Teacher-Advisor Program (TAP) Seminars

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CHEM 095A ~ Environmental Risk

Instructor: Alexander Wurthmann Senior Lecturer in Chemistry More . . .

Our environment is a complex web of human development and natural beauty. How we interact with our technologies, food, and each other may lead to chemical risks. However, gathering and understanding information related to the severity of risks due to natural or synthetic chemicals is complicated. Is it true that the chemicals in our soil, water, and air are making us sick, allergic, or prone to cancer? An introduction to basic chemical principles will be provided and then used to examine situations that are blatantly problematic. Other chemicals/reactions that are more ambiguous will provide the opportunity for healthy debates and discussions. The evolving knowledge will allow us to look beyond the qualitative "chemicals are bad for you" comment and use quantifiable methods (epidemiology, pharmacokinetics, EPA and FDA guidelines) to value information from a variety of sources and maybe dismiss others.

Requirements Satisfied: one Non-laboratory Science course