Interesting question. In the quest to stop the massacre of the English
languange here are the definitions as per Stedman's Medical Dictionary
toxin: a noxious of poisonous substance that is formed or elaborated either
as an integral part of the cell or tissue, as an extracellular product
(exotoxin), or as a combination of the two, during the metabolism and
growth of certain microorganisms, as well as some of the higher plant and
animal species; in general, t.'s are relatively complex antigenic
molecules, and the chemical compositions are usually not precisely known.
toxicant: 1. Poisonous. 2. Any poisonous agent, specifically an alcoholic
or other poison, causing symptoms of what is popularly called intoxication.
"ENV.TOX" (ENVTOX at MSU.EDU) writes:
> Greetings and Salutations:
>> I apologize for interrupting the current thread on animal models (which is very
> interesting, and certainly one of the $64.00 questions toxicologists must come
> to terms with), but I hope many of you will abide this breif detour and respond
> my query.
>> I would like to solicit the feedback of the group regarding a minor topic I
> about which I am curious. It is whether subscribers to this newsgroup in gen-
> eral interpret (as I do) the terms "toxin" and "toxicant" differently, or
> whether they consider them to be interchangeable. I was taught that "toxin"
> refers to a substance of exclusively biological origin which elicits a
> toxic response (e.g. endotoxins or snake venom), whereas "toxicant" refers
> simply to a substance which elicits a toxic response. I have seen the term
> "toxin" used to denote both of the foregoing in papers published by some very
> notable figures in public health/risk assessment, and so I am wondering what
> the prevailing view is.
>> Please respond to me personally, so as not to clog up the list.
>> If sufficient numbers express interest in their votes, I will post the results
> to the list.
>> Thanks for your time...
>> Best Regards,
>> B. L. Aaron, MS
<<< I never let my schooling get in the way of my education>>>