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by Archaeology Newsroom

History of Toxicology and Environmental Health

Philip Wexler (ed.)

Philip Wexler (ed.), History of Toxicology and Environmental Health, Toxicology in Antiquity Volume I Academic Press, 2014, 154 pages, ISBN: 978-0-12-800045-8

Toxicology in Antiquity is the first in a series of short format works covering key accomplishments, scientists, and events in the broad field of toxicology, including environmental health and chemical safety. This first volume sets the tone for the series and starts at the very beginning, historically speaking, with a look at toxicology in ancient times.

The book explains that before scientific research methods were developed, toxicology thrived as a very practical discipline. People living in ancient civilizations readily learned to distinguish safe substances from hazardous ones, how to avoid these hazardous substances, and how to use them to inflict harm on enemies. It also describes scholars who compiled compendia of toxic agents.