Toxicology: An Introduction
This course is presented as an introduction to the field of toxicology. It is aimed at a wide audience, including scientists, engineers, environmental technicians, pesticide applicators, regulators, and anyone wanting to gain a better understanding of the effects of chemicals to human beings.
There is increasing public concern over protecting human and environmental health from the potentially harmful effects of the intended and unintended release of chemicals. Unfortunately, the public has a poor understanding of the basic principles underlying the risk of chemicals to human and environmental health. This has led to much misinformation and misunderstanding about the risk of chemicals in the environment.
Agricultural and environmental research has done much to provide a scientific basis for assessing the risks of pesticides, but what remains is the challenge of disseminating the current knowledge to people working in areas other than university research, including pesticide applicators, and state regulators among others. These people perform an important role in transferring the technical knowledge obtained from university research to the public and in addressing the public concern over environmental pollution and human health.
In this sense, education in the area of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry is important in understanding of the sources, fate, and effects of chemicals in the environment. The subjects are based on principles often poorly understood, or misunderstood, even by some of those who must apply them. People who are responsible for investigating, assessing, and solving these problems, and even those who are just interested in these problems, need to share a common base of fundamentals and their applications. This course module is the first step to understanding these critical issues.