What is poison

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What is poison

Have you ever found yourself in an interpersonal situation where the atmosphere was poisoned? Or have you ever written a poisonous letter yourself? What exactly does “toxic” actually mean and in what dimensions do the substances move that are generally considered to be toxic?

One of the definitions of poison is: Poisons are harmful substances that can damage living beings.

This problem was already recognized by Paracelsus (1493 - 1541), who coined the phrase: “All Things are poison and nothing is without poison; the dose alone makes a thing not a poison .“

However, the classification of a substance as a poison depends on several factors:

There is a large selection of poisons in the world. There are animal species that may look harmless but can transport a person to the afterlife with ease. There are beautiful but deadly plant species and then there are the man-made warfare agents that are supposed to cruelly wipe out entire populations in times of war.

The effect of these toxins depends on the substance in question ( Poison type), the administered amount (dose ), the type of recording (application), the time of action of the poison and the Status of the organism (previous illness). The damage to health can be minor or only temporary, but it can also lead to permanent impairment and, in the worst case, even to death. Toxicology deals with the research of poisons. Poisons can be detected through laboratory tests.

In the next sections the following terms are explained in more detail: Organic and inorganic toxins, what belongs to organic toxins, what are these substances used for? Are there rules and controls? Why are there no (complete) overviews?

Different types of toxins come in different forms. Organic compounds Biogenic poisons. (Toxins) are formed by microorganisms (bacteria and fungi, plants and animals and occur frequently in nature. They are transmitted either through penetration into the body, contact or the metabolic processes (absorption, transport and conversion of substances in the body) of living beings.

If you suspect poisoning, you should contact the poison control center, or after consuming poisonous plants or mushrooms and suddenly inexplicable illness. As a first measure you should therefore - after the immediate emergency call with the information about plant poisoning - give medical charcoal immediately, as it binds the toxins to itself. Especially when you have children, it is very important to have medicinal charcoal in granulate or tablet form in your medicine cabinet and to have familiarized yourself with how to use them, because every minute counts in the event of poisoning!

Website of the information center against poisoning in Bonn

There are an incredible number of inorganic, i.e. chemical, compounds, and several areas of research have dealt with them since the 19th century. These substances (chemicals) are roughly divided into areas:




Acids, alkalis

Petroleum products

cleaning supplies

But also in Pharmaceuticals in health care, then it is often a combination (organic + inorganic) of several basic substances in the field of:

Psychiatric drugs