environmental toxicology

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The scientific study of toxic substances that can contaminate air, water, soil, and food. This science focuses mainly on acute toxicity but is concerned also with long-term and intergenerational effects, although the economic incentive to market new products usually leads to environmental release of new chemicals before sufficient time has elapsed to permit adequate testing for adverse long-term and intergenerational effects. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and its counterparts in the European Union and some other countries became more diligent about testing for long-term and intergenerational effects after the problems with diethylstilbestrol (DES), but many of the regulations have since been relaxed under pressure from the pharmaceutical and chemical industries.

Subjects: Public Health and Epidemiology.

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