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Cornell-style notes, lecture 5

3 Pages
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Department
Environmental Science
Course Code
EESA10H3
Professor
Jovan Stefanovic

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Human Health and the Environment Study Notes
Lecture 5
Key pointsNotes
Heavy MetalsNaturally occurring and extracted in the form of ore
Toxic even in low levels
Accumulates in selected organs—bioaccumulates
Wide environmental dispersion
Classification of
metalsClass A:
Essential to biological processes
Forms ionic bonds
Low toxicity
Class B:
Nonessential elements
Covalent bond (very strong)
Organometallics: complexes between metals and
organic compounds—very soluble when they enter
your body. Very toxic
Borderline:
Micronutrients: needed for some biological processes,
but in low concentrations
Toxicity: class B>Borderline>Class A
Mechanisms of
toxicity: (a.k.a how it
works in order to be
toxic)
1.Blocking essential functional groups such as proteins,
and enzymes
2.Displaces other metals
3.Modifying the active conformation of biomolecules
Coping mechanisms1.Resistence
2.Tolerance: metals may exist in our bodies but a
tolerance allows us to be unaffected: internal
detoxifying system, metabolic transformation:
transforming toxic metals into less toxic organic forms
Bioavailability of
metalsBioavailability: the proportion of a metal that enters
the circulation when introduced into the body and so
is able to have an active effect.
Not all metals ingested become bioavailability
pH affects this
Acidic solutions =more bioavailable and toxic
Redox potential The ability of the medium to oxidize or reduce metals
More oxygen = better oxidization or reduced metals
Less oxygen = reduced conditions = more toxic
Routes of exposure1.Inhalation
2.Ingestionplants absorb in roots and fruit also
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Description
Human Health and the Environment Study Notes Lecture 5 Key points Notes Heavy Metals Naturally occurring and extracted in the form of ore Toxic even in low levels Accumulates in selected organsbioaccumulates Wide environmental dispersion Classification of Class A: metals Essential to biological processes Forms ionic bonds Low toxicity Class B: Nonessential elements Covalent bond (very strong) Organometallics: complexes between metals and organic compoundsvery soluble when they enter your body. Very toxic Borderline: Micronutrients: needed for some biological processes, but in low concentrations Toxicity: class B>Borderline>Class A Mechanisms of 1. Blocking essential functional groups such as proteins, toxicity: (a.k.a how it and enzymes works in order to be 2. Displaces
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