The Infancy of Immunotoxicity

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Deficient immune response is well recognized as a manifestation of primary immunodeficiency syndromes or neoplastic diseases (in which it can be a consequence of radiation or cancer chemotherapy). The depressed immune responses make the host susceptible to two major complications, infection and tumor. Can alterations in the immune response also result from exposure to foods, drugs, or environmental contaminants? Are the altered immune responses associated with similar or other complications? The evidence summarized in a recent review (1) indicates that many substances in our environment have immunosuppressive properties, including lead, cadmium, the arsenicals, DDT, and some pesticides. Exposure to such

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