EESA10 Lecture 4.docx

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Environmental Science
Silvija Stefanovic

EESA10 Lec 4 Chemical Hazards Endocrine distrupters.  Glands that produce hormones that regulate many processes in our body. Some of the chemicals released into the environment are similar in their properties to hormones. They mimic hormones. Our bodies may uptake them. They are called endocrine disrupters.  The disrupter binds to the hormone receptor instead of the hormone.  Changes appearance of certain genes, can result in wrong production of proteins. Normal transport will be interrupted or metabolism of hormone. Those endorcrine disrupters, those chemicals they are not going to cause very severe effects in adults, but in fetuse. Lower level of T3 and T4 will not affect women’s health but the health of fetus.  DES – took about 20 or more years for science to find out that basically the children of these women who took DES when they reached to reporoductive stage, the children were affected (ie reduction in fertility and abnormal pregnancies).  Fetuses much more sensitive to chemicals. Maybe later in their lives at some point they can have a problem. Neurobehavioral effects  PCBs may cause impact on learning in nonhuman primates (from animal studies) Body Burden – the amount of chemicals in the body at any given time  Every year, hundreds of new chemicals are released into the environment. These chemicals should have approval, but sometimes the research is not enough and the chemical is used before we have a good risk assessment.  No one in the world that doesn’t have any chemicals in the body. The amount of chemicals in the body depends on where they live.  Our bodies can fight up to a certain point, depending on which chemical. Some chemicals we can effectively release, some remain in our body.  Every year, our body burden is rising. Persistent organic pollutants – POPs  Take hundreds or thousands of years to breakdown after released in environment.  Sometimes the product of breakdown is even more dangerous.  Dioxins – US soldiers used this to spray plants in Vietnam to de-leaf them so they could see t
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