Case studies in Environmental Medicine as presented and provided by ATSDR.
Uranium (U) Toxicity | ATSDR - Environmental Medicine & Environmental Health Education - CSEM
- Everyone is exposed to uranium in food, air, and water as part of the natural environment.
- Most exposures do not warrant monitoring or treatment.
- Populations most heavily exposed to uranium are those employed in mining and milling operations, or in uranium enrichment and processing activities.
- Natural and depleted uranium are primarily chemical toxicants, with radiation playing a minor role or no role at all.
- Outcomes that may occur with uranium overexposure, based on both observed human effects and animal studies, include non-malignant respiratory disease (fibrosis, emphysema) and nephrotoxicity.
- Nephrotoxicity should reverse as overexposure ceases.
- Alpha radiation (such as that from uranium) is classified as a human carcinogen. However, human studies have not found elevated rates of cancer from uranium exposure, and hi...
Chromium Toxicity | ATSDR - Environmental Medicine & Environmental Health Education - CSEM
- The toxicity of chromium compounds depends on the oxidation state of the metal.
- Occupational exposure to chromium(VI) compounds has been associated with increased incidence of lung cancer.
- Chromium(III) is an essential nutrient that can be toxic in large doses.
Tetrachloroethylene (PCE) Toxicity | ATSDR - Environmental Medicine & Environmental Health Education - CSEM
- Tetrachloroethylene is used mainly as a solvent for dry cleaning and metal degreasing.
- Like most chlorinated solvents, tetrachloroethylene can cause central nervous system depression.
- Chronic exposure to tetrachloroethylene may adversely affect the neurological system, liver, and kidneys.
- Tetrachloroethylene is reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen on the basis of limited evidence from studies in humans and sufficient evidence of carcinogenicity from studies in experimental animals.
Beryllium Toxicity | ATSDR - Environmental Medicine & Environmental Health Education - CSEM
- Beryllium produces health effects ranging from sensitization without evidence of disease to clinically apparent pulmonary disease.
- Chronic beryllium disease may be misdiagnosed as sarcoidosis.
- Immunologic tests can detect beryllium sensitization and help clinicians differentiate between chronic beryllium disease and other interstitial lung diseases.
Taking an Exposure History | ATSDR - Environmental Medicine & Environmental Health Education - CSEM
- Because many environmental diseases either manifest as common medical problems or have nonspecific symptoms, an exposure history is vital for correct diagnosis.
- By taking a thorough exposure history, the primary care clinician can play an important role in detecting, treating, and preventing disease due to toxic exposure.