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Fertilizers, Pesticides and Human Health

The increase in knowledge in the field of chemistry has led to advances in almost every field imaginable. Agricultural practices, including the use of fertilizers and pesticides, have benefited from new discoveries in chemistry. Chemicals are discovered and designed to assist in almost every field imaginable. However, there are issues of how these new chemicals impact human health.

The impact of pesticides and fertilizers on human health offers a window into basic chemistry - through soil chemistry and into pesticide toxicity. It also provides insight into one of the major factors behind the Chicano movement.


IMage of Chicano Movement

The Chicano movement and the health of migrant workers provide an engaging environmental health context to examine the relationships among human health, basic chemistry (soil chemistry, pesticide toxicity), and migration. Students study the research of environmental health scientists and create speeches concerning a community based health related issue that specifically targets their understanding of chemistry.

This unit will focus on the impact chemistry has on human health via agricultural practices; including the use of fertilizers and pesticides and highlights the importance of health in a social context.

This unit addresses the education standards for 11th grade.

Venn Diagram

Major Project-Speaking Your Mind
This unit highlights the importance of health in a social context. The increase in knowledge in the field of chemistry has led to advances in almost every field imaginable. Agricultural practices, including the use of fertilizers and pesticides, have benefited from new discoveries in chemistry. However, there are issues of how these new chemicals impact human health. The Chicano movement and the health of migrant workers provide an engaging environmental health context to examine the relationship between health, basic chemistry, toxicology, and migration. The unit develops science and health literacy thru a variety of reading, writing, and library research activities. It culminates with an extemporaneous persuasive verbal presentation that brings together the social issues and the scientific issues related to pesticide use. Students study the research of environmental health scientists and create speeches concerning a community based health related issue that specifically targets their understanding of chemistry.

Ferilizers & Pesticides Icon

Scientist Profile: Professor Serrrine Lau
Professor Serrine Lau

Teachers
For more information and background check out this great article
Studying Health Outcomes in Farmworker Populations Exposed to Pesticides
from Environmental Health Perspectives

Week - Connection Chemistry American History Language Arts Math
Week 1
Introduction to Toxicology What is Migration A Sense of Place  
Dose makes the Poison American Migrations Timelines
Week 2
Dose/Response A Country of Migrants The Idea of Place for Native Peoples  
This Land is My Land , That Land is Your Land
Toxicology and Blackworms
Week 3

Toxicity

Forced to Move

Far From Home An introduction to the Natural Log
What is Toxic?
Week 4
Toxic Products Forced to Move When Worlds Collide Bio-magnification
Which are toxic?
Pesticide Prevalence Changing Opinions
Brother Can you Spare a Dime

Week 5

“Is Organic Food Worth the Extra Cost?” Part I: Doing the Calculation Economic Crash & Recovery A Glimpse of the Grapes of Wrath How Small is It?
“Is Organic Food Worth the Extra Cost?” Part II: Compare and Contrast Science Essay
Scientist writes to the Newspaper
Week 6
I Have a Story to Tell The Great Depression & Now  Calculating Parts per Million: Do We Have a Problem Here?
“She ate the whole thing”
Do plant fertilizers affect animals? Finding Patterns in Times of Crisis
Lab Report
Week 7

Jekyll & Hyde

Voluntary International Migration Speaking from the Heart The Portion is the Poison

Efficient Fertilizer

The UFW & Pesticides

Stoichiometry

Heat of Solution

Finding a Voice

Is it Worth the Risk?

Week 8
  Finding your Voice Environmental Health Impromptu Talk  

PULSE is a project of the Community Outreach and Education Program of the Southwest Environmental Health Sciences Center and is funded by:


an
NIH/NCRR award #16260-01A1
The Community Outreach and Education Program is part of the Southwest Environmental Health Sciences Center: an NIEHS Award

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LOGO - NIEHS Center LOGO - NIEHS

Supported by NIEHS grant # ES06694


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Last update: November 10, 2009
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