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Toxicology & Risk Lessons

Big Idea

People can make some choices about chemical exposure, however, some exposure is controlled at a level other than an individual one. Collective groups of people, such as communities and governments, seek to control chemical exposure on a community or global level.

Essential Question

Using knowledge of dose, response, individual susceptibility, and route and frequency of exposure, how do researchers discover risks associated with chemical expsoure?

Some lesson in this unit are based on Chemicals, the Environment, and You: Explorations in Science and Human Health, one of the NIH Curriculum Supplements, which are interactive teaching units that combine cutting-edge science research discoveries from the National Institutes of Health, one of the world's foremost medical research centers, with state-of-the-art instructional materials. Each supplement is a teacher’s guide to two weeks’ of lessons on science and human health. This series (is):

* FREE to Science Teachers and School Administrators
* Consistent with National Science Education Standards
* Targets grades K-12
* Incorporates real scientific data

The curriculum can be obtained from http://science.education.nih.gov/customers.nsf/SDP?OpenForm&Option=1&FormToUse=MS&

Other lessons come from the online Chemicals & Human Health online lessons, which explore toxicology from three perspectives.

Kidneys and Metals Explore the world of renal toxicology, and learn the effect of metals on the kidneys and on kidney cells.

Toxicology Discover ways chemicals can affect human health and develop an understanding of fundamental principles of toxicology.

Lung Toxicology Review the basics of lung anatomy and function and learn about toxicology in the lungs, diseases of the lungs, and environmental tobacco smoke.

Environmental Tobacco Smoke and Lung Development Analyze scientific data to learn how second-hand smoke affects lung development and human health.


Learning Cycle

Title  
Engage

What is the Risk?
description
Students apply their growing understanding of the concepts of toxicology (dose, response, individual susceptibility, potency, and threshold) to their discussion of the 1950s tragedy in Minamata, Japan. They learn how to assess the risk of people to specific chemical hazards and make decisions about how to manage that risk.
objectives
1) Discuss the study of hazardous substances in our environment. 2. Develop questions about studying TCE

Lesson 5: Minimata Case Study - "What is Risk?"

http://science.education.nih.gov/supplements/nih2/chemicals/guide/lesson5-1.htm

Explore

Chemicals, the Environment and You
description
Dose Makes the Poison Dose Response Relationship Individual Responses can be different (Lessons 2, 3,4 Chemicals, the Environment, and You: Explorations in Science and Human Health) These lessons are designed for Middle School – they can be done as a set to explore the principles of how the environment can be detrimental to human health
objectives
1) Discuss how toxicity tests enable toxicologists to learn about responses of living organisms to doses of chemicals.
2) Using data from toxicology testing, students describe what toxicologists learn from the dose-response curve.
3) Identify how the variety of responses among organisms exposed to the same dose of chemical is due to individual susceptibility.


Explain

Environmental Tobacco Smoke and Lung Development Activity
description
In this activity, students collect and analyze scientific data from an experiment performed by scientists at the Southwest Environmental Health Sciences Center. They learn the steps of a scientific experiment, how to use morphometry to collect three-dimensional data, and how to interpret data.
objectives
1) Analyze scientific data to learn how second-hand smoke affects lung development and human health.

2) Review the basics of lung anatomy and function and learn about toxicology in the lungs, diseases of the lungs, and environmental tobacco smoke.

Environmental Tobacco Smoke and Lung Development Analyze scientific data to learn how second-hand smoke affects lung development and human health.

Explore 2

Chemicals & Human Health
description
Explore basic toxicology, lung toxicology, and kidneys & metals using the online lessons at http://www.biology.arizona.edu/chh/.
objectives
1) Discover ways chemicals can affect human health and develop an understanding of fundamental principles of toxicology.
2) Learn the effect of metals on the kidneys and on kidney cells
3) Review the basics of lung anatomy and function and learn about toxicology in the lungs, and diseases of the lungs.

Kidneys and Metals Explore the world of renal toxicology, and learn the effect of metals on the kidneys and on kidney cells.

Toxicology Discover ways chemicals can affect human health and develop an understanding of fundamental principles of toxicology.

Lung Toxicology Review the basics of lung anatomy and function and learn about toxicology in the lungs, and diseases of the lungs.

Apply 1

Environmental Hazards
description
Using fact sheets to learn about the specific hazards and health reactions attributable to certain chemicals, students solve a problem proposed in a scenario and recommend ways that the participants could have minimized or eliminated their exposure. (Lesson 6 Chemicals, the Environment, and You: Explorations in Science and Human Health)
The chemical fact sheets, which are downloadable from the website, are about Formaldehyde, Benzene in Gasoline, Fiber Glass, Caffeine, Solvents, and Carbon Monoxide.
objectives
1) Identify potential sources of harm to human health from chemicals in the environment;
2) Apply their knowledge about dose, response, route of exposure, and individual susceptibility to situations involving potentially hazardous chemical exposures; and
3) Propose possible means to eliminate or reduce exposure to environmental toxic agents.

Apply 2

TCE in the Environment
description
Based on all they have learned, the students explain the risks associated with TCE, identify sources of exposure, and discuss the role in the community to minimize exposures. Using the accompanying fact sheets about TCE and based on all they have learned, the students explain the risks associated with TCE, identify sources of exposure, and discuss the role in the community to minimize exposures. This is the Extension Activity for Lesson 6 Chemicals, the Environment, and You: Explorations in Science and Human Health
objectives
1) Gain an understanding the difficulty in discovering and assessing risk
2) Discuss the importance of community groups in keeping the community safe

Use the information about TCE found on the background page of this curriculum for the fact sheet on TCE.

http://coep.pharmacy.arizona.edu/tce/whatistce.html

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 Webpage is maintained by Stephanie Nardei at nardei@pharmacy.arizona.edu

Southwest Environmental Health Sciences Center
University of Arizona College of Pharmacy, Room 318
PO Box 210207, Tucson, AZ, USA  85721-0207
swehsc-info@pharmacy.arizona.edu
520-626-5594
520-626-6944(FAX)


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Last update: September 16, 2008
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