Environmental Toxicology: Poisons in Disguise
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There is something common about the carpet you tread on, the electronic devices you use and the aircraft you travel in. It is a chemical called polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) or more commonly flame retardants. A coating of this chemical compound on most objects you use helps save hundreds of lives, stopping products from burning easily. However, flame retardants have been found to interfere with thyroid function, and cause reproductive and neurological problems in mice. No one knows yet what impact it has on human health, but a random research by National Geographic found ten times the amount of PBDE is a person’s blood level than mice.  This was someone who had no direct association with anything chemical all his life. 

Such invisible chemicals enter our body every day unknowingly and stay there interfering with your fitness and wellbeing. Additionally, these chemicals are entering food chains, ecosystems and the environment in such epic scale that their effects have been seen even 60-70 years after their use and on generations that never had direct contact with them. 

Toxicology is the science of poisons that investigates these harmful natural and man-made agents, identifying them, and devising preventive measures. Environmental toxicology looks at the link between human, wildlife and planetary health. Read more to find out how this branch of science and the practice of green chemistry are ensuring greater understanding as well as better use of chemicals to keep the planet hazard-free. 

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