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A poison is a substance, that causes damage to biological systems. It commonly refers to substances that are life-threatening in small quantities. (Other substances, including water, can be lethal in large quantities, but are not usually called poisons.)

A poison has a measure of how damaging it is, called toxicity, studied in toxicology.

The onset of symptoms of poisoning may be rapid, and swiftly lead to illness or even death, such as by inhalation of hydrogen cyanide, or injection of potassium chloride. This is called acute poisoning.

A poison may also take effect slowly. This known as chronic poisoning, and is the most commonly presented type of symptoms associated with poisons that bio accumulate. Examples of these types of poisons are mercury, lead, and asbestos.

Poisons include:

See also: Antidote -- Mithridates -- Pollutant -- English proverbs (look for word poison).

Poison is also the name of a US rock band active in the 1980s and 1990s. Members include:

  • Bret Michaels
  • Bobby Dall
  • Rikki Rockett
  • C C Deville