History of Toxicology


Throughout the ages, toxicological science has provided information that has shaped and guided society. Undertakings as diverse as the healing arts, war, agriculture, and regulation and policy making all have their groundings in toxicology.

Toxipedia's History of Toxicology section provides users with information on significant people and events that have shaped environmental and public health from antiquity to the postmodern era. As always, we encourage users to edit and add pages. With your help, Toxipedia will become the definitive resource on the history of public and environmental health. To explore an interactive poster on milestones of toxicology poster, see image below or see the Milestones of Toxicology page. To explore a few detailed issues and an active exhibit see the Toxicology History Room which contains posters and displays about toxicology. Lessons Learned provides a short introduction to a historic toxicological issue or event from which we learned better how to prevent hazards to protect human and environmental health. For books see the Toxicology History Library.

A daily calendar of events is also available at Toxicology On This Day.

Toxicology History in SpanishHistoria de la Toxicología


Era (click below)

Approximate Time Period


3,000 BCE - 400 AD

Middle Ages

5th century - 14th century AD

Early Modern

14th century - 18th century AD


18th century - 1950 (after World War II)


1950 - present

For quick highlights spanning all five eras, see our Toxicology Timeline page, or our poster below.

Interactive Poster: Milestones of Toxicology

Open clickable poster as pdf. Click on a square to learn more about the history of toxicology. Please download it and send it to a friend! A high-resolution, printable version of the milestones poster can be downloaded here (6 MB).


Toxicology History Room

The Toxicology History Room provides extensive information on a few historical issues. The first toxicology history room was presented at the 2009 Society of Toxicology meeting in Baltimore, MD.


Toxicology History Library

The Toxicology History Library provides a list of notable libraries with toxicology collections and a list of interesting books or publications on toxicology history.


Contributing to the History Section

Main Article: User Guide
The site's cutting-edge software makes editing Toxipedia as easy as editing a Microsoft Word document. After you register, you are free to edit most pages within Toxipedia as well as to create your own. Please see the Editing Guide for tips.

  • No labels