How the toxicology established to be a science?
The term hormesis is defined as “the phenomenon or condition of a substance or other agent having a beneficial physiological effect at low levels of exposure even though toxic or otherwise harmful at higher levels”. In the nineteenth century a Spanish physician, Mathieu Orfila (1787-1853), is often referred to as the founder of toxicology. Orfila was the first to establish a systematic correlation between the chemical and biological properties of poisons, as well as demonstrating the effects of poisons on specific organs. He was able to conduct these studies by analyzing the autopsy materials for poisoning and their associated tissue damage. These revelations were published within the first book to formally address toxicology by its name, Toxicologie générale, in the year 1813.
Following this the depth of toxicology has continued to increase with Magendie, (1783-1885), detailing the absorption and distribution of various substances inside the body whilst Rachel Carson wrote the controversial book, The Silent Spring, in 1962. The book was incredibly influential in initiating and raising awareness of environmental toxicology, emphasizing the effects and reasons for banning widespread usages of pesticides and other potentially harmful chemicals. In the twentieth and twenty-first centuries there have been significant increases in the understanding of the adverse effects of xenobiotics on organs and cells at a molecular level. It is now recognized that almost all effects of poisons are as a result of specific changes in specific cellular molecules and biochemicals.