Difference Between Similar Terms and Objects

Difference Between Toxin and Poison

Toxin vs Poison

Toxin
Toxins are small poisonous molecules, peptides, or protein produced by plants, animals, and other organisms like viruses, fungi, bacteria, or protozoa. They can cause diseases when absorbed by body tissues and interact with the body’s enzymes. While some toxins only cause minor discomfort and pain, some can be deadly.

Toxins are classified as:
� Exotoxins, which are toxins excreted by organisms.
� Endotoxins, which are produced when bacteria are lysed.
� Hemotoxins, which are toxins that destroy red blood cells.
� Phototoxins, which causes one to become photosensitive or being sensitive to sunlight or ultraviolet light.
� Biotoxins, which are of biological origin such as:
1. Cyanotoxins – produced by cyanobacteria.
2. Necrotoxins – causes death of cells and destruction of tissues. Animals that have necrotoxins are brown recluse spider, puff adder, and necrotizing fasciitis.
3. Neurotoxins – can affect the nervous system like those that are in animals like the black widow spider, scorpions, box jellyfish, and cone snail.
4. Cytotoxins – like ricin that is found in the castor bean plant.
5. Apitoxin – the venom of honey bees.
6. Mycotoxins are produced by fungi that can be found in food.
7. Environmental toxins, which are caused by man-made contaminants like shellfish poisoning.

Poison
Poisons are substances that are absorbed through the skin or gut of organisms and causes chemical reactions. It is used to describe any harmful substance especially those that are corrosive, carcinogens, and harmful pollutants.
Although poisons have been popularly used as methods of murder, assassination or execution, they are also being used in pest and weed control, cleaning, maintenance, the preservation of building materials and food.
Poisons can be toxic in large doses like alcohol and some medications like aspirin and drugs that are being used in chemotherapy.
Some poisons can harm certain animals while they usually do not affect other animals. Paracetamol is poisonous to cats while they are taken by humans as medication. Pesticides have been developed to kill certain organisms but were later found out that they are also harmful to man.
Summary
1. Toxins are poisonous molecules, peptides, or protein produced by plants, animals, and other organisms while poisons are substances that are absorbed through the skin or gut of organisms and causes chemical reactions.
2. Toxins are produced by plants and animals while poisons can either be biological or chemical.
3. Toxins are very harmful to man while poisons are both harmful and beneficial to man.
4. Toxins exist naturally in all living organisms while poisons can be acquired from other sources such as minerals like lead and mercury and gases like carbon monoxide.


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