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Effects of Persistent and Bioactive Organic Pollutants on Human Health

ISBN: 978-1-118-15926-2
608 pages
August 2013
Effects of Persistent and Bioactive Organic Pollutants on Human Health (1118159268) cover image


Examines what we know about the relationship between organic chemicals and human disease

Organic chemicals are everywhere: in the air we breathe, the water we drink, and the food we eat. They are also found in a myriad of common household and personal care products. Unfortunately, exposure to some organic chemicals can result in adverse health effects, from growth and developmental disorders to cancer and neurodegenerative diseases. This book examines how organic chemicals affect human health. It looks at the different diseases as well as how individual organ systems are affected by organic chemicals.

Effects of Persistent and Bioactive Organic Pollutants on Human Health begins with an introductory chapter explaining why we should care about organic chemicals and their effect on human health. Next, the authors address such important topics as:

  • Burden of cancer from organic chemicals
  • Organic chemicals and obesity
  • Effects of organic chemicals on the male reproductive system
  • Organic chemicals and the immune system
  • Intellectual developmental disability syndromes and organic chemicals
  • Mental illness and exposure to organic chemicals

The book ends with an assessment of how much human disease is caused by organic chemicals. Chapters have been contributed by leading international experts in public and environmental health and are based on the latest research findings. Readers will find that all of the contributions are clear and easy to comprehend, with extensive references for further investigation of individual topics.

Effects of Persistent and Bioactive Organic Pollutants on Human Health is recommended for students and professionals in medicine as well as public and environmental health, bringing them fully up to date with what we know about the relationship between organic chemicals and human health.

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Table of Contents

Contributors vii

1. Introduction: Why Should We Care about Organic Chemicals and Human Health? 1
David O. Carpenter

2. Sources of Human Exposure 8
Martí Nadal and José L. Domingo

3. The Burden of Cancer from Organic Chemicals 26
Molly M. Jacobs, Rachel I. Massey, and Richard W. Clapp

4. Carcinogenicity and Mechanisms of Persistent Organic Pollutants 57
Gabriele Ludewig, Larry W. Robertson, and Howard P. Glauert

5. Diabetes and the Metabolic Syndrome 101
Duk-Hee Lee and David R. Jacobs, Jr.

6. Mechanistic Basis for Elevation in Risk of Diabetes Caused by Persistent Organic Pollutants 130
Jérôme Ruzzin

7. Cardiovascular Disease and Hypertension 143
Marian Pavuk and Nina Dutton

8. Obesity 174
Eveline Dirinck, Adrian Covaci, Luc Van Gaal, and Stijn Verhulst

9. Effects and Predicted Consequences of Persistent and Bioactive Organic Pollutants on Thyroid Function 203
Stefanie Giera and R. Thomas Zoeller

10. An Overview of the Effects of Organic Compounds on Women’s Reproductive Health and Birth Outcomes 237
Susan R. Reutman and Juliana W. Meadows

11. Effects of Organic Chemicals on the Male Reproductive System 315
Lars Rylander and Anna Rignell-Hydbom

12. Effects of Endocrine-Disrupting Substances on Bone and Joint 332
Chi-Hsien Chen and Yueliang Leon Guo

13. Organic Chemicals and the Immune System 362
David O. Carpenter

14. Exposures to Organic Pollutants and Respiratory Illnesses in Adults and Children 384
Krassi Rumchev, Jeff Spickett, and Janelle Graham

15. Cognitive Function 400
Lizbeth López-Carrillo and Mariano E. Cebrián

16. Intellectual Developmental Disability Syndromes and Organic Chemicals 421
David O. Carpenter

17. Mechanisms of the Neurotoxic Actions of Organic Chemicals 448
David O. Carpenter

18. Parkinson’s Disease 471
Samuel M. Goldman

19. Psychiatric Effects of Organic Chemical Exposure 514
James S. Brown, Jr.

20. Growth and Development 532
Lawrence M. Schell, Mia V. Gallo, and Kristopher K. Burnitz

21. How Much Human Disease Is Caused by Exposure to Organic Chemicals? 557
David O. Carpenter

Index 570

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Author Information

DAVID O. CARPENTER, MD, is a public health physician. His research focuses on human diseases resulting from exposure to environmental contaminants. Following positions at the National Institute of Mental Health and the Armed Forces Radiobiology Research Institute, Dr. Carpenter joined the New York State Department of Health as Director of the Wadsworth Center for Laboratories and Research. He helped create and became the first Dean of the School of Public Health, a collaborative endeavor of the University at Albany (SUNY) and the New York State Department of Health. Upon stepping down as Dean, Dr. Carpenter founded the Institute for Health and the Environment. In 2011, the Institute was named a Collaborating Centre of the World Health Organization in Environmental Health.

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