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Course Details

Spring 2016-2017
* ENV 305   No Audit

Topics in Environmental Studies - Hormonally Active Pollutants

Joan Ruderman

A large number of common chemicals designed for one purpose are now known to have a second, completely unexpected ability to mimic or interfere with estrogen or testosterone. Examples include bisphenol A (BPA) and phthalates that leach from many plastics, DDT and other pesticides, and chemicals used to make stain-repellent fabrics. Many of these end up as personal or environmental contaminants. There is growing evidence that exposure to these pollutants can interfere with health and reproduction in both humans and wildlife. This seminar examines landmark discoveries, explores current research, and looks at emerging regulatory action.

Sample reading list:
Blumberg, The fungicide triflumazole is an environmental obseogen
Cohn, Exposure to DDT increases the risk of breast cancer
Gray, Phthalates interfere with male sexual development
Hauser, BPA exposure decreases fertility in humans
Hayes, The herbicide atrazine feminizes male frogs in the wild
Nagel, Hormonal activities of chemicals used in hydraulic fracking
See instructor for complete list

Reading/Writing assignments:
Following each week's introductory lecture, students will read an original research paper, submit a 1-2 page summary of the paper, and discuss the work and its significance in class. Students will also submit and briefly present coverage of topics from the popular press each week. Students will prepare a final paper on a topic chosen in consultation with the professor.

Paper in lieu of Final - 25%
Papers - 40%
Class/Precept Participation - 35%

Other Requirements:
Not Open to First Year Undergraduates.

Schedule/Classroom assignment:

Class numberSectionTimeDaysRoomEnrollmentStatus
40361 S02 01:30:00 pm - 04:20:00 pm Th   Guyot Hall   M171   Enrolled:13 Limit:15