Types of Inorganic Poison

There are numerous substances that can be involved under the term inorganic elements. Inorganic can be divided into metal and non-metal elements. The essential inorganic poisons of Non-metals include Borate, bromide, chlorate, cyanide, fluoride, iodide, nitrate, nitrite, oxalate, bromate, iodate, sulfide, thiocyanate, etc. Although, maximum metals occur in the environment in rocks, ores, soil, water, and air stages are usually low and widely detached. Metals have been used during history to make utensils, machinery, and so on, and mining and smelting supplied metals for these uses. The toxicity of metallic poisons may be prejudiced by the chemical nature of the compound. Inhalation of gases can cause acute injuriousness, including rapid death. Metals include Aluminium, antimony, barium, bismuth. More recently, inorganic poisonous metals have found a number of usages in industry, agriculture, and medicine. These accomplishments have increased contact not only to metal-related occupational workers but also to consumers of the […]

Cardiac Poisons – An Overview

Poison is a substance or chemical that causes damage to living tissues and has an injurious or fatal effect on the body. It can be taken through various modes through ingested, inhaled or absorbed. Cardiac poisons mainly act on the heart, either directly on the muscle or through its nerve supply. These types of poisons generally produce a deleterious effect due to poisoning of the cardiac muscle. Most cases of cardiac poisons are accidental poisoning by plants containing certain compounds (glycosides or alkaloids) which are poisonous in nature and effect. There are certain drugs that are although taken for the treatment of Cardiac dysfunction, but may affect adversely which could be lethal. Cardiac poison can be classified into four types. In this article, we will discuss all types of cardiac poisons in detail. Classification of Cardiac Poison  Cardiotoxic Plant Poisons  Diuretics  Antihypertensives  Antiarrhythmics 1. Cardiotoxic Plant Poisons a) Nicotine Nicotine […]

Organochlorine Pesticide Poisoning: Toxicity, Fatal Dose, Symptoms

The chlorinated hydrocarbon insecticides were introduced in the 1940s and 1950s and comprise insecticides such as DDT, methoxychlor, chlordane, heptachlor, Aldrin, endrin, mirex, and lindane. Organochlorines are known for their high determination and injurious characteristics. These pesticides result in neurological damage, endocrine disorders, and have several acute and chronic impacts on health. Hence contamination of the environment with organochlorine pesticides drastically affecting the ecosystem. Analysis of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 1999–2004 studied the relation between organochlorine pesticides which revealed that serum concentrations of b-HCH and dieldrin were significantly associated with prostate cancer prevalence. A study conducted in China also revealed that prenatal exposure to DDT, β-BHC, HCB and mirex caused a decrease in the birth weight of infants. DDT is one of the common pesticides used which was manufactured in 1874. During World War II, the United States used a large amount of DDT to control vector-borne […]

Cerbera Odollam- A Potential Poison

Depression is the most layman term that has become quite common over a while among teenagers and young adults especially during the starting of the pandemic phase. It is the most dangerous form of mental sickness which, if not treated properly ends up in suicidal thoughts or self-ingested death. The increasing cases of depression must be treated with proper consultation from a psychologist. But what is more alarming is that when people undergo these depression episodes, repercussions that follow which are most probably suicidal thoughts are highly increasing due to the easy availability of toxic substances like dangerous drugs and poisons. One such plant poison is Cerbera Odollam (ping pong). How the Richest Plant is a Toxic Poison? Cerbera odollam, also known as ping pong plant or suicide tree is mostly found in Southern India, Southeast Asia, Madagascar, and Australia. It appears oval to round in shape, resembling raw passion […]

Organophosphorus Poisoning: Action, Symptoms, Causes and Uses

Pesticides are chemical and biological substances such as bacteria, viruses, or disinfectants that are meant to detect or kill pests. Organophosphorus can be classified according to its origin. It can be further divided into Organic and Inorganic. Inorganic pesticides do not comprise carbon and are generally extracted from mineral ores extracted from the earth. Examples of inorganic pesticides comprise Copper Sulphate, Ferrous Sulphate, Copper, and sulfur. On the other hand, Organic pesticides include carbon in their chemical structure. Organophosphates are a common class of insecticides. Actually, its large doses of organophosphates can also harm people and other animals. It can occur when you’re exposed to them for too long or at high levels. They are typically colorless-to-brown liquids at room temperature. Some may be odorless, while others have a fruit-like smell. According to research, it says as many as 25 million agricultural workers across the developing world have at least one […]

A Detailed Note on Euthanasia / Mercy Killing

Euthanasia is the infiltration of a painless death of a person who is suffering from pain or disease that is incurable. It is also known as Mercy killing or physician-assisted suicide. In India, active euthanasia is illegal and is a crime under section 302 or section 304 of IPC. Physician-assisted suicide is a crime under section 306 of IPC. Right to life is mentioned under Article 21 of the Constitution of India and so the unnatural termination of life is considered to be incomplete and inconsistent with the concept of right to life. As per the regulations of the Indian Medical Council, practicing voluntary euthanasia is considered unethical conduct. Even though in India, active euthanasia is not permitted, the supreme court has permitted passive euthanasia.  Euthanasia is classified into voluntary, involuntary, compulsory, pediatric, geriatric, active, and passive. In active euthanasia, doctors cause painless death by giving any lethal dose but […]

Signs and Symptoms of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Carbon monoxide is a colorless, tasteless, non-irritative gas that is produced due to the incomplete combustion of carbon. It burns with a blue flame. It is lighter than air and can get readily absorbed across the alveolus and combines with hemoglobin. Its affinity for Hb is 200 to 300 times greater than that of oxygen. It displaces the bond between oxygen and hemoglobin and forms a stable compound named carboxyhemoglobin.  Carbon monoxide poisoning occurs when it builds up in the bloodstream. This can lead to serious tissue damage or even death. CO acts as a chemical asphyxiant and produces death due to anemic anoxia. It is a potent cellular toxin. It inhibits electron transportation by blocking cytochrome A3 and cytochrome P-450, and therefore intracellular respiration.  Death due to CO poisoning started long back in history especially during the times of mining coal. Later it started to be used as a […]

Role of Forensic Toxicology in Solving Crimes

Toxicology is the study of the harmful effects of drugs and chemicals (poisons) on biological systems. It is a branch of science which deals with poisons. Poison is any substance that causes a harmful effect when administered, either by accident or intention, to a living organism. Forensic toxicology is a sub-branch of forensic chemistry that applies the knowledge, principles, and methodologies associated with a specialized field of toxicology for the investigation before the criminal justice system. Toxicology studies the harmful aspects of chemicals, poisons, and other toxic substances on humans and animals. Role of Forensic Toxicology in Solving Crimes Forensic toxicology deals with:  Identification and quantification of the presence of drugs and chemicals in blood and tissue samples. Using chemical and biomedical instrumentation methods, detecting small amounts of toxic materials and how much is present. Determination of cause and manner of death. Study and determine the presence of poison or […]

Difference Between Acute Toxicity & Chronic Toxicity

Toxicity is the level to which a chemical substance or a particular mixture of substances can damage an organism and act like poison. It can refer to the effect of a whole organism like an animal, bacterium, or plant, and on the organism’s structure, like a cell or an organ(liver). Definition of Acute Toxicity and Chronic Toxicity  Acute Toxicity  It is caused by an excessive single dose which is equal to a fatal dose. There are different types of acute drug fatalities.  Primary Drug Fatalities  Victim dies primarily because of the toxic or harmful effect of drugs or poison. It may contribute to the influence of pre-existing unrelated Diseases. Secondary Drug Fatalities  Victim dies from secondary complications of drugs such as viral hepatitis. It occurs primarily due to the use of contaminated needles during drug abuse.  Drug Associated Fatalities  Violence like accidental, suicidal, homicidal are arising directly or indirectly from the […]

Hydrochloric Acid Poisoning: Signs & Symptoms, PM Appearances, Medico-Legal Aspects

Hydrochloric Acid is a colorless, pungent, fuming liquid. It is also known as Acidum Salis, Muriatic Acid, and Spirit of salts. It is a natural constituent of stomach secretions.  This article consists of signs and symptoms of Hydrochloric Acid Poisoning, diagnosis, fatal dose, fatal period, PM appearances, tests, and medico-legal importance.  The management depends on the extent of injury caused by Hydrochloric Acid. It is used in dyeing industries, used as laboratory reagents, etc.  Signs and Symptoms of Hydrochloric Acid Poisoning 1. Dermal Contact and Ingestion  Corrosive action: Less than that of sulphuric Acid.  Skin is not usually corroded or damaged.  Mucous membranes are readily corroded and destroyed. They are first grey or grey-white, then later it becomes brown and then black due to the production of acid hematin.  2. Inhalation  It affects the respiratory system and causes coughing and dyspnea, sneezing, and intense irritation of the throat and lungs. It causes suffocation, a […]

Cyanide Poisoning: Signs & Symptoms, PM Appearances, Medico-Legal Importance

 Cyanides are fast-acting poisons that are lethal and cause painless death. They were used as chemical weapons in World war, and it is found in low levels. It is also found in cigarette smoke, in some food and in-vehicle exhaust, and a bi-product of the human body’s metabolism.  Cyanide is a chemical that consists of a carbon-nitrogen (CN) bond. The article includes signs and symptoms, diagnosis, Fatal Dose with the fatal period, PM appearances, tests, MLI of Cyanide poisoning. Deadly forms of Cyanide are: Sodium Cyanide (NaCN) Potassium Cyanide (KCN) Hydrogen Cyanide (HCN) Cyanogen Chloride (CNCl) The Causes of cyanide poisoning are metallurgy, industrial use, agriculture use, etc. Signs and Symptoms of Cyanide Poisoning Symptoms of toxic cyanide poisoning may appear within a few seconds to several minutes after exposure. Common symptoms include: Overall weakness Nausea Confusion Headache Difficulty breathing Seizure Loss of consciousness Cardiac arrest Effects on the body of cyanide […]

Nitric Acid Poisoning: Signs & Symptoms, PM Appearances, Medico-Legal Importance

Nitric acid is a clear, fuming, colorless, heavy liquid and a peculiar choking odor. It is also known as azotic acid, aqua fortis, Engraver’s acid, and red spirit of nitre. This article consists of signs and symptoms of nitric acid Poisoning, diagnosis, fatal dose, fatal period, PM appearances, tests, and medico-legal importance.  Nitric Acid is Yellow due to the formation of xanthoproteic or picric acid. The management depends on the extent of injury caused by nitric acid poisoning. Signs and Symptoms of Nitric Acid Poisoning Dermal Contact and Ingestion  Immediate ingestion of Nitric acid causes burning pain in the mouth, epigastric pain, dysphagia, odynophagia (painful swelling), pharyngeal pain, salivation, stridor. It causes more eructation, greater abdominal distention causes gas formation.  Yellow discoloration of tissues with which nitric acid comes in contact. E.g., Crowns of teeth, gums, lips, tongue, food pipe, stomach wall, etc.  If nitric acid falls on clothes, it turns yellow.  […]

Corrosive Poisons: Sulfuric Acid | Sign & Symptoms, Cause of Death, PM Appearances, Medico-Legal Importance

In a pure state, Sulfuric acid is colorless, while commercial acid is brownish due to impurities. It is a dense liquid (twice as dense as water) with an acrid odor. It carbonizes organic substances. The article contains signs and symptoms of sulfuric acid, Fatal dose, fatal period, diagnosis, cause of death, complications, PM appearances, Preservation of samples, Tests, Medico-legal importance.  Additional information on sulfuric acid is that its management involves systematic ingestion, contact with skin and eyes. Observation of progress of injury due to sulfuric acid. Sign and Symptoms of Sulfuric Acid Poisoning 1. Ingestion of Sulfuric Acid Immediate ingestion causes burning pain in the mouth, epigastric pain, dysphagia, odynophagia (painful swelling), pharyngeal pain, salivation, stridor.  It causes intense thirst, nausea, eructations, and vomiting. Eyes get sunken, pupils become dilated, lips get swollen, teeth chalky white, and the tongue becomes black, sodden, swollen.  The voice becomes hoarse and husky due to […]

Various Indian Acts on Poisoning and Drugs

Various legal Indian acts on Poisoning have been passed to regulate and control the manufacture, distribution, sale, and possession of poisons and drugs.  The WHO defines “Poison as the substance which when introduced into the living body or brought into contact with any part, will produce ill effect or death by its local or systemic action or both.”  Some of the Indian laws on the importance of poisons are as follows: The Poison Act, 1919 The Drugs Act, 1940 The Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940 The Drugs and Cosmetics Rules, 1945 The Pharmacy Act, 1948 The Drugs Control Act, 1950 The Drugs and Magic Remedies Act, 1954 The Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substance Act, 1985 In this article, we have explained these acts passed by the Indian government to eradicate the different poisons from the society. Indian Acts on Poisoning The Poison Act (1919) This was amended in 1958 and […]

Responsibilities of a Forensic Toxicologist

Forensic toxicologists are those who deal mainly with the effects of drugs and poisons and provide information to the court for justice.  Forensic toxicologists are responsible for investigating different types of substances that help solve crimes or detect illegal contamination in the environment, food, or water supply and helps to determine the presence or absence of harmful chemicals in the human body. Toxicologists might also work for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and poison control centers, which help detect the dangerous or harmful chemicals in the environment, food, and water supply. Forensic Toxicologists roles include: Many crimes involve poisons entering into the body by poisoning, driving under the influence, and using illegal drugs. Detectives and criminal investigators ask help from forensic toxicologists to get the answers for the chemical substance related to crime.  The word forensics means that any scientific technique used to […]