Poison

In biology, poisons are substances that cause disturbances in organisms, usually by chemical reaction or other activity on the molecular scale, when an organism absorbs a sufficient quantity.[1][2]

The fields of medicine (particularly veterinary) and zoology often distinguish a poison from a toxin, and from a venom. Toxins are poisons produced by organisms in nature, and venoms are toxins injected by a bite or sting (this is exclusive to animals). The difference between venom and other poisons is the delivery method.

Industry, agriculture, and other sectors employ poisonous substances for reasons other than their toxicity. Most poisonous industrial compounds have associated material safety data sheets and are classed as hazardous substances. Hazardous substances are subject to extensive regulation on production, procurement and use in overlapping domains of occupational safety and health, public health, drinking water quality standards, air pollution and environmental protection. Due to the mechanics of molecular diffusion, many poisonous compounds rapidly diffuse into biological tissues, air, water, or soil on a molecular scale. By the principle of entropy, chemical contamination is typically costly or infeasible to reverse, unless specific chelating agents or micro-filtration processes are available. Chelating agents are often broader in scope than the acute target, and therefore their ingestion necessitates careful medical or veterinarian supervision.

Pesticides are one group of substances whose toxicity to various insects and other animals deemed to be pests (e.g., rats and cockroaches) is their prime purpose. Natural pesticides have been used for this purpose for thousands of years (e.g. concentrated table salt is toxic to many slugs). Bioaccumulation of chemically-prepared agricultural insecticides is a matter of concern for the many species, especially birds, which consume insects as a primary food source. Selective toxicity, controlled application, and controlled biodegradation are major challenges in herbicide and pesticide development and in chemical engineering generally, as all lifeforms on earth share an underlying biochemistry; organisms exceptional in their environmental resilience are classified as extremophiles, these for the most part exhibiting radically different susceptibilities.

A poison which enters the food chain—whether of industrial, agricultural, or natural origin—might not be immediately toxic to the first organism that ingests the toxin, but can become further concentrated in predatory organisms further up the food chain, particularly carnivores and omnivores, especially concerning fat soluble poisons which tend to become stored in biological tissue rather than excreted in urine or other water-based effluents.

Two common cases of acute natural poisoning are theobromine poisoning of dogs and cats, and mushroom poisoning in humans. Dogs and cats are not natural herbivores, but a chemical defense developed by Theobroma cacao can be incidentally fatal nevertheless. Many omnivores, including humans, readily consume edible fungi, and thus many fungi have evolved to become decisively inedible, in this case as a direct defense.

Apart from food, many poisons readily enter the body through the skin and lungs. Hydrofluoric acid is a notorious contact poison, in addition to its corrosive damage. Naturally occurring sour gas is a notorious, fast-acting atmospheric poison (as released by volcanic activity or drilling rigs). Plant-based contact irritants, such as that possessed by poison ivy or poison oak, are often classed as allergens rather than poisons; the effect of an allergen being not a poison as such, but to turn the body's natural defenses against itself. Poison can also enter the body through the teeth (in the controversial case of dental malpractice), faulty medical implants, or by injection (which is the basis of lethal injection in the context of capital punishment).

In 2013, 3.3 million cases of unintentional human poisonings occurred.[3] This resulted in 98,000 deaths worldwide, down from 120,000 deaths in 1990.[4] In modern society, cases of suspicious death elicit the attention of the Coroner's office and forensic investigators. While arsenic is a naturally occurring environmental poison, its artificial concentrate was once nicknamed inheritance powder.[5] In Medieval Europe, it was common for monarchs to employ personal food tasters to thwart royal assassination, in the dawning age of the Apothecary.

Of increasing concern since the isolation of natural radium by Marie and Pierre Curie in 1898—and the subsequent advent of nuclear physics and nuclear technologies—are radiological poisons. These are associated with ionizing radiation, a mode of toxicity quite distinct from chemically active poisons. In mammals, chemical poisons are often passed from mother to offspring through the placenta during gestation, or through breast milk during nursing. In contrast, radiological damage can be passed from mother or father to offspring through genetic mutation, which—if not fatal in miscarriage or childhood, or a direct cause of infertility—can then be passed along again to a subsequent generation. Atmospheric radon is a natural radiological poison of increasing impact since humans moved from hunter-gatherer lifestyles though cave dwelling to increasingly enclosed structures able to contain radon in dangerous concentrations. The 2006 poisoning of Alexander Litvinenko was a novel use of radiological assassination, presumably meant to evade the normal investigation of chemical poisons.

Poisons widely dispersed into the environment are known as pollution. These are often of human origin, but pollution can also include unwanted biological processes such as toxic red tide, or acute changes to the natural chemical environment attributed to invasive species, which are toxic or detrimental to the prior ecology (especially if the prior ecology was associated with human economic value or an established industry such as shellfish harvesting).

The scientific disciplines of ecology and environmental resource management study the environmental life cycle of toxic compounds and their complex, diffuse, and highly interrelated effects.

GHS-pictogram-skull
The international pictogramme for poisonous substances. The skull and crossbones has long been a standard symbol for poison.

Etymology

The word "poison" was first used in 1200 to mean "a deadly potion or substance"; the English term comes from the "...Old French poison, puison (12c., Modern French poison) "a drink," especially a medical drink, later "a (magic) potion, poisonous drink" (14c.), from Latin potionem (nominative potio) "a drinking, a drink," also "poisonous drink" (Cicero), from potare "to drink".[6] The use of "poison" as an adjective ("poisonous") dates from the 1520s. Using the word "poison" with plant names dates from the 18th century. The term "poison ivy", for example, was first used in 1784 and the term "poison oak" was first used in 1743. The term "poison gas" was first used in 1915.[6]

Terminology

The term "poison" is often used colloquially to describe any harmful substance—particularly corrosive substances, carcinogens, mutagens, teratogens and harmful pollutants, and to exaggerate the dangers of chemicals. Paracelsus (1493–1541), the father of toxicology, once wrote: "Everything is poison, there is poison in everything. Only the dose makes a thing not a poison"[7] (see median lethal dose). The term "poison" is also used in a figurative sense: "His brother's presence poisoned the atmosphere at the party". The law defines "poison" more strictly. Substances not legally required to carry the label "poison" can also cause a medical condition of poisoning.

Some poisons are also toxins, which is any poison produced by animals, vegetables or bacteria, such as the bacterial proteins that cause tetanus and botulism. A distinction between the two terms is not always observed, even among scientists. The derivative forms "toxic" and "poisonous" are synonymous. Animal poisons delivered subcutaneously (e.g., by sting or bite) are also called venom. In normal usage, a poisonous organism is one that is harmful to consume, but a venomous organism uses venom to kill its prey or defend itself while still alive. A single organism can be both poisonous and venomous, but that is rare.[8]

All living things produce substances to protect them from getting eaten, so the term "poison" is usually only used for substances which are poisonous to humans, while substances that mainly are poisonous to a common pathogen to the organism and humans are considered antibiotics. Bacteria are for example a common adversary for Penicillium chrysogenum mold and humans, and since the mold's poison only targets bacteria humans may use it for getting rid of bacteria in their bodies. Human antimicrobial peptides which are toxic to viruses, fungi, bacteria and cancerous cells are considered a part of the immune system.[9]

In nuclear physics, a poison is a substance that obstructs or inhibits a nuclear reaction. For an example, see nuclear poison.

Environmentally hazardous substances are not necessarily poisons, and vice versa. For example, food-industry wastewater—which may contain potato juice or milk—can be hazardous to the ecosystems of streams and rivers by consuming oxygen and causing eutrophication, but is nonhazardous to humans and not classified as a poison.

Biologically speaking, any substance, if given in large enough amounts, is poisonous and can cause death. For instance, several kilograms worth of water would constitute a lethal dose. Many substances used as medications—such as fentanyl—have an LD50 only one order of magnitude greater than the ED50. An alternative classification distinguishes between lethal substances that provide a therapeutic value and those that do not.

Poisoning

Acute poisoning is exposure to a poison on one occasion or during a short period of time. Symptoms develop in close relation to the exposure. Absorption of a poison is necessary for systemic poisoning. In contrast, substances that destroy tissue but do not absorb, such as lye, are classified as corrosives rather than poisons. Furthermore, many common household medications are not labeled with skull and crossbones, although they can cause severe illness or even death. In the medical sense, poisoning can be caused by less dangerous substances than those legally classified as a poison.

Chronic poisoning is long-term repeated or continuous exposure to a poison where symptoms do not occur immediately or after each exposure. The patient gradually becomes ill, or becomes ill after a long latent period. Chronic poisoning most commonly occurs following exposure to poisons that bioaccumulate, or are biomagnified, such as mercury, gadolinium, and lead.

Contact or absorption of poisons can cause rapid death or impairment. Agents that act on the nervous system can paralyze in seconds or less, and include both biologically derived neurotoxins and so-called nerve gases, which may be synthesized for warfare or industry.

Inhaled or ingested cyanide, used as a method of execution in gas chambers, almost instantly starves the body of energy by inhibiting the enzymes in mitochondria that make ATP. Intravenous injection of an unnaturally high concentration of potassium chloride, such as in the execution of prisoners in parts of the United States, quickly stops the heart by eliminating the cell potential necessary for muscle contraction.

Most biocides, including pesticides, are created to act as poisons to target organisms, although acute or less observable chronic poisoning can also occur in non-target organisms (secondary poisoning), including the humans who apply the biocides and other beneficial organisms. For example, the herbicide 2,4-D imitates the action of a plant hormone, which makes its lethal toxicity specific to plants. Indeed, 2,4-D is not a poison, but classified as "harmful" (EU).

Many substances regarded as poisons are toxic only indirectly, by toxication. An example is "wood alcohol" or methanol, which is not poisonous itself, but is chemically converted to toxic formaldehyde and formic acid in the liver. Many drug molecules are made toxic in the liver, and the genetic variability of certain liver enzymes makes the toxicity of many compounds differ between individuals.

Exposure to radioactive substances can produce radiation poisoning, an unrelated phenomenon.

Management

  • Initial management for all poisonings includes ensuring adequate cardiopulmonary function and providing treatment for any symptoms such as seizures, shock, and pain.
  • Injected poisons (e.g., from the sting of animals) can be treated by binding the affected body part with a pressure bandage and placing the affected body part in hot water (with a temperature of 50 °C). The pressure bandage prevents the poison being pumped throughout the body, and the hot water breaks it down. This treatment, however, only works with poisons composed of protein-molecules.[10]
  • In the majority of poisonings the mainstay of management is providing supportive care for the patient, i.e., treating the symptoms rather than the poison.

Decontamination

  • Treatment of a recently ingested poison may involve gastric decontamination to decrease absorption. Gastric decontamination can involve activated charcoal, gastric lavage, whole bowel irrigation, or nasogastric aspiration. Routine use of emetics (syrup of Ipecac), cathartics or laxatives are no longer recommended.
    • Activated charcoal is the treatment of choice to prevent poison absorption. It is usually administered when the patient is in the emergency room or by a trained emergency healthcare provider such as a Paramedic or EMT. However, charcoal is ineffective against metals such as sodium, potassium, and lithium, and alcohols and glycols; it is also not recommended for ingestion of corrosive chemicals such as acids and alkalis.[11]
    • Cathartics were postulated to decrease absorption by increasing the expulsion of the poison from the gastrointestinal tract. There are two types of cathartics used in poisoned patients; saline cathartics (sodium sulfate, magnesium citrate, magnesium sulfate) and saccharide cathartics (sorbitol). They do not appear to improve patient outcome and are no longer recommended.[12]
    • Emesis (i.e. induced by ipecac) is no longer recommended in poisoning situations, because vomiting is ineffective at removing poisons.[13]
    • Gastric lavage, commonly known as a stomach pump, is the insertion of a tube into the stomach, followed by administration of water or saline down the tube. The liquid is then removed along with the contents of the stomach. Lavage has been used for many years as a common treatment for poisoned patients. However, a recent review of the procedure in poisonings suggests no benefit.[14] It is still sometimes used if it can be performed within 1 hour of ingestion and the exposure is potentially life-threatening.
    • Nasogastric aspiration involves the placement of a tube via the nose down into the stomach, the stomach contents are then removed by suction. This procedure is mainly used for liquid ingestions where activated charcoal is ineffective, e.g. ethylene glycol poisoning.
    • Whole bowel irrigation cleanses the bowel. This is achieved by giving the patient large amounts of a polyethylene glycol solution. The osmotically balanced polyethylene glycol solution is not absorbed into the body, having the effect of flushing out the entire gastrointestinal tract. Its major uses are to treat ingestion of sustained release drugs, toxins not absorbed by activated charcoal (e.g., lithium, iron), and for removal of ingested drug packets (body packing/smuggling).[15]

Enhanced excretion

Epidemiology

Poisonings world map-Deaths per million persons-WHO2012
Deaths from poisonings per million persons in 2012
  0-2
  3-5
  6-7
  8-10
  11-12
  13-19
  20-27
  28-41
  42-55
  56-336
Poisonings world map - DALY - WHO2004
Disability-adjusted life year for poisonings per 100,000 inhabitants in 2004.[16]
  no data
  <10
  10–90
  90–170
  170–250
  250–330
  330–410
  410–490
  490–570
  570–650
  650–700
  700–880
  >880

In 2010, poisoning resulted in about 180,000 deaths down from 200,000 in 1990.[17] There were approximately 727,500 emergency department visits in the United States involving poisonings—3.3% of all injury-related encounters.[18]

Applications

Poisonous compounds may be useful either for their toxicity, or, more often, because of another chemical property, such as specific chemical reactivity. Poisons are widely used in industry and agriculture, as chemical reagents, solvents or complexing reagents, e.g. carbon monoxide, methanol and sodium cyanide, respectively. They are less common in household use, with occasional exceptions such as ammonia and methanol. For instance, phosgene is a highly reactive nucleophile acceptor, which makes it an excellent reagent for polymerizing diols and diamines to produce polycarbonate and polyurethane plastics. For this use, millions of tons are produced annually. However, the same reactivity makes it also highly reactive towards proteins in human tissue and thus highly toxic. In fact, phosgene has been used as a chemical weapon. It can be contrasted with mustard gas, which has only been produced for chemical weapons uses, as it has no particular industrial use.

Biocides need not be poisonous to humans, because they can target metabolic pathways absent in humans, leaving only incidental toxicity. For instance, the herbicide 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid is a mimic of a plant growth hormone, which causes uncontrollable growth leading to the death of the plant. Humans and animals, lacking this hormone and its receptor, are unaffected by this, and need to ingest relatively large doses before any toxicity appears. Human toxicity is, however, hard to avoid with pesticides targeting mammals, such as rodenticides.

The risk from toxicity is also distinct from toxicity itself. For instance, the preservative thiomersal used in vaccines is toxic, but the quantity administered in a single shot is negligible.

History

Jan Matejko-Poisoning of Queen Bona
"Poisoning of Queen Bona" by Jan Matejko.

Throughout human history, intentional application of poison has been used as a method of murder, pest-control, suicide, and execution.[19][20] As a method of execution, poison has been ingested, as the ancient Athenians did (see Socrates), inhaled, as with carbon monoxide or hydrogen cyanide (see gas chamber), or injected (see lethal injection). Poison's lethal effect can be combined with its allegedly magical powers; an example is the Chinese gu poison. Poison was also employed in gunpowder warfare. For example, the 14th-century Chinese text of the Huolongjing written by Jiao Yu outlined the use of a poisonous gunpowder mixture to fill cast iron grenade bombs.[21]

Figurative use

The term "poison" is also used in a figurative sense. The "[s]lang sense of "alcoholic drink" [is] first attested 1805, American English." (e.g., a bartender might ask a customer "what's your poison?") [6] Figurative use of the term dates from the late 15th century.[22] Figuratively referring to persons as poison dates from 1910.[22] The figurative term "poison-pen letter" became well known in "...1913 by a notorious criminal case in Pennsylvania, U.S.; the phrase dates to 1898."[6]

See also

References

  1. ^ "poison" at Dorland's Medical Dictionary
  2. ^ "Poison" at Merriam-Webster. Retrieved December 26th, 2014.
  3. ^ Global Burden of Disease Study 2013, Collaborator (22 August 2015). "Global, regional, and national incidence, prevalence, and years lived with disability for 301 acute and chronic diseases and injuries in 188 countries, 1990-2013: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2013". Lancet. 386 (9995): 743–800. doi:10.1016/s0140-6736(15)60692-4. PMC 4561509. PMID 26063472.
  4. ^ GBD 2013 Mortality and Causes of Death, Collaborators (17 December 2014). "Global, regional, and national age-sex specific all-cause and cause-specific mortality for 240 causes of death, 1990-2013: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2013". Lancet. 385 (9963): 117–71. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(14)61682-2. PMC 4340604. PMID 25530442.
  5. ^ Yap, Amber (14 November 2013). "Arsenic The "Inheritance Powder."". prezi.com. Prezi. Retrieved 19 March 2018.
  6. ^ a b c d "poison - Search Online Etymology Dictionary". www.etymonline.com. Retrieved 3 November 2017.
  7. ^ Latin: Dosis sola venenum facit. Paracelsus: Von der Besucht, Dillingen, 1567
  8. ^ Hutchinson DA, Mori A, Savitzky AH, Burghardt GM, Wu X, Meinwald J, Schroeder FC (2007). "Dietary sequestration of defensive steroids in nuchal glands of the Asian snake Rhabdophis tigrinus". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 104 (7): 2265–70. Bibcode:2007PNAS..104.2265H. doi:10.1073/pnas.0610785104. PMC 1892995. PMID 17284596.
  9. ^ Reddy KV, Yedery RD, Aranha C (2004). "Antimicrobial peptides: premises and promises". International Journal of Antimicrobial Agents. 24 (6): 536–547. doi:10.1016/j.ijantimicag.2004.09.005. PMID 15555874.
  10. ^ Complete diving manual by Jack Jackson
  11. ^ Chyka PA, Seger D, Krenzelok EP, Vale JA (2005). "Position paper: Single-dose activated charcoal". Clin Toxicol. 43 (2): 61–87. doi:10.1081/CLT-51867. PMID 15822758.
  12. ^ Toxicology, American Academy of Clinical (2004). "Position paper: cathartics". J Toxicol Clin Toxicol. 42 (3): 243–253. doi:10.1081/CLT-120039801. PMID 15362590.
  13. ^ American Academy of Clinical Toxicology; European Association of Poisons Centres Clinical Toxicologists (2004). "Position paper: Ipecac syrup". J Toxicol Clin Toxicol. 42 (2): 133–143. doi:10.1081/CLT-120037421. PMID 15214617.
  14. ^ Vale JA, Kulig K; American Academy of Clinical Toxicology; European Association of Poisons Centres and Clinical Toxicologist. (2004). "Position paper: gastric lavage". J Toxicol Clin Toxicol. 42 (7): 933–943. doi:10.1081/CLT-200045006. PMID 15641639.CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link)
  15. ^ "Position paper: whole bowel irrigation". J Toxicol Clin Toxicol. 42 (6): 843–854. 2004. doi:10.1081/CLT-200035932. PMID 15533024.
  16. ^ "WHO Disease and injury country estimates". World Health Organization. 2004. Retrieved Nov 11, 2009.
  17. ^ Lozano, R (Dec 15, 2012). "Global and regional mortality from 235 causes of death for 20 age groups in 1990 and 2010: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2010". Lancet. 380 (9859): 2095–128. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(12)61728-0. hdl:10536/DRO/DU:30050819. PMID 23245604.
  18. ^ Villaveces A, Mutter R, Owens PL, Barrett ML. Causes of Injuries Treated in the Emergency Department, 2010. HCUP Statistical Brief #156. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. May 2013.[1]
  19. ^ Kautilya suggests employing means such as seduction, secret use of weapons, poison etc. S.D. Chamola, Kautilya Arthshastra and the Science of Management: Relevance for the Contemporary Society, p. 40. ISBN 81-7871-126-5.
  20. ^ Kautilya urged detailed precautions against assassination—tasters for food, elaborate ways to detect poison. "Moderate Machiavelli? Contrasting The Prince with the Arthashastra of Kautilya". Critical Horizons, vol. 3, no. 2 (September 2002). Brill Academic Publishers. ISSN 1440-9917 (Print) 1568-5160 (Online). doi:10.1163/156851602760586671.
  21. ^ Needham, Joseph (1986). Science and Civilization in China: Volume 5, Part 7. Taipei: Caves Books, Ltd. Page 180.
  22. ^ a b "Online Etymology Dictionary". www.etymonline.com. Retrieved 3 November 2017.

External links

Bioaccumulation

Bioaccumulation is the gradual accumulation of substances, such as pesticides, or other chemicals in an organism. Bioaccumulation occurs when an organism absorbs a substance at a rate faster than that at which the substance is lost by catabolism and excretion. Thus, the longer the biological half-life of a toxic substance, the greater the risk of chronic poisoning, even if environmental levels of the toxin are not very high. Bioaccumulation, for example in fish, can be predicted by models. Hypotheses for molecular size cutoff criteria for use as bioaccumulation potential indicators are not supported by data. Biotransformation can strongly modify bioaccumulation of chemicals in an organism.Bioconcentration is a related but more specific term, referring to uptake and accumulation of a substance from water alone. By contrast, bioaccumulation refers to uptake from all sources combined (e.g. water, food, air, etc.).

Bret Michaels

Bret Michael Sychak (born March 15, 1963), professionally known as Bret Michaels, is an American singer-songwriter and musician. He gained fame as the lead singer of the glam metal band Poison who have sold over 40 million records worldwide and 15 million records in the United States alone. The band has also charted 10 singles to the Top 40 of the Billboard Hot 100, including six Top 10 singles and a number-one single, "Every Rose Has Its Thorn".Besides his career as lead singer, he has several solo albums to his credit, including the soundtrack album to the movie A Letter from Death Row in which Michaels starred, wrote and directed in 1998, and a Poison-style rock album, Songs of Life, in 2003. Michaels has appeared in several movies and TV shows, including as a judge on the talent show Nashville Star which led to his country influenced rock album Freedom of Sound in 2005. He starred in the hit VH1 reality show Rock of Love with Bret Michaels and its sequels, which inspired his successful solo album Rock My World. He was also the winning contestant on NBC's reality show Celebrity Apprentice 3 and also featured in his own reality docu-series Bret Michaels: Life As I Know It, which inspired his highest charting album as a solo artist, Custom Built, reaching No. 1 on Billboard's Hard Rock list. He is also known for hosting on the Travel Channel. In 2006, Hit Parader ranked Michaels at #40 on their list of greatest Heavy metal singers of all-time.

Chamillionaire

Hakeem Seriki (born November 28, 1979), better known by his stage name Chamillionaire (), is an American rapper, entrepreneur, and investor from Houston, Texas. He began his career independently with local releases in 2002, including the collaborative album Get Ya Mind Correct with fellow Houston rapper and childhood friend Paul Wall. He signed to Universal Records in 2005 and released The Sound of Revenge under Universal. It included hit singles "Turn It Up" featuring Lil' Flip and the number-one, Grammy-winning hit "Ridin'" featuring Krayzie Bone of Bone Thugs-n-Harmony. Ultimate Victory followed in 2007, which was notable for not containing any profanity. Chamillionaire is also known for his most anticipated Mixtape Messiah series, which ran from 2004 until 2009.He currently serves as the CEO of Chamillitary Entertainment. Chamillionaire was also the founder and an original member of the Color Changin' Click until the group split in 2005.

In early 2011, he left Universal Records, which led to his would-be third album, Venom, going unreleased. Chamillionaire released his first independent extended play Ammunition in March 2012 and was noted as his first major release since he left the label. Another EP, Elevate, was released on February 17, 2013. He said it is going to be one of several to be released before his third studio album, and shortly after his third EP Reignfall was released on July 23, 2013. He is working on his third studio album, Poison.Chamillionaire joined Los Angeles-based venture capital firm Upfront Ventures in early 2015.

Chemical weapons in World War I

The use of toxic chemicals as weapons dates back thousands of years, but the first large scale use of chemical weapons was during World War I. They were primarily used to demoralize, injure, and kill entrenched defenders, against whom the indiscriminate and generally very slow-moving or static nature of gas clouds would be most effective. The types of weapons employed ranged from disabling chemicals, such as tear gas, to lethal agents like phosgene, chlorine, and mustard gas. This chemical warfare was a major component of the first global war and first total war of the 20th century. The killing capacity of gas was limited, with about ninety thousand fatalities from a total of 1.3 million casualties caused by gas attacks. Gas was unlike most other weapons of the period because it was possible to develop countermeasures, such as gas masks. In the later stages of the war, as the use of gas increased, its overall effectiveness diminished. The widespread use of these agents of chemical warfare, and wartime advances in the composition of high explosives, gave rise to an occasionally expressed view of World War I as "the chemist's war" and also the era where weapons of mass destruction were created.The use of poison gas by all major belligerents throughout World War I constituted war crimes as its use violated the 1899 Hague Declaration Concerning Asphyxiating Gases and the 1907 Hague Convention on Land Warfare, which prohibited the use of "poison or poisoned weapons" in warfare. Widespread horror and public revulsion at the use of gas and its consequences led to far less use of chemical weapons by combatants during World War II.

Femme fatale

A femme fatale ( or ; French: [fam fatal]), sometimes called a maneater or vamp, is a stock character of a mysterious and seductive woman whose charms ensnare her lovers, often leading them into compromising, dangerous, and deadly situations. She is an archetype of literature and art. Her ability to enchant and hypnotise her victim with a spell was in the earliest stories seen as being literally supernatural; hence, the femme fatale today is still often described as having a power akin to an enchantress, seductress, vampire, witch, or demon, having power over men. In American early 20th century film, femme fatale characters were referred to as vamps, in reference to Theda Bara, who played a seductive woman referred to as a "vampiress" in the 1915 film A Fool There Was. Many female mobsters (especially members of the Italian-American Mafia or Russian Mafia) have been known to be femme fatales in many film noirs as well as James Bond films.

The phrase is French for "fatal woman". A femme fatale tries to achieve her hidden purpose by using feminine wiles such as beauty, charm, or sexual allure. In many cases, her attitude towards sexuality is lackadaisical, intriguing, or frivolous. In some cases, she uses lies or coercion rather than charm. She may also make use of some subduing weapon such as sleeping gas, a modern analog of magical powers in older tales. She may also be (or imply that she is) a victim, caught in a situation from which she cannot escape; The Lady from Shanghai (a 1947 film noir) is one such example. A younger version of a femme fatale is called a fille fatale, or "fatal girl".

One of the most common traits of the femme fatale includes promiscuity and the "rejection of motherhood", seen as "one of her most threatening qualities since by denying his immortality and his posterity it leads to the ultimate destruction of the male". Femmes fatales are typically villainous, or at least morally ambiguous, and always associated with a sense of mystification, and unease.

Modest Mouse

Modest Mouse is an American rock band formed in 1992 in Issaquah, Washington and currently based in Portland, Oregon. The founding members are lead singer/guitarist Isaac Brock, drummer Jeremiah Green, and bassist Eric Judy. Strongly influenced by Pavement, the Pixies, XTC, and Talking Heads, the band rehearsed, rearranged, and recorded demos for almost two years before finally signing with small-town indie label K Records and releasing numerous singles.Since their 1996 debut This Is a Long Drive for Someone with Nothing to Think About, the band's lineup has centered on Brock and Green. The band achieved mainstream success with their fourth album Good News for People Who Love Bad News (2004) and its singles "Float On" and "Ocean Breathes Salty". Judy performed on every Modest Mouse album until his departure in 2012. Guitarist Johnny Marr (formerly of the Smiths) joined the band in 2006, shortly following percussionist Joe Plummer (formerly of the Black Heart Procession) and multi-instrumentalist Tom Peloso, to work on the album We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank (2007). Guitarist Jim Fairchild joined the band in 2009. The band's sixth album Strangers to Ourselves was released on March 17, 2015.

The band's name is derived from a passage from the Virginia Woolf story "The Mark on the Wall", which reads, "I wish I could hit upon a pleasant track of thought, a track indirectly reflecting credit upon myself, for those are the pleasantest thoughts, and very frequent even in the minds of modest mouse-coloured people, who believe genuinely that they dislike to hear their own praises."

Mushroom poisoning

Mushroom poisoning refers to harmful effects from ingestion of toxic substances present in a mushroom. These symptoms can vary from slight gastrointestinal discomfort to death. The toxins present are secondary metabolites produced by the fungus. Mushroom poisoning is usually the result of ingestion of wild mushrooms after misidentification of a toxic mushroom as an edible species. The most common reason for this misidentification is close resemblance in terms of colour and general morphology of the toxic mushrooms species with edible species. To prevent mushroom poisoning, mushroom gatherers familiarize themselves with the mushrooms they intend to collect, as well as with any similar-looking toxic species. The safety of eating wild mushrooms may depend on methods of preparation for cooking.

Neutron poison

In applications such as nuclear reactors, a neutron poison (also called a neutron absorber or a nuclear poison) is a substance with a large neutron absorption cross-section. In such applications, absorbing neutrons is normally an undesirable effect. However neutron-absorbing materials, also called poisons, are intentionally inserted into some types of reactors in order to lower the high reactivity of their initial fresh fuel load. Some of these poisons deplete as they absorb neutrons during reactor operation, while others remain relatively constant.

The capture of neutrons by short half-life fission products is known as reactor poisoning; neutron capture by long-lived or stable fission products is called reactor slagging.

Poison (American band)

Poison is an American rock band which achieved great commercial success in the mid-1980s through the mid-1990s. Poison has sold over 45 million records worldwide and has sold 15 million records in the United States alone. The band has also charted ten singles to the Top 40 of the Billboard Hot 100, including six Top 10 singles and the Hot 100 number-one, "Every Rose Has Its Thorn". The band's breakthrough debut album, the multi-platinum Look What the Cat Dragged In, was released in 1986 and they hit their peak with their second album, Open Up and Say... Ahh!, which became the band's most successful album, being certified 5x platinum in the US. The popularity continued into the new decade with their third consecutive multi-platinum selling album, Flesh & Blood.

In the 1990s following the release of the band's first live album, Swallow This Live, the band experienced some line up changes and the fall of pop metal with the grunge movement. But despite a drop in popularity the band's fourth studio album, Native Tongue, still achieved Gold status and the band's first compilation album, Poison's Greatest Hits: 1986–1996, went double platinum.

In the 2000s, with the original line up back together, the band found new popularity after a successful greatest hits reunion tour in 1999. The band began the new decade with the release of the long-awaited Crack a Smile... and More!, followed by the Power to the People album. The band toured almost every year to sold out stadiums and arenas. They released a brand new album, Hollyweird, in 2002 and in 2006 the band celebrated their 20-year anniversary with The Best of Poison: 20 Years of Rock tour and album, which was certified Gold and marked Poison's return to the Billboard top 20 charts for the first time since 1993. Band members have released several solo albums and starred in successful reality TV shows. After 30 years, the band is still recording music and performing.

Since their debut in 1986, they have released seven studio albums, four live albums, five compilation albums, and have issued 28 singles to radio.

In 2012 VH1 ranked them at #1 on their list of the "Top 5 Hair Bands of the '80s".

Poison Ivy (character)

Poison Ivy is a fictional supervillain/antihero appearing in comic books published by DC Comics, commonly in association with superhero Batman, created by Robert Kanigher and Sheldon Moldoff. The character made her debut in Batman #181 (June 1966). Her real name is Pamela Lillian Isley ().

Poison Ivy has been portrayed as a love interest of Batman and is known for her infatuation with him. She is a Gotham City botanist who is obsessed with plants, ecological extinction, and environmentalism. Ivy typically wears a green one-piece outfit adorned with leaves and often has plant vines extending over her limbs. She uses plant toxins and mind-controlling pheromones for her criminal activities, which are usually aimed at protecting endangered species and the natural environment.

Poison Ivy is one of Batman's most enduring enemies, belonging to the collective of adversaries who make up Batman's rogues gallery. She has been featured in many media adaptations related to Batman. Uma Thurman portrayed the character in Batman & Robin, and Clare Foley, Maggie Geha, and Peyton List played her in Gotham. She has also been voiced by Diane Pershing in the DC animated universe, Piera Coppola on The Batman animated series, Tasia Valenza for the Batman: Arkham video game franchise, and Riki Lindhome in The Lego Batman Movie.

Poison dart frog

Poison dart frog (also known as dart-poison frog, poison frog or formerly known as poison arrow frog) is the common name of a group of frogs in the family Dendrobatidae which are native to tropical Central and South America. These species are diurnal and often have brightly colored bodies. This bright coloration is correlated with the toxicity of the species, making them aposematic. Some species of the family Dendrobatidae exhibit extremely bright coloration along with high toxicity, while others have cryptic coloration with minimal to no amount of observed toxicity. The species that have great toxicity derive this from their diet of ants, mites and termites. Other species however, that exhibit cryptic coloration and low to no amounts of toxicity, eat a much larger variety of prey. Many species of this family are threatened due to human infrastructure encroaching the places they inhabit.

These amphibians are often called "dart frogs" due to the Amerindians' indigenous use of their toxic secretions to poison the tips of blowdarts. However, of over 170 species, only four have been documented as being used for this purpose (curare plants are more commonly used), all of which come from the genus Phyllobates, which is characterized by the relatively large size and high levels of toxicity of its members.

Poisoning the well

Poisoning the well (or attempting to poison the well) is a type of informal logical fallacy where irrelevant adverse information about a target is preemptively presented to an audience, with the intention of discrediting or ridiculing something that the target person is about to say. Poisoning the well can be a special case of argumentum ad hominem, and the term was first used with this sense by John Henry Newman in his work Apologia Pro Vita Sua (1864). The origin of the term lies in well poisoning, an ancient wartime practice of pouring poison into sources of fresh water before an invading army, to diminish the attacking army's strength.

Rodenticide

Rodenticides, colloquially rat poison, are typically non-specific pest control chemicals made and sold for the purpose of killing rodents.

Some rodenticides are lethal after one exposure while others require more than one. Rodents are disinclined to gorge on an unknown food (perhaps reflecting an adaptation to their inability to vomit), preferring to sample, wait and observe whether it makes them or other rats sick. This phenomenon of bait shyness or poison shyness is the rationale for poisons that kill only after multiple doses.

Besides being directly toxic to the mammals that ingest them, including dogs, cats, and humans, many rodenticides present a secondary poisoning risk to animals that hunt or scavenge the dead corpses of rats.

Shareholder rights plan

A shareholder rights plan, colloquially known as a "poison pill", is a type of defensive tactic used by a corporation's board of directors against a takeover. Typically, such a plan gives shareholders the right to buy more shares at a discount if one shareholder buys a certain percentage or more of the company's shares. The plan could be triggered, for instance, if any one shareholder buys 20% of the company's shares, at which point every shareholder (except the one who possesses 20%) will have the right to buy a new issue of shares at a discount. If every other shareholder is able to buy more shares at a discount, such purchases would dilute the bidder's interest, and the cost of the bid would rise substantially. Knowing that such a plan could be activated, the bidder could be disinclined to take over the corporation without the board's approval, and would first negotiate with the board in order to revoke the plan.The plan can be issued by the board of directors as an "option" or a "warrant" attached to existing shares, and only be revoked at the discretion of the board.

In the field of mergers and acquisitions, shareholder rights plans were devised in the early 1980s as a way to prevent takeover bidders from negotiating a price for sale of shares directly with shareholders, and instead forcing the bidder to negotiate with the board.

The Cramps

The Cramps were an American punk rock band formed in 1976 and active until 2009. The band split after the death of lead singer Lux Interior. Their line-up rotated frequently during their existence, with the husband-and-wife duo of Interior and lead guitarist and occasional bass guitarist Poison Ivy comprising the only ever-present members. The addition of guitarist Bryan Gregory and drummer Pam Balam resulted in the first complete lineup in April 1976.

They were part of the early CBGB punk rock movement that had emerged in New York. The Cramps were one of the first punk bands, and also widely recognized as one of the prime innovators of psychobilly.

Toxicodendron radicans

Toxicodendron radicans, commonly known as eastern poison ivy or poison ivy, is a poisonous Asian and Eastern North American flowering plant that is well-known for causing urushiol-induced contact dermatitis, an itchy, irritating, and sometimes painful rash, in most people who touch it. The rash is caused by urushiol, a clear liquid compound in the plant's sap. The species is variable in its appearance and habit, and despite its common name, it is not a true ivy (Hedera), but rather a member of the cashew and pistachio family (Anacardiaceae). T. radicans is commonly eaten by many animals, and the seeds are consumed by birds, but poison ivy is most often thought of as an unwelcome weed.

Uremia

Uremia is the condition of having high levels of urea in the blood. Urea is one of the primary components of urine. It can be defined as an excess of amino acid and protein metabolism end products, such as urea and creatinine, in the blood that would be normally excreted in the urine. Uremic syndrome can be defined as the terminal clinical manifestation of kidney failure (also called renal failure). It is the signs, symptoms and results from laboratory tests which result from inadequate excretory, regulatory and endocrine function of the kidneys. Both uremia and uremic syndrome have been used interchangeably to denote a very high plasma urea concentration that is the result of renal failure. The former denotation will be used for the rest of the article.

Azotemia is another word that refers to high levels of urea and is used primarily when the abnormality can be measured chemically but is not yet so severe as to produce symptoms. Uremia describes the pathological and symptomatic manifestations of severe azotemia.There is no specific time for the onset of uremia for people with progressive loss of kidney function. People with kidney function below 50% (i.e. a glomerular filtration rate [GFR] between 50 and 60 mL) and over 30 years of age may have uremia to a degree. This means an estimated 8 million people in the United States with a GFR of less than 60 mL have uremic symptoms. The symptoms, such as fatigue, can be very vague, making the diagnosis of impaired renal function difficult. Treatment is to perform dialysis or a renal transplant.

Venom

Venom is a secretion containing one or more toxins produced by an animal to cause harm to another. Venom has evolved in a wide variety of animals, both predators and prey, and both vertebrates and invertebrates.

Venoms kill through the action of at least four major classes of toxin, namely necrotoxins and cytotoxins, which kill cells; neurotoxins, which affect nervous systems; myotoxins, which damage muscles. Biologically, venom is distinguished from poison in that poisons are ingested, while venom is delivered in a bite, sting, or similar action. Venomous animals kill tens of thousands of humans per year. However, the toxins in many venoms have potential to treat a wide range of diseases.

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