What makes a substance toxic
And is a toxic substance - nasty
Each substance on toxno has a Profile. Many substances are yet to be defined as toxic and some never will. We have around 25,000 profiles to date (May 2015) and this collection is expanding so as to reflect common exposures today. Based on evidence we assign "Nastiness Attributes" to a substance.
Historically a substance was defined as toxic based on the dose you received. However this is indeed a slippery slope - especially at this point in humanity. Why - we are now exposed to multiple substances at once. And their effects are accumulative. Evidence keeps pouring in that cleary demonstrates links between toxic substance exposures and common chronic illnesses today.
When a substance is known to be toxic to bees (kill them eventually) or cause cancer in humans, do we really want to get caught up in debates over dose size. These substance attributes are just plain nasty. I don't want exposure to this thing and i'm sure, you would not either - for yourself, your kids or want this substance accumulating on this planet. Hence the Toxno Nastiness Atrributes. Helps us know what to be wary of.
At toxno we say a substance is toxic when it has one or more "nastiness attributes"
Most substances are chemicals. One dangerous substance can have multiple exposure routes and a single exposure route can have multiple substances. Using innovative design principles and allowing you to move freely to and fro between substance profiles and exposure routes, we are enhancing rapid learning and super fast assimilation of important information
A list of possible attributes is shown below. We update the profiles often. Get on our mailing list and we will keep you informed of updates. To check out the these Profiles you can start by looking at our Trending Toxics.
Alternatively use the search function below, see our LIST of current profiles or our list of lists that contains specific categories of chemicals or browse the Exposure Routes List and explore the toxins from within a particular exposure route.
To classify a substance as causing or be associated with cancer is a serious matter. The toxno nastiness attributes are based on careful compilation of data from research organisations and governments. Significant global efforts by scientists have been conducted into cancer research over the last decades.
Government resources have been developed to compile this data so as to help prioritise the more toxic carcinogenic substances we may be significantly exposed to. We use these data sources (including the IARC, NTP, OEHHA, EPA and CPDB) to form the Toxno nastiness attributes for Human Carcinogen and Carcinogenic Properties.
For a substance to be classified as Human Carcinogen on toxno it must be defined by the IARC as category 1, 2A and 2B; by the NTP as "known or anticipated to cause cancer"; rated by the EPA_IRIS program in categories A, B1, B2 or C; classified by the OEHHA as "known to the state to cause cancer". See our References for more details.
For a substance to be classified as having Carcinogenic Properties on toxno it must be (1) defined by the IARC as category 3 – "Not classifiable as to its carcinogenicity to Humans - but not a determination of non-carcinogenicity or overall safety. It often means that further research is needed"; or (2) demonstrated in the CPDB as having cancer causing properties in non human subjects.
Substances are being added to these classifications regularly. Additionally substances exist that may have serious carcinogenic properties that are not classified by these organisations. New research uncovers new mechanisms for carcinogenicity. New chemicals are released into the environment and the market annually. We are on the lookout for these.
Carcinogenicity is also linked to mutagenicity and Endocrine Disruption. Hence knowing a substances' Nastiness Attributes and the ways you may be exposed, will allow you to exercise caution and/or total avoidance.
This can significantly benefit your long-term health. Through regular updates and research, toxno endeavours to add new substances, refine and define nastiness attributes and reveal exposure routes. We currently have over 1300 substances within these two attributes alone.
This is a serious nasty substance. Exposure to this substance leads to cancer in Humans. Exercise extreme caution with this substance, explore your exposure routes and very seriously consider complete avoidance. See further details under Toxins.
Accumulating evidence points to cancer potential. Exercise caution with this substance, explore your exposure routes and consider complete avoidance. See further details under Toxins.
Interferes with your hormones. Hormones are powerful messengers that can bind to DNA. You don't want to mess with them.
Bio-accumulates in the environment
Can get stored in water, soil, plants. Often for many years or even generations.
Bio-accumulates in animals
Can get stored in animals out there. One animals eats another and the biggest animal ends up with the most toxics. Sometimes we eat that animal.
Bio-accumulates in humans
Different toxins get stored in different body tissues for different lengths of time. Many accumulate in fat. Careful then when you loose weight.
Cause mutations to Genetic material like DNA, RNA or mitochondrial DNA
Negative impact on brain and nervous system.
Interferes with fertility
Known to effect development of fetus.
Detected in Groundwater
Groundwater is found in vast quantities, located beneath the earth's surface, filling the spaces between grains of soil or rock; it slowly flows through underground aquifers; it connects with rivers, streams, lakes and wetlands; it feeds trees and vegetation. That's why CSG fracking is so dangerous. Learn more about groundwater...
Detected in Rivers or Reservoirs
We drink this stuff. Crucial for our survival and wellbeing. Can't afford to pollute it. Get your water tested. Don't assume. Dams and reservoirs can be built on old mining sites or near leaching seams.
Metabolic Interference or Disruption
Interferes with human metabolism. This can be a very serious thing. Some of these interference mechanics are well established. However, often long term effects and health consequences remain largely unknown. Additionally an emerging area of concern and one that is not currently studied, is the combined synergistic effects these metabolically disrupting chemicals have on human health.
Metabolic interference happens when the substance produces highly reactive and often damaging intermediates during detoxification or when the substance binds to specific enzymes, important structural groups on molecules, receptors and membranes or targets DNA or mimics key nutrients.
Human Microbiome Interference
We are only beginning to understand the importance of our bacterial gut ecology. Abundant good bacteria impacts immune function, digestive health, nutrient absorption and detoxification. This also applies to soil.
Chronic Health Symptoms
Long term exposure associated with Skin, Cardiovascular, Gastrointestinal, Cognition, Fatigue, Allergy or Respiratory symptoms
Toxic to specific organs
Can damage liver, kidney, lungs, heart or gut. Ironically liver, kidneys and gut are the main detoxifications systems.
Toxic to Wildlife
May kill plants, fish, birds or other animals and insects. Then effects delicate environmental ecology and food supply in ways we don't fully understand yet.
Toxic to Bees
Bees pollinate plants. No pollination no plants. No plants no food. We go hungry or starve.
Effects Children Significantly
Children are more vulnerable or have different exposure routes than adults to this toxic substance
Member of a Hit List
Governments and Organisations have, over the years, developed and refined lists of substances. These substances have either verified or suspected toxic attributes. See all lists and what they contain here.
Soluble in Water
This substance easily dissolves in water. As such it can be easily transported via waterways. Not really a nastiness attribute, but this feature helps rapidly spread other nastiness attributes this substance may have.
Volatile - Evaporates easily
This substance easily enters the air we breath. Not really a nastiness attribute, but this feature helps rapidly spread other nastiness attributes this substance may have.
Extrapolated problems, unknown human health effects, large volumes entering the market, new product, not biodegradable, unknown detoxification metabolite effects. Best to exercise the PRECAUTIONARY PRINCIPAL.
No Nastiness Attributes Yet
This off course does not mean there aren't any. Toxno just hasn't
found any yet. If you know of additional Nastiness Attributes or other Exposure Routes, please let us know. You can contact us , use the comment section on the profile pages or download our data contribution form. Please
provide a source or a reference.
Find Toxin Profiles on Toxno