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Lecture 4

Lecture 4 Study Guide

7 Pages
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Department
Environmental Science
Course Code
EESA10H3
Professor
Jovan Stefanovic

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Human Health and the Environment
Lecture 4: Chemical Hazards and Human Health
Announcements
Midterm Exam: Friday February 29, 2008 from 7PM to 9PM
GYM A to W (LEC 60)
From Last Class
Transformation of nitrates to nitrites in the book it says that it is happening in our
body, professor said here in class that it is happening in water (both things are true)
It actually depends if we have bacteria to do this transformation process in water
We always have them in our body but if we have in water this process will definitely
happen
Other thing is what is the temperature of the water if it gets warmer this process will
speed up - i.e. reheating spinach, if spinach is fertilized heavily with nitrogen fertilizers
definitely will at least have high amount of nitrogen nitrates
When we first eat it fresh it wont be very dangerous for us not a risk
But if we reheat that spinach process transformation between nitrates and nitrites will
speed up because of that heat
Chemical Hazards
Why chemical hazards all contaminants all pollutants that we discussed until now are
basically chemical hazards in water, in air
This lecture will be about the chemical hazards that are spread everywhere in every
medium be soil, food, plants, meat, water, even in air
Endocrine disruptors
Chemical body burdens of industrial chemicals
Some chemicals that are body burdens are also endocrine disruptors and on the other
hand endocrine disruptors can accumulate in the body and we call them body burdens
and they also do the same in industrial because endocrine disruptors can be industrial
What is the biggest problem with these chemicals? We dont know much about it
especially not how these chemicals affect human health
Most of our conclusions are assumptions or they are based on animal studies many
experimental animals have a similar physiology with humans but not the same and who
knows
That is what we have right now and science is working on that very hard so soon we will
have some better answers
What are Endocrine disruptors?
First you have to know what endocrine glands are
Picture posted to show what are the endocrine glands these organs in our body
produce hormones
What are the hormones? Chemicals that regulate many different processes that are very
important processes in our body and they regulate the processes in very tiny amounts
Life SupportEESA10H3
www.notesolution.com
What do endocrine disruptors do to these functions? Hormones are carried through our
body by some receptor also some chemical that carry the hormone
Because of the similarity between the hormone and our pollutant our endocrine
disruptor receptor is confused
What is happening? Some genes can be altered because these receptors bind with DNA
and alter the appearance of the gene
What the genes do is regulate the production of different proteins and as a result of
their changes and alterations so changes are reliable to produce proteins are seen in a
body that is all about direct effects
Also there are many types of indirect affects production of the hormones, metabolism
of the hormones, transport of the hormones through the body
What is specific for endocrine disruptors? Adults are not that sensitive (adverse affects
are not very visible on adults), fetuses are much more sensitive
Fetuses are more sensitive on the changes of the hormones than adults
Thyroid hormone affects mental brain development of fetuses
DES (diethylstilbestrol)
Problems are not seen if a pregnant mother is exposed to endocrine disruptor not
much problems can be seen to your health
But the problem is changes in health and life of daughters and sons we have to wait 20
to 30 years to see this adverse affect until the daughter or son reach maturity to have
own kids
An example of this is DES, a synthetic estrogen hormone that physicians prescribe to
prevent spontaneous abortion
Lasted for almost 30 years from 1948 to 1971
More than one million women took this in a period of ten years from 1960 to 1970
During the 1980s started facing significant increases in some health problems such as
reproduction organ dysfunction, abnormal pregnancies in daughters, reduction in
fertility when daughters and sons try to have their own kids, immune system disorders,
and some type of carcinoma (adenocarcinoma)
This is lack of knowledge in a time when some medication is prescribed (when we
discuss risk assessment later we will come back to this problem again)
Mothers didnt suffer that much but kids did
Endocrine disruptors Health Implications
Other problems with the endocrine disruptors affects our health feminization of the
males, some strange abnormal sexual behaviour, birth defects, cancer, altered time to
puberty, and thyroid dysfunction especially PCBs affect function of the thyroid gland
Endocrine disruptors neurobehavioural effects
Besides these factors, affects on a sexual behaviour and sexual problems neural
behavioural affects are also seen
As a result of prenatal or postnatal exposure
What is the postnatal exposure? Mostly from the breast milk and other exposures
www.notesolution.com

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Description
Human Health and the Environment Lecture 4: Chemical Hazards and Human Health Announcements Midterm Exam: Friday February 29, 2008 from 7PM to 9PM GYM A to W (LEC 60) From Last Class Transformation of nitrates to nitrites in the book it says that it is happening in our body, professor said here in class that it is happening in water (both things are true) It actually depends if we have bacteria to do this transformation process in water We always have them in our body but if we have in water this process will definitely happen Other thing is what is the temperature of the water if it gets warmer this process will speed up - i.e. reheating spinach, if spinach is fertilized heavily with nitrogen fertilizers definitely will at least have high amount of nitrogen nitrates When we first eat it fresh it wont be very dangerous for us not a risk But if we reheat that spinach process transformation between nitrates and nitrites will speed up because of that heat Chemical Hazards Why chemical hazards all contaminants all pollutants that we discussed until now are basically chemical hazards in water, in air This lecture will be about the chemical hazards that are spread everywhere in every medium be soil, food, plants, meat, water, even in air Endocrine disruptors Chemical body burdens of industrial chemicals Some chemicals that are body burdens are also endocrine disruptors and on the other hand endocrine disruptors can accumulate in the body and we call them body burdens and they also do the same in industrial because endocrine disruptors can be industrial What is the biggest problem with these chemicals? We dont know much about it especially not how these chemicals affect human health Most of our conclusions are assumptions or they are based on animal studies many experimental animals have a similar physiology with humans but not the same and who knows That is what we have right now and science is working on that very hard so soon we will have some better answers What are Endocrine disruptors? First you have to know what endocrine glands are Picture posted to show what are the endocrine glands these organs in our body produce hormones What are the hormones? Chemicals that regulate many different processes that are very important processes in our body and they regulate the processes in very tiny amounts Life Support EESA10H3 www.notesolution.com
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