COURSE OF ENVIRONMENTAL PATHOLOGY
(rev. February 2011)
world is undergoing rapid transformations that
are under everybody's eyes. Transformations are taking place in many
areas, for the continuous and strong impact of the human activities
the natural reality, aiming at immediate advantages but frequently
without a previous and accurate scientific evaluation of medium and long-term
consequences on natural
equilibria and on human health. We can, therefore, identify in human
able to transform the environment many causes of human disease.
interests of disciplines such as Pathology,
Ecotoxicology, Oncology,Cancerogenesis and Preventive Medicine (among
fields) include the study of causes of disease and the strategies to
and technological progress can easily and rapidly
focus new investments toward directions promising the most advantageous
industrial perspectives, with relevant profits. But the consequences of
massive interventions on the natural equilibria are often unknown and
Natural and Medical Science researchers big problems in the evaluation
long-term biomedical effects due to the rapid transformations that men
to the natural environment.
biomedical studies on such fundamental areas take
place without adequate funding and often in contrast with the enormous
interests of big industry and finance.
these basic research studies are very difficult to
conduct and to complete, in particular when the goal is to react
before severe damage to animal and human health may happen.
often, human transformations on the environment have
represented a deadly danger for several forms of life and new occasions
disease and death even for humans. We can take as visible examples of
consequences the cases due to the worldwide diffusion of pesticides,
and anti-parasite chemicals (like DDT) or of other apparently innocuous
substances like ChloroFluoroCarbides (CFC) in spray products sold for
the entire world.
the first case, after the big short-term advantages of
DDT use (mostly in agriculture crops) we started observing damages in
cycles of several animals (mostly of sea birds) and some severe
animal and human health (due to the once unknown carcinogenic and
actions of DDT on mammals and with a possible implication also in human
the second case, photochemical mechanisms taking place in
the athmosphere in presence of CFCs led to a diminished concentration
in the high atmosphere and to the formation of the so called "ozone
hole" phenomenon causing part of the temperature increase of the planet
and also the increase of the UV radiation reaching the earth surface
causing sunburns and skin cancer.
synthesis, we are now certain of the fact that human
interventions produce large-scale consequences (not yet fully
Physical, Chemical and Biological equilibria of the planet. Prevention
heaviest consequences of these facts necessarily implies a better
understanting of the facts themselves, with a deeper and quicker
medical research in the involved areas, feasible only with conspicuous
these several reasons we have decided to work with the
target of bringing our modest knowledge contribution in the teaching
of Medical and Biological graduation Curriculums in the University of
(Italy), for a better knowledge of these fundamental today's facts by
biomedical professionals who ever more frequently have to face the
clinical consequences of human-enforced
changes in the natural environment.
on the mentioned concepts, the Pathology teacher who
is writing (Prof. Mauro Bologna,
in 1999 a course on Environmental Pathology, initially in the form of a
series and later in the form of an organic lecture course for future
and biologists, based on fifteen chapters finally developed into the
presently downloadable from this web site (in italian). Such material
constantly updated and revised. The english version of the full
currently being produced and will be available in this website by the
initiative of the Environmental Pathology Course is
however part of a broader perspective of knowledge diffusion in
environmental sciences including also the birth of this web site
(www.isavemyplanet.org) that took place in early 2006.
this website we describe and update the projects
developed on a non-profit basis, with the only fundamental scope of
knowledge and to defend human health and the efficiency of natural
equilibria that represent the roots of life since millions and billions
years. All forms of life contribute to natural equilibria of our planet
the origin of life on Earth: humankind, however, in a little more than
years of industrial expansion (starting from the industrial revolution
end of the XVIII century) succeeded in threatening such equilibria,
visible and severe consequences.
serious research efforts and with knowledge diffusion
we hope to give a valid contribution to the safety of our planet and to
to say that in such a way "I save my planet" or at least "I am
seriously involved in such a task". So, in conclusion, by studying man
nature, without pursuing private profits, and trying to diffuse
reasons of public and common interest, "I try to defend all forms of
on earth" and therefore, hopefully, "I save my planet".
Professor of General Patology
Departments of Experimental Medicine and of
Basic and Applied Biology
University of L'Aquila (Italy)
fifteen parts of the teaching program of Environmental
Pathology are listed below and have been developed with the contribute
students over the years (1999-2007). Here we thank all the contributing
students, for their enthusiastic and intelligent work.
contributions were more extended and are indicated by
the name of the main writer, in each chapter.
PROGRAM OF THE ENVIRONMENTAL
" .pdf " files are currently
available only in italian; their english version is under development)
Human activities and environmental causes of disease.
Population, urbanization, resources and wellbeing.
Chemistry and environment - industrial production, fuels,
vehicles and exhaust gases, the home environment.
CO2 and the green-house effect; Climate; Ozone;
Waste and Recycling.
Physical agents; Radiations; Traumas.
Ecology; Microbiology; Infectious Diseases.
Chemistry and Environmental Carcinogenesis.
Immunology and allergies.
Tobacco smoke and gaseous pollutants.
Diet and diseases.
Prions and BSE (and basic concepts of other
SARS, a prototype for a new infectious disease.
Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs): perspectives in
agriculture and transgenic foods.
What can I do, every day, to improve the situation:
consume less goods, produce less wastes, learn and teach others
why and how not to smoke, to have an appropriate diet, to make physical
activity, to save water, electricity and fuels, to recycle more, to
to recycle more, to prevent risk situations, to collect new
ideas and to spread them.
GENERAL CONTENTS LIST
invitation is finally launched to everyone to propose new ideas in the
direction of recycling, detoxifying, cleaning, energy saving, etc. for
human environment and a wider respect for nature..
Textbooks containing all the
mentioned subjects do not exist
to date (at least in italian, to our knowledge).
explore such arguments, therefore, one should consult
many different textbooks spanning from economy to ecology, from
toxicology, from genetics to molecular biology and from pathology to
progress is fast in all these fields: every year
new data and new informations need to be learned.
data collected in this website are therefore original,
both for the variety of subjects included and for their level of update
(indicated by the dates in each chapter).