Health Risks and Exposure

  • William M. Upholt
Part of the Basic Life Sciences book series (volume 6)


It is somewhat of a truism to say that without exposure no toxic chemical can cause adverse health effects. Over four hundred years ago, Paracelsus(l) said words to the effect that “dosage alone determines toxicity.” Thus, no matter how toxic a chemical may be, its potential risk to humans (or to the environment) is controlled by potential exposure. The confidence in the fact that it is possible to use a substance while controlling exposure to it has led to the claim that even the most toxic substance can be used safely. Our problem, then, in discussing “Health Risks and Exposure” is one of determining how much exposure to a particular substance can be tolerated and how can exposure be restricted to that level or below.


Dental Caries Adverse Health Effect Global Strategy Single Compound Total Risk 
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  1. 1.
    Paracelsus’ Drey Bücher, Cologne, 1564, as quoted (and translated) by Wayland J. Hayes, Jr. in toxicology of Pesticides 1975. Williams & Wilkins, Baltimore.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    In 1971, the Food and Drug Administration and the Environmental Protection Agency of the U.S. Government established a National Center for toxicology Research at Jefferson, Arkansas, specifically to explore the effects of known carcinogens at the very low levels of exposure needed to produce tumors in one percent of exposed animals and to explore other aspects of toxicology of especial importance to regulatory agencies. It required nearly a decade and many thousands of experimental mice to complete the “ED01” experiment. A number of conferences have been conducted during 1979 to 1981, by various scientific groups to discuss the results of this massive experiment.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1982

Authors and Affiliations

  • William M. Upholt
    • 1
  1. 1.Silver SpringUSA

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