Chemicals & Human Health

Toxicology Problem Set

Problem 4: How chemicals are processed in the body

When DDT, a pesticide, enters the human body, it is ______________________.

A. water soluble and is easily excreted in urine.
B. stored in the bones.
C. not toxic, but is processed by enzymes and becomes a different compound which is toxic.
D. fat soluble and can be stored in fat tissue.
After a chemical enters the body, it is carried by the blood to different locations. What happens next depends on the size, shape and solubility of the chemical. Solubility means whether it can dissolve in water or lipids. Lipids are a type of fat. For example, butter is not water soluble - if you mix butter and water, the butter floats on top of the water because it cannot mix in. DDT is not very soluble in water, so it gets stored in fats and can remain in the body for a very long time.

Toxicology Problem Set Chemicals & Human Health

The Southwest Environmental Health Sciences Center
The Biology Project
The University of Arizona
Tuesday, September 16, 1997
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