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Toxicology classification of poisons and poisoning

Poisons are chemical substances of toxic action. Once in the human body, they cause poisoning of varying severity, including death. The degree of damage depends on the physical and chemical properties of toxic substances, ways of penetration into the body (orally, by inhalation, through the skin). The number threat to human connections extensive. Therefore, there is a classification of poisons, separating them into groups and classes.

Toxicology (clinical) characteristics of poisons

Toxicology classification of toxic substances based on the nature of the impact of toxic substances and the clinical manifestations of the internal organs and systems.

Nerve poisons

It toxic substances that are as toxic in aerosol state. Enter the body through the lungs and skin and affect the nervous and respiratory systems. Inhalation causes a severe bronchial spasm and suffocation. Then develop convulsions leading to paralysis of skeletal and smooth muscles.

Mild poisoning the victim in a few minutes impaired visual acuity, pain in the chest, shortness of breath, heart palpitation. Then, nausea with profuse salivation and pain around the abdomen, associated with spasm of the bowel. If poisoning moderate severity in 10 minutes developed asthma as bronchial asthma. In severe acute intoxication, convulsion, coma, and death.

Nerve poisons:

  • CWA (chemical warfare agents) sarin, soman, VX;
  • FAUVE (the phosphorus-organic substances) pesticides, trichlorfon, Malathion;
  • drug – fosfatos, piropos, Armin.

Skin-rezorbtivee poisons

It's the toxic substances that have both local and General toxic effects on the body.

Local signs of toxicity – inflammatory response, ulcerative skin changes. General pathological changes – degenerative changes in internal organs, especially the liver and kidneys, the toxic damage to the nervous system, violation of the mechanism of hematopoiesis.

Representatives of the poisons:

  • BOV – mustard (mustard gas blister agents) and lewisite (dark brown liquid that causes a deep non-healing ulcers);
  • heavy metals – arsenic, mercury;
  • organochlorine substances – geksahloran, dichloroethane.

Poisons systemic toxicity

Are substances that cause hypoxia (oxygen starvation), and seizures. They disrupt the metabolism and the Central nervous system. Poisons cause paralysis, brain edema, in severe cases to coma and death.

Toxic substances General steps:

  • hydrocyanic acid is a poisonous volatile liquid, hydrogen cyanide;
  • CYANOGEN chloride – BOV, a highly toxic colourless gas;
  • carbon monoxide.

Asphyxiant poisons

Effects of poisons aimed at the defeat of the respiratory system. Cause toxic pulmonary edema:

  • warfare agents – phosgene, diphosgene, triphosgene;
  • ethylene, propylene, dimethyl sulphate;
  • chloropicrin, herpecin;
  • ammonia, hydrazines, methyl bromide.

Irritant or tear agents

The main toxic effects – irritation of the mucous membranes, affect the organs of sight and respiration. Signs of poisoning – severe pain and burning in the eyes, profuse nasal discharge, watery eyes.


  • the sternites (affect the mucous membranes of the upper respiratory tract) – admit, diphenylchlorarsine, diphenylcyanoarsine;
  • lacrimatory (tear) – chloroacetophenone, chloropicrin, bromobenzylcyanide;
  • substance SC.

Psychotic poisons

This toxic substances which disturb the mind and mental activity:

  • drugs – opium, cocaine;
  • BOV, LSD, BZ;
  • artpin – plant alkaloid causes somatic and neurological disorders.

Classification of toxic substances according to directional effects

In toxicology, poisons are classified by their selective activity. Once in the body, they strike individual organs.

Cardiotoxic – disturb the heart rhythm, conduction of the myocardium, leading to dystrophic changes of cardiac muscle:

  • cardiac glycosides cause arrhythmias, bradycardia, ventricular defibrillation (digoxin, digitalis);
  • animal poisons – dopamine, aflotoxin, triterpene glycosides, quinine, Aconite;
  • vegetable poisons – Ceramica, Lily of the valley.

Neurotoxic – break mentality, lead to toxic coma, sudden development of seizures, paralysis:

  • hypnotics, tranquilizers;
  • drugs;
  • ethanol and its surrogates;
  • derivatives of isoniazid (medication to treat tuberculosis) – ftivazid, tubazid. Often isoniazid is used for poisoning dogs.

Hemotoksicheskie – destroy the structure of red blood cells, release hemoglobin:

  • paracetamol;
  • aniline dyes;
  • nitrites;
  • potassium permanganate;
  • ARSENICAL hydrogen.

Hepatoxicity – destroy the hepatocytes (liver cells), lead to toxic liver enlargement:

  • the chlorinated hydrocarbons greatly – chloroform, dichloroethane;
  • phenols;
  • ethanol in high doses;
  • aldehydes;
  • arsenic,phosphorus;
  • poisonous mushrooms.

Nephrotoxic – causes of acute kidney disease with impaired function of:

  • oxalic and acetic acid;
  • mercury, chromium, lead, arsenic, copper sulfate;
  • the ethylene glycol.

Gastroenterologicheskii – lead to acute inflammation of the gastrointestinal mucosa with hemorrhages and necrotic changes:

  • strong alkalis and acids;
  • salts of heavy metals;
  • arsenic and its compounds.

Classification according to the type of poisoning

Classification of poisons and poisoning distinguishes two large groups. The first poisoning etiopathogenetic, the second – on the clinical signs.

Etiopathogenetic classification of poisoning:

  1. By reason of intoxication – chemical compounds (acids, alkali, pesticides), drugs, alcohols, food products, industrial poisons, carbon monoxide.
  2. At the location of the lesion – local effects (skin, mucus), a lesion of certain internal organs or systems, generalized intoxication of the whole organism.
  3. The path of penetration of the poison – aerosol (inhalation), resorptions (under the skin), orally (through the gastrointestinal tract).
  4. Toxicology – nature and properties of poisons of vegetable, microbial and animal origin.

Classification of poisoning the clinical signs are:

  1. Features of symptoms and course of intoxication.
  2. The degree of destruction of the body – light, medium, heavy.
  3. The development of complications.
  4. The outcome was favorable, unfavorable.

The toxins such as poisonous substances

The toxins from pathogenic micro-organisms, also have a toxic effect on the body like the other poisons. They can cause high toxicity, leading to death. Total more than 50 types of bacteria and viruses, leading to poisoning. Classification of toxins can be divided in two main groups.

Endotoxins are products of metabolism and decay of substances within the bacteria. They are released in the body after the death of the microbe and cause severe poisoning.

Exotoxins are products of vital activity of pathogenic bacteria that are active outside the body of the microbe. Depending on actions on the human body, exotoxins are divided into:

  • neurotoxins affect the Central and peripheral nervous system;
  • cytotoxins the antibodies generated by immune system activation;
  • toxins-enzymes – disrupt physiological processes;
  • toxins-enzyme inhibitors – disrupt metabolism.

Classification by origin:

  • microbial – bacteria, viruses, fungi, protozoa;
  • plant toxins – poisonous plants;
  • animal poisons animal.

By selectivity of action:

  • nervous system neurotoxins;
  • kidney – nephrotoxin;
  • heart – cardiotoxin;
  • blood vessels – GENETIChESKIE, hemolytic, hemorrhagic;
  • muscle – missione.

Classification of poisons created with the purpose of rapid and accurate identification of toxic substances, determining the directions of measures for first aid. This reduces the risk of complications and prevent adverse outcomes.