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The Poison Paradox

Chemicals as Friends and Foes

In The Poison Paradox, toxicologist John Timbrell explores the dark side of chemistry - how the chemicals that we use and that occur all around us can often be beneficial and yet under other circumstances can become poisons. By examining a variety of cases, from tragic disasters such as Bhopal and Minamata Bay, to the plant fungus which led to the Salem witch trials, and the puffer fish which is at once deadly poisonous and prized as a delicacy, this book explores the science of poisons: the different ways in which they harm us, and how they may be counteracted. Timbrell emphasizes that poisons are part of the natural world: by understanding the science of the poisons that we might encounter by accident or design, we can assess what the real risks are, and learn to live with them safely.