1.- The protection of individuals and ecosystems - Contamination and pollution. Ecology, environmental sciences and toxicology. Global and local problems. Structure and function of natural systems. Descriptive ecology and functional ecology. A look at current problems. Climate change and human health. The scale of problems. At the root of the problems: the energy question. CO2: a global emergency.
2.- Environmental pollution - Impact, environmental quality and chemical risk. Pollutants: natural levels, background levels. Analytical threshold of detection. Hazardous substances. Emission sources and biogeochemical cycles. Air pollution. Air quality in urban environments. Photochemical Smog. Protection requirements and environmental legislation. Retrospective approaches to the past and the need for predictive tools. Pollution of water bodies. Soil pollution, contaminated sites and land reclamation.
3.- Approaches for the study of the environmental fate of contaminants - Conceptual models and types of environmental phases. Monitoring. Transport in water, air and soil. The role of physico-chemical properties. Chemical equilibrium and partition: 1-octanol / water, air / water, soil / water, organisms / water, organisms / air, aerosols / air. Environmental reactivity. Persistence. Chemical transformation and mass transport: process constants, their meaning and their use. Overview of evaluation models in closed and open multi-phase systems, with mass transport and chemical transformation. Bioconcentration, bioaccumulation, biomagnification. Risk estimates on single species. Criteria and standards of environmental quality. Bioindicators. Characterization of chemical risk. Risks to human health and risks to natural systems ("environment"). Examples of risk characterization: mercury, neonicotinoids, chlorpyrifos, "Seveso dioxin".
4 - Main environmental contaminants: environmental and health risk - Ecotoxicology of metals. Toxicity and essentiality curves. Main toxic metals: chemical-physical characteristics, toxicology and case studies related to As, Hg, Cd, Pb. Inorganic gases (SO2, NOX, O3 - see point 1). Other inorganic contaminants (outline). Organic contaminants. Pesticides, characteristics and historical aspects. Organochlorine and organophosphorus. Mechanisms of action. Carbamates. Pyrethroids. Neonicotinoids. Main chemical classes of herbicides, fungicides and rodenticides. POPs: Persistent Organic Pollutants. Chemical and toxicological characteristics. Dibenzodioxins and dibenzofurans (PCDD / F). Polychlorinated biphenyls. Equivalent toxicity factors (TEF). Other organic contaminants. Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons: molecular structure and toxicological characteristics. Emerging contaminants: environmental estrogens. Flame retardants.