the German Society for Experimental and Clinical Pharmacology and Toxicology (DGPT). This move by Germany has been paid attention to by the toxicology community all over the world. 

At the 9th International Toxicology Union Congress in 2001, experts from various countries agreed to establish an international accreditation agency for toxicologists. Taking into account future international cooperation, the state should set standards for the education and certification of a new generation of toxicologists. my country has entered the threshold of the World Trade Organization (WTO), and international cooperation and academic exchanges in the toxicology community are extremely frequent. 

Based on the national conditions of the country, we have formulated a certification procedure suitable for China's implementation, and contributed to the cultivation of a group of high-quality toxicologists.

3. Research institutions are constantly improving, and research projects are more cutting-edge

Governments, universities and enterprises have established various toxicology research institutions. For example, the more famous national or military toxicology research institutions in the United States are the National Cancer Institute. 

The US Toxicology Planning Organization consists of 7 national research units, of which The National Institute of Environmental and Health Sciences is a unit that is responsible for examining and approving projects funded by state grants, grants or contracts every year. 

In 1998, the American Society of Toxicology and the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NBEHS) planned to complete a major project "Environmental Genome Research", with a national investment of 60 million US dollars. The purpose of the research is to find genes that are susceptible to chemical damage. They plan to select 1,000 people from all major ethnic groups, sequence more than 200 genes in each person's genome, and then study the respective functions of these genes in detail, and conduct health surveys on the subject population to study these genes. 

The relationship between key genes and various high-risk diseases in the examined population. This work is very arduous and complicated, and the cost is staggering, but once successful, it will overcome various incurable diseases of mankind and realize the long-cherished dream of mankind for generations.

The world famous large enterprises, such as British Imperial Chemical Company, American DuPont Company, Dow Company, etc., have established toxicology institutes or research laboratories. 

A huge amount of money is invested every year to conduct toxicology research and risk assessment. There are hundreds of such independent research units in the United States alone, and it is estimated that the world can reach the top of the class. They have excellent scientific equipment and a large number of high-quality research institutes. Scientific and technological talents play a huge role in the development of toxicology.

4. The development of "toxicological genomics" leads the new era of modern toxicology

In the 20th century, due to the development of human society and social competition and the needs of human life, people have adopted excessive exploitation and utilization of nature, and the rapid industrial development has resulted in the release of a large number of harmful factors (physical, chemical, biological) into the human living environment. , endangering human health. 

The biological effects and mechanisms of the interaction between environmental factors and organisms have attracted more and more attention. Toxicology community faces new challenge to study the harmful effects of organisms in the environment.

Dry goods related knowledge of toxicology

Toxicology is a science that studies the toxic reactions of chemical substances to organisms, their severity, frequency of occurrence, and mechanisms of toxic action, as well as the science of qualitative and quantitative evaluation of toxic effects. 

Toxicology is closely related to pharmacology. The toxic reaction of chemical substances (such as drugs) is a part of drug effects. 

Toxicology is developed based on pharmacological theory and experimental research methods. The difference is that pharmacological research focuses on research on the role and effective dose of drugs in preventing and treating diseases, so as to exert their effects in preventing, treating or diagnosing diseases, while toxicology mainly studies the harm of chemical substances to the human body, that is, the study of the harmful effects of chemical substances on organisms under certain conditions the toxic effect.


1. Principles for the selection of toxicology testing items


1.1 For new raw materials of cosmetics, the following toxicological tests are generally required:

(1) Acute oral and acute dermal toxicity tests


(2) Skin and acute eye irritation/corrosion test


(3) Skin allergy test


(4) Skin phototoxicity and photosensitivity test (This test is required for raw materials with ultraviolet absorption properties)


(5) Mutagenicity test (at least one gene mutation test and one chromosomal aberration test should be included)


(6) Subchronic oral and dermal toxicity tests


(7) Teratogenicity test


(8) Chronic toxicity/carcinogenicity combination test


(9) Toxic metabolism and kinetic test


(10) Other necessary tests may also be considered according to the properties and uses of the raw materials. 

If the chemical structure and properties of the new material are similar to those already used in cosmetics, some tests may be reduced.

Toxicological tests in this regulation are requirements in principle, and test items can be added or exempted according to the physical and chemical properties of the raw materials, quantitative structure-activity relationship, toxicological data, clinical research, population epidemiological investigations, and toxicity of similar compounds.


The test method refers to GB7919-87 Cosmetics Safety Evaluation Procedures and Methods


Guidelines for Testing of Chemicals

1.2 Several common toxicological classifications of cosmetic product safety evaluations


1.2.1 Acute oral toxicity classification



1.2.2 Classification of acute dermal toxicity



1.2.3 Skin irritation (grading)/corrosion test



1.2.4 Acute eye irritation (grading)/corrosion test


a. Grading of raw material eye irritation



b. Product eye irritation response classification



1.2.5 Skin Allergy Test


a. Allergy test skin reaction score



b. Sensitization intensity

1.2.6 Skin phototoxicity test


The development trend of toxicology

With the rapid development of toxicological experimental methods and technologies, the development of toxicology will take toxicological genomics as the guide, and enter the era of molecular toxicology as a whole, which will present the following development trends: from passive toxicology to active toxicology Development; from high-dose testing to low-dose testing. 

Experimental animals from a single model to a characteristic model. From low-throughput testing to high-throughput testing; from single-purpose to multi-purpose, multi-field development, etc.


3. Research hotspots of toxicology

The above is the relevant knowledge of cosmetic toxicology.


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