Toxicology History: Reference Materials

By Marion Ehrich posted 05-16-2019 12:36


The SOT 58th Annual Meeting and ToxExpo in Baltimore, Maryland, provided a forum for toxicologists interested in the history of toxicology to join together and discuss possible methods to increase awareness of this history. Such possibilities included the potential of incorporating a Historical Highlight Session at SOT annual meetings, as well as presenting at a future SOT Annual Meeting the Toxicology History Room, which was presented at the Congress of Toxicology in Developing Countries in April 2018. Also considered was the possibility of including toxicology history in the Ethical, Legal, Forensics, and Societal Issues Specialty Section. The Society also might consider becoming an affiliate of the Science History Institute.

Owing to discussions on increasing awareness of toxicology history, the following relatively recent monographs, chapters, charts, and websites on toxicology history are offered as reference materials:

  • Wexler, Philip, and Antoinette Hayes. 2019. “The Evolving Journey of Toxicology: A Historical Glimpse.” In Casarett and Doull’s Toxicology: The Basic Science of Poisons, Ninth Edition, edited by Curtis D. Klaassen, 3–24. McGraw-Hill Education.
  • Gallo, Michael A. 2015. “History and Scope of Toxicology.” In Casarett & Doull’s Essentials of Toxicology, 3ed., edited by Curtis D. Klaassen and John B. Watkins III. The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
  • Hayes, Antoinette N., and Steven G. Gilbert. 2009. “Historical Milestones and Discoveries That Shaped the Toxicology Sciences.” Molecular, Clinical and Environmental Toxicology, Volume 1: Molecular Toxicology, edited by Andreas Luch, 1–35. Birkhäuser Verlag AG.
  • Toxicology Education Foundation. August 3, 2016. “History of Toxicology.”
  • Society of Toxicology: The First Fifty Years. 2011. Reston: Society of Toxicology.
  • Historical Perspectives. 2011. Reston: Society of Toxicology.

The Milestone Posters created by Steven G. Gilbert and Antoinette Hayes, available on the Toxipedia website, are another useful tool for exploring the history of toxicology. These charts have been translated into 20 languages. In the clickable English version, selecting on a square on the chart redirects the user to a Toxipedia web page with more information on each topic.

The Toxicology History Room, a section of History of Toxicology posters edited and curated by Steven G. Gilbert and Philip Wexler, also is excellent reference material for those interested in the history of toxicology. This has been displayed at toxicology meetings around the world.

Additionally, monographs in Elsevier’s History of Toxicology and Environmental Health series include the following:

  • Wexler, Philip, ed. 2018. Toxicology in Antiquity, Second Edition. Academic Press, an Imprint of Elsevier.
    • This combines Volumes 1 and 2 of 2014’s Toxicology in Antiquity.
  • Wexler, Philip, ed. Toxicology in the Middle Ages and Renaissance. Academic Press, an Imprint of Elsevier.
  • Bobst, Sol, ed. 2017. History of Risk Assessment in Toxicology. Academic Press, an Imprint of Elsevier.
  • Balls, Michael, Robert Combes, and Andrew Worth. 2018. The History of Alternative Test Methods in Toxicology. Academic Press, an Imprint of Elsevier.

Future volumes are in progress.

Marion F. Ehrich, PhD, DABT, ATS
2018–2021 SOT Historian

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