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How are organisms living in the natural environment affected by natural and anthropogenic toxicants?

Topic

Risk assessment and risk management

Framing Question

How are organisms living in the natural environment affected by natural and anthropogenic toxicants?

Learning Objectives

  • Describe the effects of exposure to gaseous environmental pollutants to organisms and to the environment.
  • Explain the environmental consequences of incomplete combustion of organic material such as hydrocarbon fuels.
  • Discuss the findings linking exposure to particulate matter to adverse effects on human health.
  • Compare and contrast point and nonpoint source water pollution in terms of sources, typical content, and options for control.
  • Describe the environmental impacts of oil spills and the remediation processes used to combat them.
  • Explain the mechanisms behind the process of eutrophication, as well as the consequences for
  • aquatic life.
  • Compare and contrast the major categories of pesticides in terms of their mechanisms of action, persistence in
  • the environment, and risks to human health and the
  • ecosystem.
  • Describe some of the sources of metal pollution in water and give examples of effects of environmental exposure to metals on human health and/or ecological function.
  • Describe the hazards associated with the presence of plastics in the environment.
  • Compare and contrast the options of incineration, detoxication, biodegradation, and burial of hazardous waste in terms of the risks and benefits of each.
  • Discuss the natural radioactive sources that contribute to toxicology and current issues involving safe long-term disposal of radioactive wastes.

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