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EESA10H3 (491)
Lecture 4

Lecture 4 Study Guide

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University of Toronto Scarborough
Environmental Science
Jovan Stefanovic

Lecture #4: Chemical Hazards and Human Health Wednesday, February 9th2011 Chemical Hazards Our bodies produce hormones from endocrine glands Some chemicals are able to mimic hormones because they are similar in chemistry and structure etc. When these chemicals enter our body, our body isnt able to differentiate whether it is a hormone or a foreign chemical; thus the chemical ends up disrupting the endocrine functions of the hormone it is mimicking **Note: The data collected with regards to this matter is mostly from animal studies, not much from human exposure Endocrine disrupters 1. Direct Effects: Bind to hormone receptors Alter the appearance of some genes Changes in the level of produced proteins (unwanted proteins are increasedformed) 2. Indirect Effects: Altering hormone production Altering hormne transport Altering hormone metabolism Fetus is more sensitive than adults If we, as adults are exposed to chemicalsendocrine disrupters, well be able to recover; we can cope quite well On the other hand, babies would be born with many defects if exposed to chemicals in the womb, because fetuses are very sensitive to these substances DES (diethlstilbesteol Synthetic estrogen used by physicians to prevent spontaneous abortion (1948- 1971) Administered for early pregnancy until 35 weeks More than 1 million women took it between 1960-1970 Daughters whose mothers took DES have increased incidents of: o Reproductive organ dysfunction o Abnormal pregnancies o Reduction in fertility o Immune system disorders o Carcinoma Effects were seen some 30-40 years later in kids of the mothers who had taken the drug
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