The Poison Paradox: Chemicals as Friends and Foes

The Poison Paradox: Chemicals as Friends and Foes by John Timbrell

Synopsis: In The Poison Paradox, toxicologist John Timbrell explores the dark side of chemistry – how the chemicals that we use and that occur all around us can often be beneficial and yet under other circumstances can become poisons.

By examining a variety of cases, from tragic disasters such as Bhopal and Minamata Bay, to the plant fungus which led to the Salem witch trials, and the puffer fish which is at once deadly poisonous and prized as a delicacy, this book explores the science of poisons: the different ways in which they harm us, and how they may be counteracted.

Timbrell emphasizes that poisons are part of the natural world: by understanding the science of the poisons that we might encounter by accident or design, we can assess what the real risks are, and learn to live with them safely.

Published: 2005 | ISBN: 978-0199548163

Mini-bio: John Timbrell is Professor of Biochemical Toxicology in the Department of Pharmacy, King’s College, London.

Paracelsus said that the dose makes the poison; alarmists think any chemical is bad for you (as we are all made of chemicals, one wonders what they think when they look in the mirror). This book explains the background to toxiciology and discusses a whole range of molecules – paracetamol, ethanol, dioxin, nerve gases and DDT, for example. – From 10 Great Books on Chemistry (2)

Popular Science Book Review
School in Science Book Review
Chemistry World Book Review
The Lancet Book Review

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Paperback Edition: The Poison Paradox: Chemicals as Friends and Foes


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