The study of the impact of natural and synthetic toxins on living beings, environmental toxicology is a comparatively new science. Its advent occurred in the mid-twentieth century when biologists started issuing publications on the effects of chemicals used in agriculture. Toxicology is closely related to biology and chemistry, it also operates with the computer science and environmental studies. Since the 1950s, toxicology research laboratories were established at several large US universities. Later, toxicology departments were established at these universities; they prepared graduates to work in the industry as well as in governmental regulatory agencies.
Environmental toxicology aims at deciphering toxic chemicals present in natural resources and assessing their concentrations. The aim of this evaluation is to discover the exposure of humans to these chemicals in their everyday lives. When the risks are clear, governmental regulatory systems can work better to protect humans in their homes and in occupational settings.
Toxicologists do their research in a variety of various subfields. Some of them concentrate on molecular mechanisms of chemicals and their interaction with cells, tissues, and body fluids. The others study the effect natural and synthetic toxins make on ecosystems. Such pollutants as heavy metals and radionuclides are of a great importance to toxicologists because they frequently spilled or stored in improper conditions. Because of their efforts, such substances as DDT and PCBs which are extremely toxic pesticides are banned in many countries.