lec4_jls - BEH.104 Spring 04 J L Sherley Epidemiology...

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BEH.104 Spring 04 J. L. Sherley “Epidemiology: Persons, Places, and Time Review of Environmental Health Science Paradigm: Sources of Chemicals Natural Extraterrestrial Anthropogenic Focus Iatrogenic Endogenous Environment People Health Status: Well Toxic Diseased Policy? QHRA Whether? How? Chemicals 1
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Essential Question: Is an agent in the environment responsible for a change in the health status of a human population? In some scenarios this question for a given chemical is clear cut. 1) Many examples of “toxicity discovery” in industrial workers Both acute toxicity and chronic illnesses Coal dust & miners- black lung, fibrosis Asbestos & ship builders- asbestosis, mesothelioma Aniline dyes & bladder cancer 2) Toxic Spills- factory and general population Usually acute toxicity In these scenarios we are very confident that Exposure (causes) Health Status What are the features of these scenarios that allow us to be confident ? Even when the mechanism of action by the chemical is unknown. 1) The chemical agent - single often - identity is known - (sometimes toxic mechanism is known) 2) The exposure - known to have occurred - high dose, very often - often a single dose (though in industrial setting it may be chronic) 3) The exposed
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