Chronic toxicity

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Chronic toxicity is a property of a substance that has toxic effects on a living organism, when that organism is exposed to the substance continuously or repeatedly. Compared with acute toxicity.

Two distinct situations need to be considered:

  • Prolonged exposure to a substance

For example if a person drinks too much alcohol on a regular basis then their health may suffer as a result. The alcohol does not have a long biological halflife but it is supplied on a regular basis to the body of the person.

  • Prolonged internal exposure because a substance remains in the body for a long time

For example if a person were to ingest radium much of it would be absorbed into the bones where it would exert a harmful effect on a person's health. The radium might cause a disturbance in the blood cell-forming part of the bone (bone marrow)

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