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Compare and Contrast of Toxicants Research Paper

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Updated: Jun 15th, 2019

This research paper has compared and contrasted various toxins, which affect the nervous system, endocrine system, and cardiovascular system. Mercury was selected as the toxin affecting both the nervous and cardiovascular systems. Diethylstilbestrol has been selected as the toxin affecting the endocrine system. The paper has also presented the characteristics shared by these toxins and those that make them toxic to specific body systems.

The selected toxin, which affects the nervous and cardiovascular system, is mercury (Kacew & Lee, 2013). The selected toxin, which impacts on the endocrine system, is diethylstilbestrol. All the selected toxins contain elements that have a negative influence on human body systems, especially the central nervous system. Mercury contains excessively toxic compounds to human body system (Clifton, 2007).

People who handle mercury products are usually advised to observe the recommended precautions to avoid direct contact with methylmercury and dimethylmercury compounds because these two are harmful to human body (Clifton, 2007). Diethylstilbestrol is a synthetic and non-steroid estrogen. This drug is an endocrine disruptor. People are exposed to toxin through dietary ingestion and medical treatments of such diseases as cancer (Brouwers et al., 2006).

Although the drug was thought to reduce pregnancy complications in the 1970s, its adverse effects were revealed in the 1980s when it was discovered that the drug causes vaginal tumor in women (Brouwers et al., 2006). Several organizations like the Food and Drug Administration withdrew from the usage of the drug in pregnant women. Later, studies indicated that the drug can cause other major medical complications during the entire life of those exposed to it.

The US National Cancer Institute suggests that DES daughters and sons go through regular medical examinations (Brouwers et al., 2006). This was highly recommended for individuals exposed to the drug during their mother’s pregnancies.

Women previously exposed to the drug portray anomalies in their structural reproductive tract, including high infertility rates and poor pregnancy outcomes (Brouwers et al., 2006). Another harmful compound in mercury is cinnabar, which is inhaled or ingested. The compound is likely to cause chronic and acute poisoning.

Mercury has toxic compounds, which are harmful to the functioning of the nervous tissues. For instance, the endogenous compounds in mercury become harmful to the nervous and cardiovascular systems once heir concentration in the human body reaches a certain level (Clifton, 2007).

Once mercury compounds are inhaled or ingested into the human body, they inhibit the control of neuron on ion concentrations within the cell membrane. This can also affect the relationship between the synapse and the neurons. Glial cells are damaged as well (Kacew & Lee, 2013). The outcomes of the affected nervous and cardiovascular systems due to mercury inhalation and ingestion include epilepsy, intellectual disabilities and dementia.

Diethylstilbestrol drug contains chemicals that, at certain amounts, become harmful to the endocrine system of human beings (Brouwers et al., 2006). The outcomes of affecting endocrine system due to Diethylstilbestrol drug include cognitive problems of brain development, learning disabilities and sexual development problems, among others.

The Central Nervous System is sensitive to the environment because it is meant to respond to environmental changes. This is the reason why it is vulnerable to many environmental influences. Mercury toxins affect the central nervous system more than other neurotoxins (Clifton, 2007).

The endocrine system, which comprise body glands without ducts like testes and pituitary glands, is affected by a certain dosage of Diethylstilbestrol drug. The cardiovascular gland allows the circulation of blood and lymph to enable transportation of nutrients to various parts of the body (Brouwers et al., 2006). Once the nervous system is exposed to mercury compounds, its effectiveness and response are reduced by the harmful compounds.


Brouwers, M.M., Feitz, W.F., Roelofs, L.A., Kiemeney, L.A., de Gier, R.P., & Roeleveld, N. (2006). Hypospadias: A Transgenerational Effect of Diethylstilbestrol? Human Reproduction, 21(3), 666–669.

Clifton, J.C. (2007). Mercury exposure and public health. Pediatric Clinics of North America, 54(2), 237–269.

Kacew, S., & Lee, B.M. (2013). Lu’s basic toxicology: Fundamentals, target organs, and risk assessment (6th ed.). Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press.

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