EESA10H3 Lecture 1: EESA10 Week 1

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Environmental Science
Silvija Stefanovic

Week 1: Chapter 1: Environment: a complex system of living things and natural processes, the human species is one player in this web Hazards: chemical, biological, physical ● Chemical - industrial, pollutants, pesticides, lead in paint, cigarette smoke ● Biological - “biohazards” agents of infectious disease (mold, GMOs) ● Physical - contact with energy (radiation, noise, airborne dust particles, mechanical objects, extremes of heat and cold) Environmental health: More than industrial pollution, not based on genetic traits. Does not include an analysis of the effect of genetics on the likelihood of illness / injury from exposure to chemicals and hazards as a cause of disease Social / Behavioural Hazards: (drug use) not a part of environmental health. Environmental health does not consider the link between hazards and social behavioural elements Greater focus on anthropogenic hazards than naturally occurring hazards (floods, tsunamis, windstorms). Natural disasters can however create environmental health hazards - an example would be the ‘soup’ of industrial sewage wastes from Hurricane Katrina affecting health. “In an ecosystem nothing ever goes away” - Barry Commoner 21st century- our stuff and its byproducts remain in the environment. Western style development is not sustainable. There is also a large disparity between developed and less developed countries. TRANSCRIPT: “Everyday Carcinogens: Stopping Cancer Before It Starts” - Dr Sandra Steingraber There are 12 evidences linking cancer and the environment in Steingraber’s book “Living Downstream” - the article covers 4 Thesis: no one study gives absolute proof of a link between cancer and the environment. All the studies fit together like a puzzle, the make sense together. 1. Cancer Registries: measure of cancer incidences in a population ● Canada and the U.S are very similar ● Non tobacco related cancers are rising in incidence among all age groups - this is since the early 70s dating back to WWI ● This is not caused by lifestyle / hereditary factors / it’s partly because of lack of early screening but mostly not ● Childhood cancers have doubled since 1959. 10% rise in 10 years ● Rise in testicular cancer in men 19-45 / tripled since WWI ● Non Hodgkins Lymphoma has doubled over 4 decades. Multiple Myeloma also doubled in 40 years ● Brain cancers growing in children, 54% up in 2 decades ● All these rises have not been caused by lifestyle, diet, exercise, more early screening, or heredity, which would indicate maybe the environment is at play. 2. Computer Mapping - cancer registry data displayed over space instead of time ● Cancer is not random ● Ex- Great Lake Basin / Eastern Seaboard Great Lakes Region - breast / colon/ bladder cancer high in these
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