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What is toxicology?

We obtain better knowledge of toxicology by observing the effects on humans: diagnosis of professional diseases and epidemiology, and by experimental toxicology: in vivo for animals, in vitro for cell cultures, and in silico by modelling. Is the toxicity of nanomaterials different compared to larger materials or chemical toxicity? Should we consider a specific nanotoxicity?

Given that there can be an important delay for certain professional diseases and given the need to follow up a large number of persons, the epidemiology only brings information for products used for a sufficiently long time, and with a large number of exposed workers.

In recent technological sectors such as nanomaterials, experimental toxicology is a primary source of information even though we should not minimize the difficulties to extrapolate the results to humans.