Environmental toxicology — a general overview

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1 Citation (Scopus)


The core issues of this book are chemical substances and their adverse effects on the environment and humans. Every aspect of environmental management is linked to the topic of chemical pollution. Millions of people die and millions of hectares of land are degraded every year because of chemical pollution of the environment, thus dealing with pollution is one of the most important global challenges. Environmental toxicology - capable of directly measuring the adverse effects of chemicals on individual organisms or complex communities - is the scientific tool of sustainable environmental management and is a rapidly developing field in science and engineering. Now that it has been found that chemical models exhibit numerous shortcomings in the description of the complex system of the environment, environmental toxicology has moved to the forefront of attention. This chapter summarizes the basics of environmental toxicology, the science of measuring and using data on adverse effects from the point of view of environmental management such as legislation, monitoring, risk assessment and risk reduction. The test organisms and test methods used for assessing the adverse effects of chemical substances or contaminated land on the environment and humans will be discussed. Humans are considered as part of the environment, being in direct contact with the atmosphere, the water and soils as well as in indirect contact through the food chain. The topics will range from the basic theory to engineering practice, including legislative toxicology, standardization and site-specific tools. Traditional methods will be discussed extensively, but special emphasis will be placed on innovative procedures, for example, the alternatives to animal testing, rapid and cost-saving bioassays and molecular methods such as in vitro and in silico models and the tiered approach to ensure time and cost efficiency, to save animal lives and avoid overextending the use of laboratory equipment and materials.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEngineering Tools for Environmental Risk Management
Subtitle of host publication2. Environmental Toxicology
PublisherCRC Press
Number of pages69
ISBN (Electronic)9781315778778
ISBN (Print)9781138001558
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2015


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Engineering(all)
  • Chemical Engineering(all)

Cite this

Gruiz, K. (2015). Environmental toxicology — a general overview. In Engineering Tools for Environmental Risk Management: 2. Environmental Toxicology (pp. 1-69). CRC Press. https://doi.org/10.1201/b18181