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Course Catalog

180.601.81 Environmental Health

Environmental Health and Engineering
3rd term
5 credits
Academic Year:
2019 - 2020
Auditors Allowed:
Yes, with instructor consent
Grading Restriction:
Letter Grade or Pass/Fail
Joseph Bressler
Course Instructor :

Introduction to Online Learning; college courses in general biology, algebra, and physics or chemistry.


The environment profoundly affects the public's health. The field of environmental health utilizes interdisciplinary strategies to discover, understand, and help mitigate adverse effects in populations.

Acquaints students with how the environment impacts human health by examining specific health issues, exploring the scientific understanding of causes, and possible future approaches to control the major environmental health problems in industrialized and developing countries. Uses case-studies, detailed lectures, and interactive sessions to highlight topics including how the body reacts to environmental pollutants; physical, chemical, and biological agents of environmental contamination; environmental media (air, water, soil) that may disseminate these agents; solid and hazardous waste; susceptible populations; biomarkers and risk analysis; the scientific basis for policy decisions; and emerging global environmental health challenges.

Learning Objectives:

Upon successfully completing this course, students will be able to:

  1. Identify the major environmental contaminant (i.e. environmental chemical, biological, and physical agents that cause adverse effects on human health) and their sources
  2. Explain the transport and fate of these contaminant in the environment, and identify the carriers or vectors (air, water, soil, and food) that promote the transfer of these agents from the environment to the human
  3. Explain the toxicokinetics of these contaminants in the body, including the effect of route of entry (inhalation, ingestion, absorption)
  4. Explain the toxicodynamics of these contaminant, including biotransformation and the mechanisms by which they exert adverse health effects, and the use of models for prediction of the magnitude of adverse effects
  5. Identify and explain the steps in the risk assessment process, including both exposure and dose-response assessment, and the sources and magnitude of uncertainty
  6. Identify the process involved in developing regulations for protecting the environment
  7. Apply the information from the lectures to your life choices and those of your of your neighbors
  8. Critique the ethical issues in conducting policies affecting the environment
Methods of Assessment:

Three exams (60 points each); four assignments (#1, 3, 4 are worth 10 points each; #2 is worth 30 points)
The maximum number of points is 240.
Grades will be as follows:
A is 216-240 points
B is 192-215 points
C is 168-191 points
D is 144-167 points

Instructor Consent:

No consent required

Special Comments:

This course is offered in two venues: summer term in East Baltimore and third term online The third term distance education venue is a pure internet course, will all lectures, discussions, and other interactions occurring via the web. The summer term East Baltimore venue is a combination face-to-face class session for delivery of selected lectures and for all question and answer and discussion sessions, along with Internet delivery of all other lectures. This course's lecturers are internationally known experts in the fields of exposure assessment, biomarkers, and toxicology. For a list of specific course topics, please refer to the schedule.