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Spring 2015

MWF 10am- 10:50am


Room: Bio Med Center 081

BIO1820

Instructor: Tatiana Johnston


E-Mail: tatiana_johnston@brown.edu
Office: Science Center, room 322
Office Hours: Mon 5-6pm

Environmental Health and Disease

TA: Sara Kavoosifar, sara_kavoosifar@brown.edu


Hours: Scili Lobby Thurs 4-5pm, or by appointment

"When the earth is sick and polluted, human health is impossible.... To


heal ourselves we must heal our planet, and to heal our planet we must
heal ourselves." Bobby McLeod (environmental activist, poet)

Overview
In this course you will have the opportunity to explore
environmental health issues, scientific understanding of causes,
and possible future approaches to the major environmental
health problems in industrialized and developing countries.
Topics include how the human body reacts to environmental
pollutants; dose responses to different environmental toxicants;
the absorption, metabolism and excretion of toxicants in living
organisms; mechanisms of toxicity of selected environmental
toxicants and their effects on human organ systems; biomarkers
and risk analysis; and emerging global environmental health
problems.
This course also explores the relationship of humans to the
environmenthow it affects our well being, what we can do to
protect and enhance our health, and how we can influence the
quality of the environment.

Goals
This course has three specific goals:
1. To identify the principles and mechanisms governing the
interactions of environmental toxicants with living
organisms.

Course Materials
Essentials of Environmental Health.
Robert H. Friis, 2nd edition, 2012, by
Jones & Bartlett Learning, LLC,
ISBN-978-0-7637-7890-3
A textbook of Modern Toxicology.
Ernest Hodgson, 4th edition, 2010, by
John Wiley & Sons Inc., ISBN-9780470462065 (e-version at SL)
(there is no required textbook)

Milestones
02/13/15
Exam I. Lectures: 01/23-02/11/15
03/13/15
Exam II. Lectures: 02/2003/13/15
04/10/15
Exam III. Lectures: 03/1804/08/15
04/20-04/24/15
Research paper presentation.

2. To enable you to recognize and understand the diseases


associated with environmental exposures to toxicants.
3. To demonstrate how our health depends on the health of
our environment.

Environmental Health and Disease

Objectives
Upon successful completion of this course, you will be able to:
1. Define the major sources and types of environmental toxicants.
2. Discuss the transport and fate of these toxicants in the environment and human body.
3. Understand how environmental toxicants interact with biological systems, and the mechanisms by
which they exert adverse effects on human health.
4. Know which diseases are associated with environmental exposures to toxic substances.
5. To take an action to minimize your exposure to the environmental toxicants and create a healthier
living environment.

General Policies
You will promote your efficient learning and ensure deep understanding of course material if you read
the required readings materials before the lecture and contribute informed opinions about the material
during class discussions. I am interested in what you think about what you have read. Participation in
class discussions is highly encouraged.
Required readings are listed in the Course Outline section of the syllabus. The scientific papers will be
available for you on the Canvas course website.

Interesting Extracurricular Resources


The New York Times Science Section
E Magazine (The Environmental Magazine)
Toxic Beauty: How Cosmetics and Personal-Care Products Endanger Your Health... and What You Can
Do About It, Samuel S. Epstein, MD, Ben Bella Books Inc., 2009, ISBN-978-1933771-62-5

Grading Policies
The course grade will be based on 3 exams, scientific paper and research paper presentations.
Exam 1
Scientific paper presentation
Exam 2
Exam 3
Research paper presentation

Environmental Health and Disease

25%
15%
25%
25%
10%

Grading Scale
Your final grade will be based on the following scale:
A = 90-100%
B = 80-89%
C = 70-79%

Quizzes and In class Discussions


The course also includes ungraded quizzes, about which you will be notified in advance. Short 1-2
questions quizzes at the beginning/end of the lecture will be also implemented into the course. At the
end of the lecture there will be 10 minutes discussions on reading materials or selected course related
topics.

Exams
There will be three exams during the course. The exams will be based on the lecture content, required
reading materials and any additional information (handouts, articles, etc.) posted on the course website.
The exam questions will consist of multiple choice and short answer questions.

Scientific Paper Presentation and Discussion


Each student will present a scientific article from peer-reviewed journal of their choice that addresses a
health issue associated with exposure to an environmental toxicant or toxicants discussed in the
lectures. Your PowerPoint presentation and subsequent class discussion should be 10 to 12 minutes
long. There will be four students presenting per class (the rubric will be available on Canvas).

Research Paper Presentation Requirements


For this assignment the class will be divided into small groups. Each student group will choose an
adverse environmental health situation where a toxic substance was released into the environment. The
group will research the situation and present their findings to the rest of the class. The specifics will be
discussed in more detail as we approach the deadline (see the Course Outline).
Suggested format for research paper presentation: (the rubric will be available on Canvas)
I.
II.
III.
IV.
V.
VI.

Introduction: when, where, what kind, and how the release of toxicants happened.
What were the impacts on human health?
What were the scientific follow-up studies on the hazardous event?
What remediation/possible ways to clean it up were attempted?
Were any changes made to the environmental laws?
What are your reflections on the researched environmental health issue?

Environmental Health and Disease

Student and Instructor Feedback


I will be asking for your anonymous feedback at several points during the semester. Your feedback is
very important to the development of this course and will aid me in tailoring the course content and
structure to the needs of this class.
I will also provide you with individual feedback throughout the course via comments on your
assignments and open office hours. I encourage you to come talk to me if you have any concerns or
comments.

Academic Honesty
Brown University has an Academic Code that defines academic dishonesty, and the policies and
penalties governing violations. Please, visit the following website for more information:
http://www.brown.edu/administration/Dean_of_the_College/curriculum/documents/principles.pdf

Disability Accommodations
Students requiring a disability-related accommodations should contact me directly at the beginning of
the semester, as well as the Office of Student & Employee Accessibility Services for arrangements they
may require: http://brown.edu/ seas

Environmental Health and Disease

Course Outline
Date

Lecture

Required Readings

01/21/15 Introduction to the


course and
syllabus.
01/23/15 Introduction to
Environmental
Health & Disease.
Understanding the
state of our current
environment.

Syllabus. The 11th hour movie.

01/26/15 Introduction to
environmental
toxicology: the link
between
environmental
exposure and health.
01/28/15 The general health
effects of air
pollution.

Chapter 3 Environmental Toxicology. Friis, R., Essentials of


Environmental health.
Chapter 25 Basics of environmental toxicology. Textbook of modern
toxicology, Hodgson, E., 2010

01/30/15 The last mountain


movie (on the direct
link between air
pollution and human
diseases).

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/24/us/utah-a-nature-lovers-haven-isplagued-by-dirty-air.html?hp&_r=0
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/12/01/us/west-virginia-coal-countrysees-new-era-as-a-mine-boss-isindicted.html?hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&module=secondcolumn-region&region=top-news&WT.nav=top-news

02/02/15 Hazardous and solid


wastes: sustainable
solutions.

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2014/11/23/us/north-dakota-oilboom-downside.html?emc=eta1&_r=0

02/04/15 Impact of water


pollution on human
health.

Chapter 9 Water Quality. Friis, R., Essentials of Environmental


health.
http://pharma-cycle.com
http://www.nrdc.org

02/06/15 Student
presentations.

Scientific articles provided by student presenters

02/09/15 Environmental and


human health
concerns over
engineered
nanoparticles.

Lowry, G.V., et al., Transformations of Nanomaterials in the


Environment. Environ. Sci. Technol., 46, (2012), pp.6893-6899
Wiesner, M.R., et al., Assessing the risks of manufactured
nanomaterials. Environ. Sci. Technol., 40, (2006), pp. 4336-4345
Moore, M.N., Do nanoparticles present ecotoxicological risks for the
health of aquatic environment? Environ. Int., 32, (2006), pp.967-976

Environmental Health and Disease

Rapparort, S., Discovering environmental causes of disease. J.


Epidemiol. Community Health., 66 (2012), pp. 99-102
Peters et al., Understanding the link between environmental
exposures and health: does exposure promise too much? J.
Epidemiol. Community Health., 66, (2012), pp. 102-105

Chapter 10 Environmental Toxicology. Friis, R., Essentials of


Environmental health.

02/11/15 Student
presentations.
02/13/15 Exam I

Scientific articles provided by student presenters

02/16/15 No class.
02/18/15 Principles of
toxicology.

Simon, T., Just who is at risk? The ethics of environmental


regulation. (2010), Hum. Exp. Toxicol., 30, pp. 795-819
Cochan, R.C., Driver, J.H., Estimating human exposure: improving
accuracy with chemical markers. (2012), Prog. Mol. Biol. Transl. Sci.,
112, pp.11-29.

02/20/15 Absorption,
distribution and
excretion of
toxicants.

Genius, S.J., Elimination of persistent toxicants from the human


body. (2011), Human. Exp. Toxicol., 30, pp.3-18
Hagenbuch, B., Guo, C., Xenobiotics transporters of the human
organic anion transporting polypeptides (OATP) family.(2008),
Xenobiotica, 38, pp.778-801
Ueda, K., ABC proteins protect the human body and maintain optimal
health. (2011), Toxicol. Sci., 120 (supl 1), S192-S203

02/23/15 Mechanisms of
toxicity: cellular
dysfunction and
resultant toxicities.

Stevens, J.B, et al., Heterogeneity of cell death. (2013),Cytogene.t


Genome. Res.,139 (3), pp.164-73.
Chen, D., et al., MicroRNA as a new player in the cell cycle. (2010),
J. Cell Physiol., 225, pp. 296-301

02/25/15 Student
presentations.

Scientific articles provided by student presenters

02/27/15 Extreme chemical


sensitivity.

Genius, S.J., Sensitivity-related illness: the escalating pandemic of


allergy, food intolerance and chemical sensitivity. (2010), Science
Total Environ, 408, pp.6047-6061
Genius, S.J., Chemical sensitivity: pathophysiology or
pathopsychology? Clinical Therapeutics, (2013), 35 (5), pp.572-577

03/02/15 Heavy metal toxicity:


common toxic
mechanisms and
sites of action.

Chapter 6 Toxic metals and elements. Friis, R., Essentials of


Environmental health.
Nickens, K., et al., Chromium genotoxicity: a double -edged sword.
Chem. Biol. Interact., 188 (2010), pp. 276-288

03/04/15 Student
presentations.

Scientific articles provided by student presenters

03/06/15 A peek into


environmental
contamination in
Rhode Island and
beyond.

http://www.brown.edu/Research/SRP/
www.niehs.nih.gov/srp

Environmental Health and Disease

03/09/15 The unintended


health consequences
of pesticide use.

Chapter 7 Pesticides and other organic chemicals. Friis, R.,


Essentials of Environmental health.
Tanner et al., Paraquat, and Parkinsons disease. Environ.
Perspective, 119 (2011), pp. 866-872

03/11/15 Student
presentations.

Scientific articles provided by student presenters

03/13/15 Exam II.


03/16/15 Environmental
hormones as
endocrine disruptors.

Jefferson, W., et al., Reproductive Consequences of Developmental


Phytoestrogen Exposure. Reproduction, 143(3) (2012), pp. 247260
Phillips, P., et al., Combined Sewer Overflows: An Environmental
Source of Hormones and Wastewater Micropollutants. Environ. Sci.
Technol., 46(10) (2012), pp. 53365343

03/18/15 Student
presentations.

Scientific articles are provided by student presenters

03/20/15 Compound safety


assessment and derisking strategies.

http://www.ich.org/fileadmin/Public_Web_Site/ICH_Products
/Guidelines/Multidisciplinary/M3_R2/Step4/M3_R2__Guideline.pdf
http://www.ema.europa.eu/docs/en_GB/document_library/
Scientific_guideline/2009/10/WC500003978.pdf

03/23/15 No class. Spring


recess.
03/25/15 No class. Spring
recess.
03/27/15 No class. Spring
recess.
03/30/15 Reproductive organ
toxicity.

Sharpe, R., Environmental/lifestyle effects on spermatogenesis.


Philos. Trans. R. Soc. Lond. B. Biol. Sci., 365 (2010), pp. 1697-1712
Duong, A., et al., Reproductive and Developmental Toxicity of
Formaldehyde: A Systematic Review. Mutat Res., 728 (2011),
pp.118138
Woodruff,T., et al., Proceedings of the Summit on Environmental
Challenges to Reproductive Health and Fertility: Executive Summary.
Fertil. Steril., 89 (2008), pp.281300

04/01/15 Environmental
contaminants and
childrens health.
Autism.
04/03/15 Student
presentations.

Mori, S., and Todaka, E., Environmental contaminants and childrens


health.
http://www.who.int/heca/infomaterials/hecanet_march2012.PDF

Environmental Health and Disease

Scientific articles are provided by student presenters

04/06/15 Common teratogens.


Teratogenesis.

Chapter 12 Teratogenesis. Textbook of modern toxicology, Hodgson,


E., 4th edition, 2010

04/08/15 Student
presentations.

Scientific articles are provided by student presenters

04/10/15 Exam III.


04/13/15 Toxic beauty
exposed.

Epstein, S., Toxic beauty (recommended);


NYT articles: a) Government says 2 common materials pose risk of
cancer; b) Johnson & Johnson to remove formaldehyde from
products; c) The no more tears shampoo, now with no
formaldehyde;

04/15/15 Student
presentations.
04/17/15 Love canal and the
birth of
environmental
movement.

Suggested: Love Canal: and the Birth of the Environmental Health


Movement. Gibbs, L. M., Island Press, 2010, ISBN-13: 9781597267922
http://www.health.ny.gov/environmental/investigations/love_canal/
http://www.nytimes.com/2004/03/18/nyregion/love-canal-declaredclean-ending-toxic-horror.html

04/20/15 Research paper


presentations.
04/22/15 Research paper
presentations.
04/24/15 Research paper
presentations.

Environmental Health and Disease