13.10.1   Classification of poisons by their action on the human body
It is more appropriate to classify poisons by their action on the human body:

  • lachrymatory (tear-producing) substances (e.g. bromoacetone, ethyl ether, bromoacetic acid)
  • asphyxiants (e.g. carbon monoxide, hydrogen cyanide)
  • vesicants or blister agents (e.g. mustard gas, some organic compounds of arsenic)
  • cytotoxins or cell poisons (e.g. phosphorus, hydrogen sulfide)
  • neurotoxins or nerve poisons (e.g. alcohols, ether, chloroform)
  • organ poisons (e.g. gasoline, benzene, chloroform, mercury compounds)
Poisons can enter the human body via three routes:

  • through the skin or mucous membranes
  • via the digestive tract
  • via the respiratory tract (inhalation)

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