Natural toxicants have been known from ancient times and man used them to gain various benefits by producing remedies, preserving goods or using them as a means for homicide. During the past century many new, toxicologically undefined industrial substances were introduced to the environment. It was an inevitable risk that substances dangerous to man, biota and environment, every man should contribute by being aware of his surroundings. In 'General Toxicology' the vastness of the toxicological scope is presented by outlining the possible encounter with toxicants of different origins, their fate in the human body and the effects produced. The book smoothly introduces the reader to the basic principles and mechanisms in the body exposed to ubiquitous foreign substances. The path from the exposure to xenobiotics to final effects is to encompass basic aspects of toxicokinetics, i.e. absorption, distribution, biotransformation and excretion of the substances. The mechanisms of adverse health effects are outlined by the insight in toxicodynamic processes which explains the difference between acute and chronic exposures.
The occurrence, physico-chemical properties and toxicity of most important categories of both natural and anthropogenic toxicants including detailed depiction of the poisoning symptoms, are described in the important new book.