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Ecology & Environmental Problems Lecture #22 Ron Chesser Toxicology.

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Presentation on theme: "Ecology & Environmental Problems Lecture #22 Ron Chesser Toxicology."— Presentation transcript:

1 Ecology & Environmental Problems Lecture #22 Ron Chesser Toxicology

2 Are people making informed decisions – survey Ecology & Env.Problems topic -- you choose Maximum of 6 people in a group Maximum of 5 questions Minimum of 50 surveys 2 page write up of results / with survey data

3 Love Canal, New York

4 Love Canal -- History Beginning in 1942, the landfill was used by Hooker Chemicals and Plastics (now Occidental Chemical Corporation (OCC)) for the disposal of over 21,000 tons of various chemical wastes, including halogenated organics, pesticides, chlororbenzenes and dioxin. Dumping ceased in 1952, and, in 1953, the landfill was covered and deeded to the Niagara Falls Board of Education (NFBE). Subsequently, the area near the covered landfill was extensively developed, including the construction of an elementary school and numerous homes.

5 Love Canal - History During the summer of 1978, the Love Canal first came to international attention. On August 7, 1978, United States President Jimmy Carter declared a federal emergency at the Love Canal, a former chemical landfill which became a 15-acre neighborhood of the City of Niagara Falls, New York.

6 Love Canal -- 1978 This declaration would provide funds to permanently relocate the 239 families living in the first two rows of homes encircling the landfill. The remaining 10 block area of the Love Canal, including the home of Lois Gibbs, were not included in the declaration.

7 Love Canal -- History November 10, 1978 200 tons of dioxin, a lethal chemical are reported buried in the canal. Residents fears heighten. November 22, 1978 Over 200 chemical compounds are identified as being buried in the canal. December 8, 1978 Reports of findings of dioxin and other chemicals and state's refusal to relocate another 54 families on the outskirts of the contaminated area bring vehement protests from residents.

8 Love Canal -- History April 14, 1979 Reports that dioxin levels at Love Canal are 100 times higher than previously reported. Reports that contaminant is also found at Bloody Run Creek near Niagara University. November 1979 A federal report indicates the odds of Love Canal residents contracting cancer is as high as 1 in 10. May 17, 1980 EPA announces chromosome damage has been found in 11 of 36 residents tested in the Love Canal. May 21, 1980 President Carter declares Love Canal a national emergency paving way for relocation of another 710 families.

9 Heavy Metals and Health Mining in Indonesia, 1997.

10 Lead LEAD EXPOSURE IN CHILDREN AFFECTS BRAIN AND BEHAVIOR LEAD EXPOSURE IN CHILDREN AFFECTS BRAIN AND BEHAVIOR 6% of all children ages 1-2 years and 11% of black (non-Hispanic) children ages 1-5 years have blood lead levels in the toxic range. rapidly developing nervous systems are particularly sensitive to the effects of lead.

11 Lead Common sources include lead paint and lead contained in water and soil. Housing built before 1950 has the greatest risks of containing lead-based paint. Some children may eat or swallow chips of paint (pica) which increases their risk of exposure to lead. Lead-based petroleum products (gasoline)

12 Lead Effects Even when exposed to small amounts of lead levels, children may appear inattentive, hyperactive and irritable. Children with greater lead levels may also have problems with learning and reading, delayed growth and hearing loss. At high levels, lead can cause permanent brain damage and even death.

13 Lead Poisoning Symptoms These include nausea, sluggishness, vomiting, painful gastrointestinal irritation, diarrhea, loss of appetite, colic, weakness and dehydration. These symptoms are common to many disorders and can often lead to inaccurate diagnosis. Some symptoms more specific to human poisoning include discoloration of the lips and skin attributed mild secondary anemia, a lead line on the gums, developmental disorders, sterility and abortion. There have also been some prelimiunary reports indicating that chronic lead poisoning can also lead to chronic nephritis and premature development of arteriosclerosis. More severe cases of poisoning can produce symptoms including convulsions,"wrist drop" or external limb paralysis, coma and ultimately death.

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16 Mercury Exposure to mercury can cause immune, sensory, neurological, motor, and behavioral dysfunctions similar to traits defining or associated with autism, and the similarities extend to neuroanatomy, neurotransmitters, and biochemistry.

17 What is Mercury? Mercury is found naturally in the environment in several forms. In its elemental form, mercury is a shiny, silver- white, liquid metal used in thermometers and some electrical switches. It can be combined with other elements to form inorganic compounds. Mercury can evaporate to form colorless, odorless mercury vapors. Mercury can combine with organic material to form organic compounds such as methyl-mercury (MeHg), which is produced primarily by bacteria and is the form which poses the greatest concern for environmental exposure.

18 Mercury Poisoning Symptoms Exposure to high levels of elemental mercury vapor can result in nervous system damage including tremors, and mood and personality alterations. Exposure to relatively high levels of inorganic mercury salts can cause kidney damage. Adult exposure to relatively high levels of methylmercury through fish consumption can result in numbness or tingling in the extremities, sensory losses and loss of coordination. Exposure of the developing fetus through maternal intake of contaminated fish can result in neurologic developmental abnormalities in cognitive and motor functions. The nature and severity of the symptoms, depend on the amount of exposure.

19 Sources of Mercury Mercury is persistent, mobile and bioaccumulative in the environment, meaning it is retained in organisms. Most of the mercury found in the environment is inorganic mercury that can enter the air from several sources. Examples of sources include emissions of coal-fired power plants, burning municipal and medical waste, and natural processes such as erosion of ores and volcanic activity. Levels of methylmercury in fish are typically 100,000 times those in the water in which they swim.

20 Methylmercury Methylmercury is quickly taken up into higher organisms through the food chain and is retained in their bodies. It reaches the highest levels in large predatory fish and in birds and mammals which consume fish. These animals may then be eaten by people. Federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulations prohibit the sale of commercial fish that are found to have high concentrations of methylmercury. Also, state and federal authorities issue public health advisories to warn people about eating fish caught from local waters that are contaminated with mercury.

21 Household Sources of Mercury THERMOMETERS (including what to do if you break one) THERMOMETERS THERMOSTAT PROBES DENTAL AMALGAM – The Environmentally Responsible Dental Office: A Guide to Proper Waste Management in Dental Offices The Environmentally Responsible Dental Office: A Guide to Proper Waste Management in Dental Offices – How mercury from dental amalgam can get into the environment How mercury from dental amalgam can get into the environment GAUGES & MANOMETERS THERMOSTATS MERCURY SWITCHES & RELAYS FLUORESCENT LAMPS, MERCURY VAPOR LAMPS, HIGH PRESSURE SODIUM LAMPS, NEON LAMPS & METAL HALIDE LAMPS FLUORESCENT LAMPS, MERCURY VAPOR LAMPS, HIGH PRESSURE SODIUM LAMPS, NEON LAMPS & METAL HALIDE LAMPS

22 Minamata Disease

23 Minamata Bay, Japan (Hg) Since the early 1950s, hundreds of Japanese from the Minamata Bay area have died after eating mercury-tainted fish. Others suffered spasms and blurred vision, and babies of poisoned mothers were born with gnarled limbs. The government officially recognizes 2,265 victims of the industrial dumpings at southern Japan's Minamata Bay, where chemical maker Chisso Corp. had been pouring tons of mercury compounds since in the 1930s.

24 Minamata, Japan Levels of methylmercury chloride were very high: up to 50 ppm in fish and 85 ppm in shellfish from the contaminated areas. 121 people were poisoned from eating the contaminated fish, 46 of which died. Dogs, cats, pigs, rats, and birds that were living around the bay also showed the signs of mercury poisoning, and many died.

25 Minamata, Japan Mercury Poisoning

26 Minamata Disease in Fetuses Minamata disease, or methylmercury poisoning, was first discovered in 1956 around Minamata Bay, Kumamoto Prefecture, Japan. A similar epidemic occurred in 1965 along the Agano River, Niigata Prefecture, Japan. Nervous system lesions have a characteristic distribution. In the cerebral cortex, the calcarine cortex was found to be involved in all cases of Minamata disease. The destruction of nerve tissue was prominent in the anterior portions of the calcarine cortex. Occasionally, the visual and visual association areas (internal sagittal stratum) showed secondary degeneration in prolonged cases after acute onset. Postcentral, precentral, and temporal transverse cortices showed similar changes, though they were less severe. In the cerebellum, the lesions occurred deeper in the hemisphere. The granule cell population was most affected. In the peripheral nerves, sensory nerves were more affected than motor nerves.

27 Mercury Gold Mining Paper and Pulp Mills Natural Releases Coal residues

28 Exposure Pathways (Hg) People are most likely to be exposed to metallic mercury from mercury released from dental fillings; however the amount of mercury released from dental fillings is generally not considered to be high enough to cause adverse health effects. Exposure may also result from industrial processes or from breathing in air contaminated with vapors from metallic mercury spills.

29 Arsenic Arsenic is a highly poisonous metallic element registered with the Chemical Poisoning and Environmental Toxicity Centers. Inorganic arsenic deposits in the hair, skin, and nails, and once within the hair follicles, as with most toxic metals, it will stay for years. Animal feed Automobile exhaust Colored chalk Herbicides Household detergents Industrial dust Insecticides Rat poisons Seafood Wallpaper dye/plaster Water/city and well Wine Wood preservatives

30 Arsenic Arsenic is a carcinogen, and those with high levels of arsenic within their tissues are at a high risk for skin, scrotal, liver, lymphatic, and lung cancer.

31 Aluminum Aluminum is a popular metal used in the manufacturing of pharmaceuticals to cookware. Aluminum salts are soluable in water and are, therefore, easily assimilated into the body. Unwanted aluminum is deposited in the brain and nervous system tissues, and will continue to accumulate there. It is commonly known that aluminum is related to Alzheimer's disease.

32 Aluminum Toxicity Aluminum toxicity is commonly elevated in children and adults with low zinc and behavior/learning disorders such as ADD, ADHD, and autism. High levels of aluminum are found in many colloidal mineral products. Aluminum poisoning can lead to symptoms similar to Alzheimer's and osteoporosis, such as phosphate depletion and softening of the bones.

33 Aluminum Sources Alum Aluminum cans Aluminum cookware Aluminum dust Aluminum foil Aluminum phosphate Aluminum silicate found in Kaopectate Animal feed Antacids Automotive parts Automotive exhaust Baking powder Beer American cheese Construction material Dental amalgams Deodorants City drinking water Insulated wiring Nasal spray Medical compounds Milk products Pesticides Table salt Tobacco smoke Toothpaste Vanilla powder Ceramics Cigarette filters


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