Environmental Toxicology

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April 9th, 2012
Jennifer Ott

Environmental toxicology refers to specific organs as target organs. This is an organ that has the highest probability of being affected by exposure to a specific substance. Target organ toxicity refers to the negative effects a chemical has on that target organ after entry into the body (Hodgson, 2010). There are multiple organs such as the liver which are targeted simply because of ease of access. Any organ that can be accessed through less guarded cell walls or higher levels of lipids are more susceptible to entry by toxicants. High traffic organs like the kidneys and liver make it easy as they receive and filter all blood therefore taking the toxin in large doses to cleanse the body. The primary purpose of the kidneys and liver is to expel toxins and therefore this action is there specialty making them more susceptible. The human body has a specialized detoxification process that includes a specific target organ, the liver. The liver is a primary regulator of chemical levels in the blood and it also excretes bile that helps the breakdown of fat (Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital, 2012). This breakdown helps to prepare the fats for the final stages of digestion and ultimately absorption. The liver has two sources of blood flowing threw it at all times, oxygenated blood from the hepatic artery and nutrient-rich blood from the hepatic portal vein. Approximately 13% of blood in the body is held in the liver at any moment (Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital, 2012). The blood that leaves the stomach and intestines will be passed through the liver before it is allowed to travel anywhere else in the body. In the liver nutrients and toxins are broken down so they can be used easily the body. Waste is not only excreted through the bile but also in the blood which will travel to the kidneys and leave the body as urine (Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital, 2012). The liver has many very important duties it...
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