Correct Meaning Of Toxin | Chemical & Engineering News
Volume 90 Issue 16 | p. 5 | Letters
Issue Date: April 16, 2012

Correct Meaning Of Toxin

Department: Letters

In the Government & Policy Concentrate “FDA Considers Lead Limits for Lipstick,” lead is referred to, correctly, by C&EN as a neurotoxic metal (C&EN, Feb. 20, page 31). Jane Houlihan, senior vice president for research at the Environmental Working Group, on the other hand, refers to lead as “a potent neurotoxin,” which is incorrect, as we chemical engineers and chemists should know, since toxins are toxic chemicals synthesized by living organisms, such as bacteria or plant life. In the future, if C&EN is reluctant to correct such an error, I would like to suggest that a “[sic]” be inserted after the incorrect word or expression.

By Gerry Lessells

Chemical & Engineering News
ISSN 0009-2347
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