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Pollutants, Human Health and the Environment: A Risk Based Approach

ISBN: 978-0-470-74260-0
356 pages
March 2012, Wiley-Blackwell
Pollutants, Human Health and the Environment: A Risk Based Approach (0470742607) cover image
Pollutants, Human Health and the Environment is a comprehensive, up-to-date overview of environmental pollutants that are of current concern to human health.

Clearly structured throughout, the main body of the book is divided by pollutant type with a chapter devoted to each group of pollutants. Each chapter follows a similar format to facilitate comparison and discussion. For each pollutant, the authors describe the sources, pathways, environmental fate and sinks as well as known toxicological effects. Importantly, the second chapter on heavy metals and other inorganic substances deals with trace element deficiencies which can have serious problems for human health. Some rocks and soils are naturally low in some trace elements and intensive agriculture over the past half century has effectively mined many trace elements reducing their levels in soils and crops. The final chapter is a discussion about the various risk assessment frameworks and regulations covering the main pollutants.

  • Comprehensive, up-to-date coverage of environmental pollutants of concern to human health
  • Clearly divided into pollutant type with each chapter devoted to a different pollutant group
  • Clearly structured throughout with the same format for each chapter to help facilitate comparison and discussion and enable readers to prioritise chemicals of concern
  • Description of the sources, pathways, environmental fate and known toxicological effect
  • Includes contributions from leading researchers and edited by a team of experts in the field
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Forewords xi

Tribute xiii

The Editors xv

Contributors xvii

Acknowledgements xix

Introduction 1
Jane A. Plant, Nikolaos Voulvoulis and K. Vala Ragnarsdottir

1 The scientific appraisal of hazardous substances in the environment 5
Olwenn V. Martin and Jane A. Plant

1.1 Introduction 5

1.2 Fundamental concepts of toxicology 5

1.3 Some notions of environmental epidemiology 13

1.4 Scientific evidence and the precautionary principle 19

1.5 Uncertainty and controversy: the endocrine disruption example 20

1.6 Concluding remarks 23

References 23

2 Regulatory systems and guidelines for the management of risk 27
Dieudonne-Guy Ohandja, Sally Donovan, Pamela Castle, Nikolaos Voulvoulis and Jane A. Plant

2.1 Introduction 27

2.2 Current regulation on chemicals 28

2.3 Guideline values 34

2.4 Conclusions and recommendations 47

References 47

3 Essential and beneficial trace elements 53
Xiyu Phoon, E. Louise Ander and Jane A. Plant

3.1 Introduction 53

3.2 Hazardous properties 56

3.3 Sources 59

3.4 Environmental pathways 63

3.5 Effects on human receptors 68

3.6 Risk reduction 77

References 79

4 Toxic trace elements 87
Jilang Pan, Ho-Sik Chon, Mark R. Cave, Christopher J. Oates and Jane A. Plant

4.1 Introduction 87

4.2 Hazardous properties 89

4.3 Sources 90

4.4 Environmental pathways 94

4.5 Effects on human receptors 101

4.6 Risk reduction 107

References 108

5 Radioactivity and radioelements 115
Jane A. Plant, Barry Smith, Xiyu Phoon and K. Vala Ragnarsdottir

5.1 Introduction 115

5.2 Hazardous properties 122

5.3 Sources 125

5.4 Environmental pathways 132

5.5 Bioaccessibility and bioavailability 136

5.6 Risk reduction 139

References 141

6 Industrial chemicals 147
Danelle Dhaniram, Alexandra Collins, Khareen Singh and Nikolaos Voulvoulis

6.1 Introduction 147

6.2 Hazardous properties 148

6.3 Sources 156

6.4 Environmental pathways 161

6.5 Human health 164

6.6 Risk reduction and future trends 170

References 172

7 Agricultural pesticides and chemical fertilisers 181
Rebecca McKinlay, Jason Dassyne, Mustafa B. A. Djamgoz, Jane A. Plant and Nikolaos Voulvoulis

7.1 Introduction 181

7.2 Pesticides 183

7.3 Fertilisers 195

7.4 Risk reduction for pesticides and chemical fertilisers 197

References 199

8 Pharmaceuticals and personal-care products 207
James Treadgold, Qin-Tao Liu, Jane A. Plant and Nikolaos Voulvoulis

8.1 Introduction 207

8.2 Hazardous properties 208

8.3 Anthropogenic sources 210

8.4 Pathways and environmental fate 215

8.5 Physiological effects 218

8.6 Risk assessment, communication and reduction 219

8.7 Future trends 220

References 221

9 Naturally occurring oestrogens 229
Olwenn V. Martin and Richard M. Evans

9.1 Introduction 229

9.2 Hazardous properties 231

9.3 Sources 240

9.4 Environmental pathways 241

9.5 Effects on humans 243

9.6 Risk reduction 248

References 249

10 Airborne particles 255
Edward Derbyshire, Claire J. Horwell, Timothy P. Jones and Teresa D. Tetley

10.1 Introduction 255

10.2 Hazardous properties 257

10.3 Sources 261

10.4 Global pathways 266

10.5 Health effects of inhaled particulate material 270

10.6 Risk reduction and future trends 277

References 281

11 Engineered nanomaterials 287
Superb K. Misra, Teresa D. Tetley, Andrew Thorley, Aldo R. Boccaccini and Eugenia Valsami-Jones

11.1 Introduction 287

11.2 Useful and hazardous properties 289

11.3 Sources of NPs 299

11.4 Environmental pathways 300

11.5 Regulation and effects on human receptors 301

11.6 Future trends and risk reduction 312

References 313

Conclusions: pollutants, risk and society 319
Richard Owen, Jane A. Plant, K. Vala Ragnarsdottir and Nikolaos Voulvoulis

Index 327

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Professor Jane Plant is a leading geochemist based at Imperial who has made major contributions to Earth and Environmental Science, concentrating on issues of particular relevance to society.

Professor Plant is an international expert on chemicals in the environment, especially the naturally occurring radionuclides such as uranium and the trace elements arsenic and selenium. She developed the BGS Geochemical Baseline of the Environment (G-BASE) programme which maps the distribution of many different chemicals over the land surface of the UK and allows their interactions to be studied using geographical information systems or other digital methods. She developed the methods of systematically and reproducibly sampling and analysing sediment, soil and water samples, as well as the first quality-control systems for such data. The standard of the data is widely acknowledged as the best in the world, and the methods have been adopted by the IUGS/IAGC Global Geochemical Baseline Programme, which she leads jointly with the United States Geological Survey. She has used the data for many environmental studies, including issues related to human health and agriculture. She and her team have worked on problems related to human health in Asia and Africa helping, for example, to identify the relationship between a lack of available selenium in parts of China with the incidence of a type of heart disease.

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“Overall, the book offers a well-rounded overview of the complex and rapidly changing field of environmental toxicology. It will be of interest to anyone studying or working in the broad fields of health, safety and environmental science and of immense value to scientists or professionals involved in influencing environmental and public health policy.”  (Occupational Medicine, 8 December 2013)

“Overall, this book is valuable to the field of cancer disparity research and will be a good addition to any library, particularly those that cater to the disadvantaged members of the US population.”  (Perspectives in Public Health, 6 July 2013)

“This book provides a balanced view of the risks and benefits of several groups of substances such as essential, toxic, trace and radioactive elements; synthetic organic agricultural and industrial chemicals and pharmaceuticals; and particulates and nano-materials . . . The chapters may be useful as guidelines for the management of risk. The book will be quite useful for a wide spectrum of readership across the world.”  (Environment & Ecology, 1 October 2012)

“The book is clearly written, includes extensive references, and is well-illustrated.”  (Book News, 1 April 2012)

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