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Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

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Winter 2007

Dr. B. Gonzalez-Flecha, Dr. D. Dockery
1.25 credits
Lectures, readings, case studies. Two 2-hour sessions each week during WinterSession

Reviews the mechanisms of toxicity of criteria air pollutants (ozone, nitrogen dioxide, particulate matter, sulfur dioxide, carbon monoxide and lead.) Presents current biological and epidemiological approaches to studying the health effects of air pollution. Particular focus on the pulmonary, cardiac and neurological health effects of air pollutants.

This is an interdisciplinary problem-based class. The students will work with selected scientific articles that present examples on how to study air pollutants. The central question/problem to be explored during the course will be "how to determine what causes health problems in individuals living in polluted cities." In the introductory class the students will be presented with a general introduction of criteria air pollutants, their sources, chemistry and toxicology, and they will be assigned review papers that discuss epidemiological, biochemical and toxicological methods to study the health effects of air pollutants. On the following classes the students will receive a brief review on each criteria pollutant and will discuss articles (case studies) presenting examples on how researchers in the fields of epidemiology, medicine and toxicology study the health effects of each individual pollutant. (10.06)

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