Gastrointestinal or Liver Toxicants
Exposure to chemical substances can cause adverse effects on the the gastrointestinal tract, liver, or gall bladder (gastrointestinal and liver toxicity). The gastrointestinal tract is the site of entry for chemicals that are ingested. Exposure to halogenated aromatic hydrocarbons, including chlorobenzene and hexachlorobenzene, and metals such as lead, mercury, arsenic, and cadmium can cause anorexia, nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramps, and diarrhea. The liver is frequently subject to injury induced by chemicals because of its role as the body's principal site of metabolism. Necrosis, or liver cell death, is a common effect of acute exposure to chemicals. Carbon tetrachloride and related chemicals, such as chloroform, are linked to cirrhosis of the liver. Cancer of the liver has been associated with occupational exposures to arsenic, copper, and vinyl chloride.