Animals as Sentinels of Environmental Health Hazards by National Research Council, Division on Earth and Life

By National Research Council, Division on Earth and Life Studies, Commission on Life Sciences, Board on Environmental Studies and Toxicology, Committee on Animals as Monitors of Environmental Hazards

Learning animals within the setting could be a sensible and hugely necessary method of determining unknown chemical contaminants sooner than they reason human damage. "Animals as Sentinels of Environmental overall healthiness risks" offers an outline of animal-monitoring courses, together with distinctive case reviews of the way animal illnesses - corresponding to the results of DDT on wild chicken populations - have led researchers to the resources of human overall healthiness risks. The authors learn the elements and features required for an efficient animal-monitoring software, and so they review a number of present courses, together with in situ study, the place an animal is positioned in a common surroundings for tracking reasons.

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Extra resources for Animals as Sentinels of Environmental Health Hazards

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Once an animal (or a human) has been exposed to a toxic chemical, a series or set of biologic events often can be detected. If an animal is to function as a sentinel, biologic responses must be observed soon after exposure. Therefore, changes in ordinarily measured biologic characteristics, such as the hematologic profile and serum chemical values, probably are more generally useful end points than are reproductive characteristics, mutagenesis, teratogenesis, or neoplasia. Structural changes generally are easier to measure than functional changes, but both can provide important information after exposure.

In the determination of plant contamination, herbivorous animals are especially useful as sentinels. If a particular species or type of plant (for example, shrubs or trees) is of interest, an animal for which that plant constitutes a major portion of the diet should be selected. If all plants in a given area are of equal interest, an animal with broad and varied eating habits should be used. For example, deer are primarily browsers and prefer to eat woody plants, whereas sheep are primarily grazers and prefer to eat grasses; generalists, such as rabbits and goats, eat both.

Osprey, Cooper's hawk, and various other fisheating birds). Thus, the bulk of the evidence that initially supported the need for a ban on DDT was related to effects on wildlife, and only later were potential hazards to human health identified; both were cited as primary bases for the cancellation of DDT uses in the United States in 1972 (Federal Register, June 14, 1972). , 1990). One legacy of the DDT era is that negative effects on wildlife will continue to be an important aspect of the environmental risk-assessment process.

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Animals as Sentinels of Environmental Health Hazards by National Research Council, Division on Earth and Life
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