Meaning of Toxic

What is Toxic:

What toxic we designate what is of or relating to a poison or toxin. In this sense, a toxic substance is one that produces serious effects, alterations or disorders in the functioning of a living organism, and that can even cause death.

A toxic sustance is measured according to his degree of toxicity, that is, its intrinsic capacity to produce damage in an organism. These substances can come into contact with the body in various ways: ingestion, inhalation, absorption, application, injection, or they can even develop inside an organism itself. Hence, they can be classified as endogenous toxic substances (which come from inside an organism) or exogenous (which come from abroad).

Exogenous toxins can come from animals (snake venom, for example), from plant organisms (some fungi) or they can be synthetic toxins, developed by humans through chemical processes.

The word, as such, comes from the Latin toxecumwhich in turn comes from the Greek τοξικὸν φάρμακον (toxikón phármakon), which means ‘poison to poison arrows’.


What toxicology is called the science focused on the study of toxic substances. As such, toxicology is responsible for determining aspects such as its physical-chemical composition, its ability to produce alterations in living organisms, as well as the mechanisms by which such alterations occur and the different ways to counteract them. Likewise, toxicology is responsible for detecting toxic agents, identifying them, and determining their degree of toxicity. Professionals in this field, for their part, are called toxicologists.

toxic and poison

A poison, like a toxic substance, has the ability to cause serious damage to a living organism. However, the poison is characterized by being a toxic substance used deliberately with the purpose of producing harmful effects on the functioning of the vital organs of an individual. Such effects may or may not cause death. In this sense, what distinguishes poison is that it is a toxic substance used for criminal purposes.

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Toxic in Pharmacology

In pharmacology, as toxic effect is designated the unwanted action of a drug on the body of an individual, usually as a consequence of an excessive dose. Hence, the toxic effect depends directly on two factors: the dose, that is, the amount of medication to which the body is exposed, and the exposure time, that is, the amount of time during which the exposure is prolonged. .