Poison vs. Toxin
Difference Between Poison And Toxin
Poison. By far the majority of accidental poisonings occur in or near the home as a result of swallowing or inhaling various common substances. In the United States about 4,000 people die each year as the result of poisoning by such substances. In addition, more than 1,000 people are killed annually by poisonous gases and vapors, chiefly carbon monoxide from standing vehicles or faulty gas heating appliances.
Besides the common household poisons discussed in this article, a wide range of other natural and man-made substances are poisonous to man. Most of the best-known and most powerful poisons are poison gases for military use and a variety of chiefly industrial and agricultural chemicals such as lead and other heavy metals; pesticides, especially organophosphates such as parathion; corrosives such as sodium hydroxide and nitric and sulfuric acids; and various gases, especially carbon monoxide. Many plants, especially among the mushrooms, contain substances toxic to man, and some animals, notably certain types of snakes, spiders, and fish, secrete powerful venoms.
Toxin, may mean any poison, but the term is usually applied to poisons produced by living organisms. One of the most potent of all toxins is botulin, which is produced by the bacterium that causes botulism. An example of a toxin produced by higher plants is abrin, which is found in jequirity beans, the ds of the Indian licorice plant. A well-known type of animal toxin is snake venom. Antitoxin; Toxicology.