Book: A is for Arsenic
My name is Aoife Connor, and I am a first-year analytical chemistry student. I decided to try to complete this assignment individually and I enjoyed challenging myself to learn more about a topic that I had an interest in but not a lot of information about beforehand. For this assignment I researched many different topics in order to find one that I felt was just right, and after much deliberation I finally decided on the chemistry of poisons.
I choose the book “The Chemistry of Poisons” which I really enjoyed, and it gave me an idea to create an infographic to explain to any audience some of the basics. I have an interest in such topics and thoroughly enjoyed the knowledge I gained through my research. It was evident to me from my research that I found not only the negative effects of poison on living things interesting, but that they can have positive impacts. Through the use of chemistry, poison has helped to find new ways of managing and treating illnesses.
After reading “A is for Arsenic – the poisons of Agatha Christie” by Kathryn Harkup it became apparent that I would like to base my topic on poison and in particular the chemistry involved to understand poisons.
I used many different sources to research this topic including websites and articles along with the book. I looked at many different ways to show my findings and concluded with an infographic explaining what poison is, the possible ways to ingest and absorb poison and some interesting facts about the advantages chemist have discovered in relation to using poison to treat illnesses. I also included in a diagram of a human body and the different pathways of ingestion to clearly demonstrate how the poison can enter the body to any audience.
I enjoyed reading the book as it had a different chapter for many different poisons clearly demonstrating the chemistry and effects the poisons can have. The infographic did not allow space for all of this information so I had to condense it down to what I thought would be important and interesting to all kinds of readers and not just people with a chemistry background.
I found an article online outlining some interesting facts about poison and these facts cleared up some common misconceptions about poison and helped me understand some of its impacts on life – such as how animals use it in nature and how humans have come to use it in medicine, which I put into the infographic.
I then found a website online that had many interesting statistics on the amount of poison incidents reported from the year 2019 and decided to make another infographic about those numbers to raise awareness about poison control and management.