Lethal doses of familiar substances

Lethal doses of familiar substances

Categories: Health and Medicine

In our life, it is very important to observe moderation and proper concentration in everything. This was very accurately expressed by one of the founders of modern pharmacology, Paracelsus (1493-1541) in his famous phrase: "Everything is poison, everything is medicine; both are determined by the dose." Absolutely every substance, even the most irreplaceable and necessary for the continuation of life, has its own lethal dose, which is also not so great.

Lethal doses of familiar substances

Alcohol, of course, is not a vital food, but many people really like to use it as such, and often completely forgetting about any measure. A single lethal dose for a person is from 4 to 12 grams of pure alcohol per kilogram of weight. Also, for an adult male, the lethal concentration will be the presence of 5-6 ppm of ethanol in the blood (1 ppm of the substance means that 1 liter of liquid contains 1 ml of this substance).

Lethal doses of familiar substances

Such a concentration can be achieved by drinking about 3 bottles of vodka in one sitting (unless, of course, the body does not work natural protection in the form of an urgent discharge of excess toxic substance in all possible ways). But there are also curious cases. For example, in 2004, in a hospital in the Bulgarian city of Plovdiv, a pedestrian hit by a car was found to have 9.14 ppm of ethanol in his blood. The test was repeated several times, and all the time they received a concentration many times higher than lethal. The most interesting thing is that the unusual patient soon recovered.

Despite its toxicity, ethanol can be used as an antidote for poisoning with other alcohols (for example, methanol or ethylene glycol).

Absolutely all essential vitamins for life are terrible poisons if consumed without measure. Sometimes both a deficiency and an excess of a particular vitamin leads to very similar external manifestations. For example, vitamin A vitamin deficiency and hypervitaminosis will have dry, rough skin and increased hair loss as a symptom.

Lethal doses of familiar substances

The amounts of vitamins in which they are vital are usually very small, and exceeding these concentrations leads to either acute or chronic poisoning. The doses in which vitamins can be taken are necessarily indicated on the packages of the drug, because in order to kill or seriously injure yourself, one or two pharmacy packages are quite enough.

3. Sunlight

After several years of regularly recurring "abnormal heat", even northern residents know how dangerous the Sun can be. From the beginning of the twentieth century, until about the 80s, it was generally accepted that the more time you spend in the Sun, the healthier you will be. But now it is already known for sure that excessive exposure to the Sun leads not only to purely external skin defects, but also to such "long-lasting" consequences as accelerated aging, decreased sexual functions and the development of oncological diseases (insufficient exposure to the Sun is also fraught with absolutely the same consequences).

Lethal doses of familiar substances

Sunstroke is an extremely dangerous condition, it develops suddenly, and the mortality rate reaches 30%. Therefore, if being in the open sun, a person begins to feel unwell, it is better to be safe and try to go into the shade.

Nicotine is not only found in tobacco. There is quite a lot of it in potatoes, tomatoes, eggplants and green bell peppers. However, the nicotine contained in these plants does not cause harm due to its insufficient concentration.

Lethal doses of familiar substances

Nicotine is the strongest poison not only for all warm-blooded animals, but even for insects. Nicotine sensitivity in different animal species is very different: for example, rats die when receiving 50 mg per kilogram of weight, 5.9 mg is enough for mice, and a dose of 0.5-1 mg per kilogram of weight is fatal for humans (for comparison, the lethal dose of the famous potassium cyanide is 1.7 mg per kilogram of weight). When smoking, most of the nicotine contained in a cigarette simply burns and turns into a less toxic poison. To kill yourself immediately, and not gradually, you need to smoke about a hundred cigarettes in one sitting.

No living creature can live without salt. But the daily requirement of this substance is extremely small — only 1.5-4 g. If the body experiences a chronic lack of salt, then the destruction of bones and the death of muscles begins, the work of the heart and stomach is disrupted, severe depression and other mental illnesses develop. The complete absence of salt in food (although this situation rarely occurs) can kill in about 10 days.

Lethal doses of familiar substances

Excess salt is no less dangerous than its lack. Everyone has known for a long time that "salt is a white poison" when there is too much of it. For a person, a lethal dose is a single use of about 250 g of salt. Death in this case will be very difficult, since you will have to die from numerous edema.

Caffeine is found in coffee, tea, cola and many other plants. In small doses, it causes a surge of strength and a feeling of cheerfulness, which, however, after 3-6 hours are replaced by increased fatigue, lethargy and depression. A lethal dose for a person is 10 grams of pure caffeine (provided that all of it enters the bloodstream).

Lethal doses of familiar substances

That is, in order to be poisoned to death, for example, with a good Italian espresso, you will need not only to drink about 4.5 liters of this excellent drink at a time, but also to thoroughly assimilate all the caffeine that it contains.

Water is the basis of life. Everyone knows that. Nevertheless, you can not only drown in water — you can also get poisoned with it, and absolutely clean, drinking water if you drink too much. If too much water has entered the body, a state of hyperhydration occurs, leading to a violation of water-salt metabolism, numerous disorders of all body systems and death. To achieve this state, you need to drink about 7 liters of water during the day.

Lethal doses of familiar substances

Water poisoning is rare, but it still happens sometimes. For example, soldiers become victims of water poisoning after exhausting crosses in the heat. But there are also curious cases — for example, an English schoolgirl Lee Bett in November 1995, celebrating her 18th birthday, first took Ecstasy, and then drank 7 liters of water in just an hour and a half. Death occurred after 4 hours.

In June 2002, in the American city of Springville, a mother forced her 4-year-old daughter to drink almost 4 liters of water as punishment. The child died, and the mother went to prison.

In January 2007, the radio station KDND in Sacramento (California) held a surprisingly stupid contest called Hold Your Wee for a Wii (Don't pee — get a game console). One of the participants of this contest — Jennifer Strange, who drank 7.5 liters of water, died before reaching the final. And the winner of the contest (Lucy Davidson) seriously ill. As a result, relatives filed multimillion-dollar lawsuits against the radio station and won them.

There is no need to warn about the danger of household electricity — almost everyone who uses electrical appliances sooner or later gets the opportunity to learn from their own experience that an electric discharge can be very unpleasant. It is possible to get a very painful electric shock in our time, even without using any devices. This happens especially often in winter, when the air in the apartments is over-dried by central heating, and sparks fall from clothes and hair with every movement. If the strength of the current passing through the human body exceeds 1mA, then this already causes very unpleasant sensations. A direct current of 60 mA or an alternating current of 300-500 mA can lead to a malfunction of the heart (or restore the work of a newly stopped heart).

Lethal doses of familiar substances

To kill a person with an electric chair, a voltage of 2700 V and a current of 5 A are used. The voltage is turned on twice for minutes with a break of 10 seconds. This is usually enough to kill the strongest person. But on October 16, 1985, it took 5 such blows to execute William Vendiver.

A female mosquito, if not disturbed, can suck about 5 mg of blood from a person. For a person, the loss of about 2.5 liters of blood is fatal. It turns out that a person can be "eaten to death" by about half a million mosquitoes. But in this case, most likely, death will occur much earlier from the reaction to the saliva of mosquitoes, which they inject during the bite (it is their saliva that causes itching, swelling and other reactions).

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