A toxicant is a chemical compound that has an effect on organisms. Toxicants are typically introduced into the environment by human activity.The effects depend on the concentration of the compound. Generally three concentration ranges can be delineated of all chemical compounds

* too little: the metabolic behaviour deviates more from the natural behaviour for "decreasing" concentrations
* enough: the metabolic behaviour is rather insensitive to changes in the concentration
* too much: the metabolic behaviour deviates more from the natural behaviour for "increasing" concentrations

The effect of toxicants can be quantified on the basis of the concentration inside the organism. The Dynamic Energy Budget theory can be used to specify the mode of action of the compound for the individual organism under study: one or more parameters of the DEB model change as function of the internal concentration.

Some toxicants are specifically developed to fight pests,the so-called pesticides such as

* insecticides to kill insects (or protect plants as some would prefer to stress)
* herbicides to kill "unwanted" weeds,
* food conservation products to kill micro-organisms that feast on our food

Many other toxicants are unwanted by-products of some production process, or accidental spoils.

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Toxicant — Tox i*cant, n. A poisonous agent or drug, as opium; an intoxicant. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • toxicant — index deadly, pernicious, pestilent Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

  • toxicant — [täk′si kənt] adj. [LL toxicans, prp. of toxicare, to smear with poison < L toxicum: see TOXIC] poisonous; toxic n. a poison; toxic agent …   English World dictionary

  • toxicant — noun Etymology: Medieval Latin toxicant , toxicans, present participle of toxicare to poison, from Latin toxicum Date: 1879 a toxic agent; especially pesticide …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • toxicant — /tok si keuhnt/, adj. 1. poisonous; toxic. n. 2. a poison. [1880 85; < ML toxicant (s. of toxicans), prp. of toxicare to poison. See TOXIC, ANT] * * * …   Universalium

  • toxicant — /ˈtɒksəkənt/ (say toksuhkuhnt) adjective 1. poisonous; toxic. –noun 2. a poison. {Latin toxicant , stem of present participle of toxicāre to poison} …   Australian-English dictionary

  • toxicant — 1. adjective Capable of causing damage by poisoning 2. noun A toxic or poisonous substance …   Wiktionary

  • toxicant — 1. SYN: poisonous. 2. Any poisonous agent, specifically an alcoholic or other poison, causing symptoms of what is popularly called intoxication. * * * tox·i·cant täk si kənt n a toxic agent esp one for insect control that kills rather than repels …   Medical dictionary

  • toxicant — (Roget s Thesaurus II) adjective Capable of injuring or killing by poison: mephitic, mephitical, poison, poisonous, toxic, venomous, virulent. See HELP …   English dictionary for students

  • toxicant — tox·i·cant || tÉ‘ksɪkÉ™nt / tÉ’k adj. poisonous, poisoning n. poison …   English contemporary dictionary

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