Thursday, March 11, 2010

Can You Build Up a Tolerance to Poisons?

Interesting but tough question to answer.

Both plants and animals have been noted to develop a tolerance for heavy metals. Unfortunately, the extrapolation of findings between species is difficult. That means just because hamster cells develop a tolerance for arsenic doesn't mean that humans will do the same (Rossman et al. 1997).
The best general answer for to question is that any tolerance is dependent on the dose or exposure, the length of time of the exposure, individual genetic composition and the type of toxin.

Source: Christenson, J.M. Human exposure to toxic metals: factors influencing interpretation of biomonitoring results Science of The Total EnvironmentVolume 166, Issues 1-3, 21 April 1995, Pages 89-135

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