Contamination and pollution. Ecology, environmental sciences and toxicology. Global and local problems. Structure and function of natural systems. 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.
Impact, environmental quality and chemical risk. Pollutants: natural levels, background levels. Analytical threshold of detectability. 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.
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. Bioconcentration, bioaccumulation, biomagnification. Risk estimates on single species. Criteria and standards of environmental quality. Bioindicators. Examples of risk characterization: mercury, neonicotinoids, chlorpyrifos, "Seveso dioxin".
Toxicity and essentiality of metals. Main toxic metals: chemical-physical characteristics, toxicology and case studies related to As, Hg, Cd, Pb. 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. Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons: molecular structure and toxicological characteristics. Emerging contaminants: environmental estrogens.