Tox ‘O Clock: Pesticides and Nerve Gas

It’s been awhile! Today in Tox ‘O Clock we’ll cover the Holy Grail of toxicology – organophosphate poisoning.

First of all, what the hell is an organophosphate and why should anyone care? And why is it the Holy Grail of toxicology?

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Tox ‘O Clock: Carbon Monoxide

Happy holidays, everyone! This is your friendly toxicological reminder to not do stupid things like use propane heaters indoors, grill inside, or leave your oven range on for extended hours at a time. Why, might you ask, is this a bad idea?

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The answer is the subject of today’s Tox ‘O Clock discussion: carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning! We are talking about this for two reasons: first, because a spike in poisonings from this – because it’s cold, and families are together – is as predictable around the holidays as incessant Christmas music at the mall, jokes about me being a Grinch, and my people going to the movies and eating Chinese food on Christmas day itself. Continue reading

Tox ‘O Clock: Aspirin, or rather “the mitochondria is the powerhouse of the cell”

Pop quiz! What’s small, white, really useful in helping prevent heart attacks, and absolutely murders the hell out of you if you overdose on it?

If you said aspirin, congratulations!* You earned the right to muddle your way through why. This will be long, so get yourself a glass of wine and some Oreos or something and settle in.

*If you said cocaine, okay, you’re right too, you narc. I gave you the answer in the title. Continue reading

Tox ‘O Clock: Carbon Tablets

So I have pretty much nothing to write about now, as I’m in a lull between (mostly) the end of interviews and having to make my rank list. I spend my free time, which usually ranges between 20 and 23 hours a day, contemplating my existence in the various cities where I’ve interviewed and pretending the horrifyingly high-stakes reality of creating a match list isn’t around the corner. Continue reading