Ecotoxicology (13OZS32I2)

  • Level of study undergraduate studies
  • Subject status: elective
  • ECTS: 3
  • Semester: VI
  • Number of classes: 2+1

Through a series of lectures students will be introduced to all aspects of the harmful effects of pollutants, the mechanisms of their operation, as well as the processes of their activity in the environment.

Understanding of theoretical concepts and gain some practical skillsin ecotoxicology.

Theoretical lectures

1. Introduction of students with: teaching program of Ecotoxicology; dynamics, method of work and realization of the curriculum; instructions for writing 3000 word scientific report(essay) using the Harvard Literature Guidance System.
2. Introductory considerations: the concept and differentiation of terms of toxicology and ecotoxicology; historical overview of ecotoxicological effects of different classes of pollutant and development of legislation; classification of poisons.
3. Entry of polluting substances into the ecosystem: a review of the routes for entry of pollutants into water, air and soil; the difference between ecotoxicokinetics and ecotoxicodinamics.
4. Risk assessment in ecotoxicology: hazard identification, dose-response relationship assessment, exposure assessment and risk characterization; acute and chronic toxicity; sublethal and lethal dose; basic parameters: LD50, LC50, EC50, IC50, LOEC and NOEC;
5. Acute and chronic toxicity tests: tests of acute and chronic toxicity and organisms that are used in ecotoxicity tests.
6. Ecotoxicokinetics - the fate of ecopollutants in the environment: bioaviability and proceses of bioavailability, biotic and abiotic decomposition of pollutants, persistence, bioaccumulation, biomagnification and biotransformation; basic parameters: half-life of degradation, bioaccumulation and bioconcentration factor, partitioning octanol / water coefficient.
7. Ecotoxicodinamics: examples of of the effect of poison at the molecular and cellular levels; the poisoning of organs; examples of acute and chronic toxicity.
8. Quantification and measurement of ecotoxicological effects: methods of toxicological tests used for the aquatic environment and soil; biomonitoring; types of bioindicators.
9. Pesticides: definition and use; benefit  and risk of pesticide use; types of pesticides; the fate of pesticides in the environment;
10. Organohloric pesticides: characteristics and mechanism of action; effects of DDT and its derivative.
11. Organophosphoric pesticides and carbamates: characteristics and mechanism of action; the effects of organophosphate and carbamates insecticides; alternative approaches in the fight against pests; new ways to reduce the use of pesticides.
12. Ecotoxicology of mercury: ways of releasing into the environment; methyl mercury; a mercury cycle in nature - mercury in the atmosphere, water and sediment; the process of methylation; bioaccumulation, biomagnification and biological effects; toxic effects of methyl mercury; prevention and control of mercury pollution.
13. Lead in the environment: ways of releasing lead into the environment; use of lead; compounds of Pb as pollutants of air, water and soil; distribution and concentration of lead in the body of animals; effects of lead on plants and animals.
14. Persistent organic pollutants: properties; distribution of persistent organic pollutants; the use of persistent organic pollutants; toxic effects of dioxin and dioxin-like compounds; risk assessment of dioxins and compounds similar to dioxins in the environment using equivalents of toxicity; mechanism of action; Stockholm Convention.
15. Nanotechnology - benefits and risks of its use in the environment: defining nanotechnology as one of the leading technologies of the XXI century; classification of nanomaterials; potential environmental benefits and sustainability; environmental risks and potential ecotoxicity; natural and created nanoparticles; the most important characteristics and relevant parameters used in the studies of the ecotoxicity of nanomaterials; fate of nanomaterials in the environment.

Practical lectures

Determination of the degree of toxicity and ecotoxicity of a chemical substance (LD50 and LC50 and others); case studies of the balance disturbance of the ecosystem and consequences of the introduction of polluting substances into the environment; calculation of the limit values of the harmful effects of pollutants on the organisms, as well as the factors of equivalent toxicity; Examples of the impact of accidental pollution on ecosystems and human health; writeessay (3000 words).

Key texts:

- Jablanović, M., Jakšić, P. iKosanović, K. (2003) Uvod u ekotoksikologiju. Univerzitet u Prištini
- Hoffman, D. J, Rattner, B. A., Burton, G. A.& Cairns, J. (2003) Handbook of ecotoxicology. CRC Press LLC, Boca Roton,USA
- Moriarty, F. ( 1999) Ecotoxicology – The Study of Pollutants in Ecosystems. London
- Walker, C.H., Sibly, R.M., Hopkin, S.P. &Peakall, D.B. (2012) Principles of Ecotoxicology. Fourth Edition, CRC Press.


Dimitrijević, D. (2011) Nanotechnology: The Need for the Implementation of the Precautionary Approach beyond the EU. In: Understanding and Managing Threats to the Environment in South Eastern Europe (NATO Science for Peace and Security Series C: Environmental Security), GorazdMeško (Editor), DejanaDimitrijević (Editor), Charles B. Fields (Editor), pp. 205-224. Publisher: Springer; 1st Edition (March 1, 2011).
Dimitrijević D. (2009) Nanotehnologija – riziciirešenjaZbornikradova: I Naučno-stručnakonferencijaEkološkabezbednost, riziciizdravljenaradu, str. 61-69.

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