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Pennsylvania State University Environmental Health Hazards Discussion

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Essential Environment: The Science Behind the Stories Sixth Edition Chapter 10 Environmental Health and Toxicology Lecture Presentations prepared by James Dauray College of Lake County Copyright ©2019, 2015. Pearson Education, Inc. All Rights Reserved. This lecture will help you understand: • Explain the goals of environmental health and identify major environmental health hazards. • Describe the types of toxic substances in the environment, factors that affect their toxicity, and the defenses that organisms have against them. • Explain the movement of toxic substances and how they affect organisms and ecosystems. • Discuss the approaches used to study the effects of toxic chemicals on organisms. • Summarize risk assessment and risk management. • Compare approaches to risk and regulatory policy. Copyright ©2019, 2015. Pearson Education, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Poison in the Bottle: Is Bisphenol A Safe? (1 of 3) • The chemical bisphenol A (BPA) is in hundreds of everyday products, yet it has been linked to breast cancer, prostate cancer, and heart disease. – BPA is an additive used to make the coatings of metal cans, dental sealants, and the polycarbonate plastic found in water bottles, toys, and electronics. • Many plastic products also contain a class of hormone-disrupting chemicals called phthalates. Copyright ©2019, 2015. Pearson Education, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Poison in the Bottle: Is Bisphenol A Safe? (2 of 3) • Many studies have examined the relationship between BPA, phthalates, and a wide range of adverse health effects. Figure 10.1 Studies have linked elevated blood/urine BPA concentrations to numerous health impacts in humans. Copyright ©2019, 2015. Pearson Education, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Poison in the Bottle: Is Bisphenol A Safe? (3 of 3) • Research finding correlations between BPA and phthalate exposure and a variety of health problems has caused some governments to issue regulations. – Canada has banned BPA use outright. – The United States restricts its use in children’s products. • Many food companies are phasing these out of food packaging and labeling packaging as BPA- or phthalatefree. • This is one example of how a society assesses health risks and decides how to manage them. Copyright ©2019, 2015. Pearson Education, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Environmental Health • Environmental health is a field that assesses environmental factors that can influence our health and quality of life. – These include both natural and anthropogenic factors. • Environmental hazards are categorized into four types, each of which carries some risk that is avoidable and some that is not. Copyright ©2019, 2015. Pearson Education, Inc. All Rights Reserved. We face four types of environmental hazards (1 of 4) • Physical hazards arise from natural environmental processes, such as UV radiation from sunlight and natural disasters. – These risks can be reduced with protective measures, such as sunblock and disaster detection and warning systems. Figure 10.2 Environmental health hazards come in four types. Copyright ©2019, 2015. Pearson Education, Inc. All Rights Reserved. We face four types of environmental hazards (2 of 4) • Chemical hazards include synthetic chemicals such as pharmaceuticals, disinfectants, and pesticides, and natural toxins like venom. [Figure 10.2 Continued] Copyright ©2019, 2015. Pearson Education, Inc. All Rights Reserved. We face four types of environmental hazards (3 of 4) • Biological hazards result from interactions with other organisms, such as viruses, bacteria, insects, or parasites. – Infectious disease are illnesses that can be spread from person-toperson. – Vectors are organisms that transfer diseases to their host. [Figure 10.2 Continued] Copyright ©2019, 2015. Pearson Education, Inc. All Rights Reserved. We face four types of environmental hazards (4 of 4) • Cultural hazards occur as the result of our place of residence, socioeconomic status, occupation, or behavioral choices. – Choosing to smoke, accompanying people who smoke, poor diet, drug use, and workplace hazards are all examples. [Figure 10.2 Continued] Copyright ©2019, 2015. Pearson Education, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Disease is a major focus of environmental health (1 of 2) • Infectious and noninfectious diseases cause the majority of human deaths worldwide. • Noninfectious diseases develop without the action of a foreign organism. Figure 10.3 Infectious diseases are the second-leading cause of death worldwide. Copyright ©2019, 2015. Pearson Education, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Disease is a major focus of environmental health (2 of 2) • Infectious diseases spread when a pathogenic organism enters a host through the skin, via the respiratory system, or by the consumption of food or water. – Immunization, public sanitation, access to clean water, food security, and public education all help to reduce infectious disease. Figure 10.3 Infectious diseases are the second-leading cause of death worldwide. Copyright ©2019, 2015. Pearson Education, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Toxicology is the study of chemical hazards • Toxicology is the science of examining the effects of poisonous substances on humans and other organisms. – Toxicity is the degree of harm caused by a chemical substance called a toxicant. • Any chemical has the potential to be a toxicant, depending on the dose and level of exposure. • Environmental toxicology is the study of anthropogenic chemicals released into the environment that have human health effects. Copyright ©2019, 2015. Pearson Education, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Many environmental health hazards exist indoors (1 of 2) • Cigarette smoke and radon are leading indoor health hazards and the top two causes of lung cancer. – Radon is a radioactive gas that seeps up from certain types of bedrock. It is colorless and undetectable without specialized kits. • Asbestos is a substance that was used in the past as insulation in walls and other products and is highly toxic when inhaled. Copyright ©2019, 2015. Pearson Education, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Many environmental health hazards exist indoors (2 of 2) • Lead is a heavy metal that, when ingested, damages the brain, liver, kidney, and stomach. – This condition is called lead poisoning and has greatly declined since the phaseout of lead-based paint and leaded gasoline in the 1970s. • Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) are compounds used as fire retardants in a variety of products, including electronics, plastics, and furniture. – Similar to BPA, PBDEs act as hormone disruptors, interfering with thyroid hormones. – The European Union banned PBDEs in 2003, but they have not yet been addressed in the United States. Copyright ©2019, 2015. Pearson Education, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Risks must be balanced against rewards • Chemicals have played a crucial role in increasing our standard of living, but their use carries a potential human health risk. • Toxicologists try to weigh the benefits and risks of each chemical to determine whether it should be widely used. Copyright ©2019, 2015. Pearson Education, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Toxic Substances and Their Effects on Organisms • The environment contains many natural toxic substances, such as petroleum, radon gas, and toxins. – Toxins are toxic chemicals manufactured in the tissues of living organisms, often used as defense against others. • We are also exposed to many synthetic (artificial, manmade) chemical substances. Copyright ©2019, 2015. Pearson Education, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Silent Spring began the public debate over synthetic chemicals (1 of 2) •
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