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ALLAMA IQBAL OPEN UNIVERSITY

Lecturate
Unit 8:
ECOTOXICOLOGY

Presented By
Husnain Afzal
Executive Engineer (Civil), WAPDA
ECOTOXICOLOGY
 Integration of Toxicology and Ecology.
 Ecotoxicology aspires to assess the impact of chemicals
not only on individuals but also on populations and whole
ecosystems.
Impact of Ecotoxicology
DDT
 (DDT) is an insecticide with a broad spectrum of activities
such as the control of pest in forest and on agricultural
crops, household pests, vector-borne diseases like malaria,
typhus, etc.
 It may enter the environment via its production, transport,
application and disposal. DDT and its metabolites tend to
accumulate in fatty tissues of living organisms.
 The target organ for acute effects is the nervous system.
 DDT could impair reproduction and/or development in a
number of animal species
Impact of Ecotoxicology
Mercury
 Mercury compounds were used until quite recently to
make insecticides and special paints that stop barnacles
growing on the hulls of ships.
 Unfortunately, when it gets into the food chain mercury
damages the nervous systems and reproductive systems of
mammals, including humans. The diagram shows how
mercury can accumulate in the food chain
Impact of Ecotoxicology
Choloroflurocarbons
 CFC’s are mostly used in refrigeration and air conditioning
systems, in foams, in cleaning solvents and in electrical
components.
 Chlorofluorocarbons enter the body primarily by inhalation
of air containing CFC’s, but can also enter by ingestion of
contaminated water, or by dermal contact with
chlorofluorocarbons. Inhalation of high levels of
chlorofluorocarbons can affect the lungs, central nervous
system, heart, liver and kidneys.
 CFCs contribute to the loss of the protective ozone layer,
which blocks ultraviolet rays from the sun. This exposes
more people to UV radiation, which can cause skin cancer
Fate, transport, and exposure

 A pesticide may directly affect something far from the site


of application. Pesticides that are bound to soil particles
may be carried into streams with runoff. Pesticide drift
may travel many miles in the wind. Sunlight, water,
microbes, and even air can break down pesticides.
 Some pesticides last a long time in the environment, and
may pose risks to living things many years after they were
last used. Insecticides such as DDT, chlordane, and
dieldrin don't break down easily, and they are still found in
soil, plants, and animals. Persistent pesticides may travel
long distances in the air or water, or even in living
organisms such as migrating birds or fish
Biological Monitoring
 Biological monitoring is a way of assessing chemical
exposures by measuring the chemical or its breakdown
products in a biological sample (usually urine, blood or
breath).

Biological monitoring is particularly useful where


chemicals can be significantly absorbed through the skin
and where controls rely upon the use of personal protective
equipment, such as gloves and masks.
THANK YOU!!