The Need for Toxicology in Chemistry Education

Grand Valley State University (GVSU) Chemistry Department and the Michigan Green Chemistry Clearinghouse partnered to initiate a conversation about toxicology and bring the subject to the attention of the Michigan Green Chemistry Education Network members, chemistry educators, and the broader public.

A general understanding of toxicology is lagging behind despite the progress made in green chemistry education. In this webinar series, an introduction to toxicology will be presented followed by views on toxicology from three different perspectives: environment, industry, and public health. By bringing together specialists in toxicology from very different backgrounds, the webinar organizers hope to integrate these different perspectives in order to raise awareness about toxicology and generate ideas for incorporating toxicology into chemistry education. In particular, GVSU is working on toxicology inclusion into chemistry curricula and into its green chemistry certification program.

Primary objectives:

(1) Initiate an open and transparent conversation with members of the Michigan Green Chemistry Education Network, other chemistry educators, and any interested parties around the role of toxicology training in green chemistry education;
(2) Generate open-source learning materials to support toxicology implementation in chemistry curriculum;
(3) Provide a neutral arena to showcase (through learning modules and webinars) developments in this field, including perspectives around emerging science and new tools for predictive / mechanistic toxicology. The Clearinghouse will house these materials on its virtual learning environment IT platform, Moodle, which will be freely accessible by interested parties.

Learning Materials

Toxicology Course Materials: Toxicology is the science that deals with the adverse effects of chemicals on living organisms and assesses the probability of their occurrence. From this course, students should be able to describe how toxic chemicals are classified and apply principles of toxicology to evaulate the potential health effects of common chemicals.

Course materials provided courtesy of Richard Rediske of Annis Water Resources Institute.

Introduction to Toxicology Lecture Plan

Introduction to Toxicology Lecture Slides

Toxicology of Flame Retardants Lecture Plan

Toxicology of Flame Retardants Lecture Slides

Webinars: To launch the project, a webinar series entitled entitled “Toxicology Training-The Missing Element in a Chemist’s Background” will be hosted by the above partners. Video recordings of the webinars can be found in the adjacent side bar.

April 23, 2013

“The Need for Toxicology in Chemistry Education: The Making of a Green Chemist”

“Introduction to Toxicology: Principles and Practice” by Richard Rediske, PhD (Senior Program Manager, Annis Water Research Institute)
Public Health & Environment: Where have we been and where are we going?” by Carol J. Henry, PhD (George Washington University, School of Public Health and Health Services)
“Why Good Products Fail: When Chemistry and Toxicology Collide” by Pamela J. Spencer, PhD (DOW Chemical Company)   
 August 6, 2013 “Introduction to Toxicology and its Role in Green Chemistry” by Rick Rediske, PhD (Senior Program Manager, Annis Water Research Institute)

Other Webinars

A series of half-hour webinars was produced by the Green Science Policy Institute about six families or “classes” of chemicals which contain many of the harmful substances found in everyday products.  The webinar series includes eight videos, covering “Highly Fluorinated Chemicals”, “Antimicrobials,” “Flame Retardants,” “Bisphenols & Phthalates,” “Organic Solvents,” “Certain Metals,” “Do We Need It?” and “Green Chemistry.”  Learn from distinguished scientists who are outstanding teachers about six classes containing many of the bad actor chemicals in consumer products. In addition, the series will discuss whether we need these chemicals and explore safer green chemistry alternatives.

You can check out the Six Classes website here.   You can watch all the webinars on Six Classes’ YouTube Channel.

Toxicology Webinar Series

August 6, 2013

April 23, 2013

June 29, 2011