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Human Health and the Environment 4 - Human Health and the...

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Human Health and the Environment Lecture 4: Chemical Hazards and Human Health Announcements Midterm Exam: Friday February 29, 2008 from 7PM to 9PM GYM – A to W (LEC 60) From Last Class Transformation of nitrates to nitrites – in the book it says that it is happening in our body, professor said here in class that it is happening in water (both things are true) It actually depends if we have bacteria to do this transformation process in water We always have them in our body but if we have in water this process will definitely happen Other thing is what is the temperature of the water – if it gets warmer this process will speed up - i.e. reheating spinach, if spinach is fertilized heavily with nitrogen fertilizers definitely will at least have high amount of nitrogen – nitrates When we first eat it fresh it won’t be very dangerous for us – not a risk But if we reheat that spinach process transformation between nitrates and nitrites will speed up because of that heat Chemical Hazards Why chemical hazards all contaminants all pollutants that we discussed until now are basically chemical hazards – in water, in air This lecture will be about the chemical hazards that are spread everywhere – in every medium be soil, food, plants, meat, water, even in air Endocrine disruptors Chemical body burdens of industrial chemicals Some chemicals that are body burdens are also endocrine disruptors and on the other hand endocrine disruptors can accumulate in the body and we call them body burdens and they also do the same in industrial because endocrine disruptors can be industrial What is the biggest problem with these chemicals? We don’t know much about it especially not how these chemicals affect human health Most of our conclusions are assumptions or they are based on animal studies – many experimental animals have a similar physiology with humans but not the same and who knows That is what we have right now and science is working on that very hard so soon we will have some better answers What are Endocrine disruptors? First you have to know what endocrine glands are Picture posted to show what are the endocrine glands – these organs in our body produce hormones What are the hormones? Chemicals that regulate many different processes that are very important processes in our body and they regulate the processes in very tiny amounts What do endocrine disruptors do to these functions? Hormones are carried through our body by some receptor also some chemical that carry the hormone Because of the similarity between the hormone and our pollutant our endocrine disruptor receptor is confused What is happening? Some genes can be altered because these receptors bind with DNA and alter the appearance of the gene Life Support EESA10H3
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What the genes do is regulate the production of different proteins and as a result of their
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