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What is Ecotoxicology definition/concept

According to the WHO, toxicology is the discipline that studies the chemical and physical agents that damage or can damage biological systems. This branch of knowledge emerged in the nineteenth century when observing the relationship between certain work activities and exposure to some harmful substances. Over time, toxicology projected itself into the environment and a specific branch emerged, ecotoxicology.

The term itself tells us what its meaning is, since it is formed by three elements: echo, which is equivalent to ecosystem; toxic that comes from the Latin toxicum and means poison; and logia that comes from logos and means knowledge.

General principles

Those dedicated to ecotoxicology study environmental contamination in all its dimensions: its origin, its evolution and its effects on ecosystems. Ecotoxicology

In this branch of toxicology, it is understood that an ecosystem is like a living organism and, consequently, it is necessary to identify the harmful substances in the trophic chains and know their effects on living beings.

The organisms living are key elements to assess the environmental quality because every living being is exposed to the changes that occur in the middle environment . Ecotoxicology

The harmful effect of a toxic compound on an organism depends on several factors: the ability to generate a harmful effect and the degree of exposure

Toxic substances have their own mobility mechanisms and, therefore, professionals in this discipline analyze the origin and fate of these substances. It should be noted that some toxics degrade spontaneously, but others end up underground, in water or directly in living beings.

Certain chemical molecules synthesized in laboratories are released into the environment

Toxic substances used in crops to control pests have effects on human health. One of the most harmful elements is phthalates, compounds used to maintain the flexibility of plastic containers. Ecotoxicology

Toxics accumulated in the environment are directly related to all types of diseases: allergies, cancer, male infertility, respiratory problems, etc. In some researches carried out through the blood of newborns, very contaminating substances were found, such as heavy metals or pesticides. In studies on male fertility, a direct relationship was found between toxic substances in the environment and the reduction in the amount of sperm.

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