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Living in a Polluted World

ENVS 361
Spring 2014
Section: 01  
Crosslisting: E&ES 361, E&ES 561
Certificates: Environmental Studies

The modern natural world has become polluted with uncountable numbers of organic and inorganic compounds, some with unspeakable names, others simple toxic elements. This worldwide contamination is the result of our extensive use of natural resources, large-scale fossil fuel burning, and the creation of many synthetic compounds. Many of the polluting substances endanger human health and may impact ecosystems as well. Most pollutants will travel along aqueous pathways, be they rivers, groundwater, or oceans. In this course we will track the sources and pathways of pollutants such as As, Hg, Pb, Cu, Cr; nutrient pollution such as nitrate and phosphate; and a suite of organic pollutants. We will discuss both the main industrial and natural sources of these pollutants, their chemical pathways in the environment, and how they ultimately may become bioavailable and then enter the food chain. We will look at full global pollutant cycles and highlight recent shifts in industrial emitters, e.g., from the United States to China over the last few years. We will discuss the toxic nature of each pollutant for humans, ways of monitoring environmental exposure to these toxins, and possible ways of protection and remediation.
Credit: 1 Gen Ed Area Dept: NSM ENVS
Course Format: LectureGrading Mode: Graded
Level: UGRD Prerequisites: None
Fulfills a Major Requirement for: (CIS)(E&ES)(ENVS-MN)
Past Enrollment Probability: Not Available

Last Updated on JUN-20-2021
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