Serious environmental health problems and diseases may arise from toxic elements in water, air, soil, and even the rocks on which we build our home. After reading this chapter, you should understand:
- How the terms toxic, pollution, contamination, carcinogen, synergism, and biomagnification are used in environmental health.
- What the classification and characteristics are of major groups of pollutants in environmental toxicology.
- Why there is controversy and concern about synthetic organic compounds such as dioxin.
- Whether we should be concerned with exposure to human-produced electromagnetic fields.
- What the dose-response concept is and how it relates to LD-50, TD-50, ED-50, ecological gradients, and tolerance.
- How the process of biomagnification works and why it is important in toxicology.
- Why the threshold effect of environmental toxins are important.
- What is the process of risk assessment in toxicology and why such processes are often difficult and controversial.