Toxicology is a field that involves the study of the adverse effects of chemicals on living organisms, understanding their effects on biological processes; it is a field that overlaps biology, chemistry, pharmacology as well as medicine, gaining interest from the general public with the rise in popularity of true crime documentaries, as well as fictional detective TV shows. The book is written in a clear and concise form; each chapter is relatively short – touching on diverse subjects such as pollution, pesticides and drug addiction. The author gives a great overview of each topic, with an extensive reference list for each chapter for the avid reader wanting to do further research.
The diversity of the quotes used at the start of each chapter illustrates the breadth of the scope of the book – from Swiss alchemist Paracelsus to modern author Jim Butcher, creator of the wizard Harry Dresden. I feel the author wanted to capture as many levels of education as possible and takes the time in the first chapters to describe and explain the terminology to allow those with a basic science education to understand. The book moves into a short section on human biology before expanding into environmental chapters such as pollution, pesticides and natural toxins and also briefly exploring the effects on reproduction. The range of the subjects, I think, will appeal to a wide audience, allowing them a brief top-dip before moving on to the next.
In summary, this book is an excellent and informative volume on toxicology, focusing on wider topics than you would find in a textbook and allowing the layman to take a step into the scientific field without being too heavy on terminology, yet informative on each topic presented in the chapters.