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Lecture 4

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Environmental Science
Jovan Stefanovic

EESA01H3 Lecture 4  Drinking water from household wells  Rural areas have house wells – that particular owner is responsible for the water, drill properly, take care properly and make sure the water is appropriate and the quality of water – can come from confine or unconfined – might contain some chemical. Since its rural area its not uncommon to have nitrates  Check the water regularly. Natural contaminants (radionuclides, nitrate an nitrite, heavy metals, fluoride.)  Improper use of fertilizers, pesticides, animal manure  Poorly located septic system  Leaking underground tanks, improper disposal of wastes- garbage, chemical spills at local industrial sites  Noticeable problems: Visible: scum from calcium salts, turbid water form dirt- can be turbid but not containing chemicals,- likely to be contaminated. clay or rust, green stains on sink caused by high acidity  Tastes: salty taste from high sodium content, soapy taste from alkaline minerals, metallic taste from acidity or high iron content, chemical taste from industrial chemicals – oil smell, gasoline smell  bad  How is drinking water treated: water from rivers, lakes and reservoirs – settling tanks, addition of coagulants (chemicals) - dirt and contaminants form clumps that settle to the bottom of the tank, filtering- barely can filter chemicals, - design is based on original composition of water. The last thing usage of chlorine, chemical treatment (disinfection- chlorination- kind of glue to put everything together.., granulated activated charcoal, ion exchange resins, reverse osmosis)  Groundwater: naturally filtered, less organic matter, often does not need any treatment  Drinking water treatment:  Swimming water: beach pollution – trash, microorganisms, sore throats, diarrhea some serious poisoning  Lots of fish contains high amount of mercury  Chemical Hazards and Human Health  Endocrine disrupters, chemical body burdens, data mostly from animal studies, not much from human exposure  Chemically similar pollutants and compound – if they found in water , the body will not recognize that its not hormone – they grant the pollutant because of inner structure and properties. The pollutant will not be able to perform the same job as the hormone. That’s why these chemicals are called endocrine functions.  Endocrine disrupters: direct effects: bind to hormone receptors , alter the appearance of some genes, changes in the level of produces proteins – DNA is reflecting/ effecting the production of protein in our body  Indirect effects: altering hormone, [production, transport, metabolism ]  Kids are very sensitive, new born specially. Fetus more sensitive than adults  Thyroid I and II – produced by pituitary gland- one gland controlling another glands function. + work as a team  E.G. IF a woman has lower level of T I – hypothyrotism – won’t be recommended to take medication by the doctor. However, if the same women becomes pregnant then the doctor would recommend treatment/ medication  DES (diethylstilbesteol) : synthetic estrogen used by physicians to prevent spontaneous abortion (1948-1971). Administered for early pregnancy until 35 weeks > 1 million women took it between 1960- 1970  Daughters whose mothers took DES have increased incidents of – reproductive organ dysfunction, abnormal pregnancies, reduction in fertility, immune system disorders, carcinoma  Health implications: feminization of males, abnormal sexual behavior, birth defects- new born born with some problem, altered time to puberty- sexual problems, cancer of mammary glands or testis- , thyroid dysfunction  Neurobehavioral effects: prenatal and early postnatal exposure  PCBs: impaired learning in nonhuman primates, delayed psychomotor development, distractibility – problem of concentrating on work, Poor IQ tests- non human primates, organophosphates- brain development- small in size, not working properly  Excrete through breath, wastes  Chemical body burdens: quantity of chemicals accumulated in the body – not stable over time, not distributed homogeneously in a body, not possible to detect if present in very low concentrations, biomonitoring – “normal level” – governments, non-governments, institution. Collects the sa
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