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A handbook of environmental toxicology: human disorders and ecotoxicology.

Book cover for A handbook of environmental toxicology: human disorders and ecotoxicology.

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Chapter 11 (Page no: 156)

The developmental neurotoxicity of polychlorinated biphenyls: a continuing environmental health concern.

Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) are synthetic chemicals widely used in diverse industrial applications and commercial products until their production was banned in the 1970s due to concerns regarding their environmental persistence and human health risks. Despite the ban, environmental levels of PCBs have not declined significantly over the past two decades, and more recently, contemporary PCBs not synthesized in the original industrial mixtures have been identified as inadvertent by-products of modern pigment manufacturing processes. PCBs remain contaminants of considerable concern because of their demonstrated adverse effects on neurodevelopment in human and animal models. This chapter briefly summarizes human literature and animal data documenting the developmental neurotoxicity (DNT) of PCBs and then focuses on the mechanisms by which PCBs are postulated to interfere with neurodevelopment, a question that remains a subject of much debate. The predominant mechanistic hypotheses of PCB DNT include disruption of thyroid hormone signalling, altered neurotransmitter signalling, perturbation of calcium homeostasis and the induction of oxidative stress. Of these, calcium signalling is the most sensitive and experimental data support a causal link between PCB effects on calcium signalling and the perturbation of critical neurodevelopmental processes, specifically dendritic arborization and apoptosis. Nonetheless, it cannot be ruled out that more than one mechanism contributes to PCB DNT, and it seems likely that the various molecular effects of PCBs may be interrelated. This chapter also identifies key data gaps regarding PCB DNT and describes strategies for addressing these gaps to develop a better understanding of the threat PCBs pose to the developing brain.

Other chapters from this book

Chapter: 1 (Page no: 3) Phytotoxins. Author(s): D'Mello, J. P. F.
Chapter: 2 (Page no: 19) Mycotoxins. Author(s): D'Mello, J. P. F.
Chapter: 3 (Page no: 33) Cyanobacterial toxins. Author(s): Metcalf, J. S. Souza, N. R.
Chapter: 4 (Page no: 49) Amino acids and peptides as mediators of abiotic stress tolerance in higher plants. Author(s): D'Mello, J. P. F.
Chapter: 5 (Page no: 75) Ozone I. Human disorders: an overview. Author(s): Silveyra, P. Fuentes, N. Rivera, L.
Chapter: 6 (Page no: 93) Ozone II. Biophysical observations. Author(s): Thompson, K. C.
Chapter: 7 (Page no: 105) Nitrogen dioxide: ambient exposure in human disorders. Author(s): Huang, Y. C. T. Tucker, J. L.
Chapter: 8 (Page no: 114) Sulfur dioxide and human disorders. Author(s): Ahmad, S. Ahmad, A. Ahmad, A.
Chapter: 9 (Page no: 127) Plant response to acid rain stress. Author(s): Liang, C.
Chapter: 10 (Page no: 141) Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons: ecotoxicity in the aquatic environment and implications for human health. Author(s): Pampanin, D. M. Schlenk, D.
Chapter: 12 (Page no: 173) Dioxins I. Dynamics and legal directives in Europe. Author(s): Dopico, M. Gómez, A.
Chapter: 13 (Page no: 187) Dioxins II. Human exposure and health risks. Author(s): Tuomisto, J. Viluksela, M.
Chapter: 14 (Page no: 206) Dioxins III. Relationship to pre-diabetes, diabetes and diabetic nephropathy. Author(s): Everett, C. J.
Chapter: 15 (Page no: 214) Environmental endocrine-disrupting chemicals and human health. Author(s): Darbre, P. D.
Chapter: 16 (Page no: 233) Organochlorine insecticides: neurotoxicity. Author(s): Caudle, W. M.
Chapter: 17 (Page no: 246) Organophosphates I. Human health effects and implications for the environment: an overview. Author(s): Wille, T. Thiermann, H. Worek, F.
Chapter: 18 (Page no: 261) Organophosphates II. Neurobehavioural problems following low-level exposure: methodological considerations for future research. Author(s): Ross, S. J. M. Harrison, V.
Chapter: 19 (Page no: 282) Glyphosate as a glycine analogue. Author(s): Seneff, S.
Chapter: 20 (Page no: 299) Crude oil pollution I. Deepwater Horizon contamination: human health effects and health risk assessments, a case study. Author(s): Wilson, M. J.
Chapter: 21 (Page no: 311) Crude oil pollution II. Effects of the Deepwater Horizon contamination on sediment toxicity in the Gulf of Mexico. Author(s): Montagna, P. A. Arismendez, S. S.
Chapter: 22 (Page no: 320) Crude oil pollution III. Exxon Valdez contamination: ecological recovery, a case study. Author(s): Haycox, S.
Chapter: 23 (Page no: 334) Review of studies of composition, toxicology and human health impacts of wastewater from unconventional oil and gas development from shale. Author(s): Crosby, L. M. Orem, W. H.
Chapter: 24 (Page no: 353) Minamata disease and methylmercury exposure. Author(s): Hachiya, N.
Chapter: 25 (Page no: 371) Lead poisoning. Author(s): Katner, A. L. Mielke, H. W.
Chapter: 26 (Page no: 384) Cadmium I. Exposure and human health effects: an overview. Author(s): Åkesson, A. Kippler, M.
Chapter: 27 (Page no: 394) Cadmium II. Cardiovascular effects of human exposure to cadmium: left ventricular structure and function. Author(s): Yang, W. Y. Staessen, J. A.
Chapter: 28 (Page no: 405) Particulates from combustion sources: formation, characteristics and toxic hazards. Author(s): Purser, D. A.
Chapter: 29 (Page no: 424) Assessment of the ecotoxicity of airborne particulate matter. Author(s): Kováts, N.
Chapter: 30 (Page no: 436) Toxicity of microplastics in the marine environment. Author(s): Santana, M. F. M. Turra, A.
Chapter: 31 (Page no: 457) UV exposure and skin-protective effects of plant polyphenols. Author(s): Agulló-Chazarra, L. Pérez-Sánchez, A. Herranz-López, M. Micol, V. Barrajón-Catalán, E.
Chapter: 32 (Page no: 475) Radon I. Lung cancer risks. Author(s): Melloni, B.
Chapter: 33 (Page no: 484) Radon II. Leukaemia or CNS cancer risks among children. Author(s): Kollerud, R. del R.
Chapter: 34 (Page no: 497) Fukushima nuclear accident: potential health effects inferred from butterfly and human cases. Author(s): Otaki, J. M.
Chapter: 35 (Page no: 517) Microbial remediation of contaminated soils. Author(s): Shahsavari, E. Mansur, A. A. Aburto-Medina, A. Haleyur, N. Jones, N. Ball, A. S.
Chapter: 36 (Page no: 531) Metallic iron for environmental remediation: prospects and limitations. Author(s): Noubactep, C.
Chapter: 37 (Page no: 545) Remediation of contaminated soil by biochar. Author(s): Sima, X. F. Jiang, H.
Chapter: 38 (Page no: 561) Environmental regulations in China. Author(s): He, G. Z.
Chapter: 39 (Page no: 577) 21st Century toxicology: methods for environmental toxicology and monitoring. Author(s): Lundqvist, J.
Chapter: 40 (Page no: 587) Unequivocal evidence associating environmental contaminants and pollutants with human morbidity and ecological degradation. Author(s): D'Mello, J. P. F.

Chapter details

  • Author Affiliation
  • Department of Molecular Biosciences, University of California Davis, Davis, California, USA.
  • Year of Publication
  • 2020
  • ISBN
  • 9781786394675
  • Record Number
  • 20193493741