Chemicals & Human Health

Toxicology Problem Set

Problem 8: Factors affecting dose

For help to answer the question:

A family home has a clogged furnace that is producing carbon monoxide, a hazardous gas. Which family member is likely to be harmed the most?
A. Billy, the son who is in 1st grade
B. Baby Shea, who is going to be in preschool next year
C. Karla, the nanny who cares for the toddler every weekday morning
D. Ms. Nguyen, the mother who works at home
E. Mr. Nguyen, the father who works at the University


The dose of gas depends on several factors. Three that we can estimate from this case are the length of exposure, the age of the people exposed, and the size of the people exposed. In general, the longer you are exposed to a chemical, the higher a dose you will receive.

Responses to hazardous substances also vary with a person's age and size. Children may be more affected than adults because of their smaller body size and their more rapid cell growth. For example, the developing neurological tissue of a very young child may be more susceptible than adult tissues to certain toxins.

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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