Skip to contentSkip to navigation


From "xenos," meaning “foreign,” and "biotic," meaning “pertaining to life.” Xenobiotics are substances foreign to the body capable of interacting with living cells. Xenobiotics penetrate the organism by ingestion, inhalation, cutaneous absorption, injection or other means. Main classes of xenobiotics include alcohol, medicines and drugs, food additives, cosmetics absorbed through the skin, and a large number of products in the atmosphere or food such as pesticides, construction and furniture materials, and industrial pollutants. Depending on the dose, many xenobiotics show few measurable effects on human health, while others are toxic, mutagenic, carcinogenic, or potent endocrine disruptors.

Term of the Week

Predictive medicine

Medicine that links medical knowledge with data to predict a patient’s potential health problems. Examples include artificial intelligence and genetics.