Toxicology of Pesticides: Mechanisms of action and impacts on health

May 22, 2014 :: Alice Hontela
Moderated by Klaus Jericho

Pesticides are chemicals of natural or synthetic origin, used to kill unwanted animals or plants including algae, weeds, insects, or rodents, organisms which may lower crop yields, cause or transmit diseases, damage structures and in general, have undesired impacts.

We rely on the Risk/Benefit analysis for the use of pesticides, expecting to gain maximum benefits from pesticide use with minimum risks to our health and the health of the environment. There is substantial evidence that this assumption of low health risk is often false and there are in fact significant risks associated with extensive use of pesticides.

The speaker will present and evaluate some of this recent evidence, explain the mechanisms of action and potential health impacts of key pesticides used in Southern Alberta, and introduce the process used in Risk Assessment for pesticides. New discoveries which might improve the use and efficacy of pesticides in the future will also be discussed.

Speaker: Dr. Alice Hontela

Dr. Hontela is a professor at the Department of Biological Sciences, Water Institute of Sustainable Environments (WISE) University of Lethbridge, where she teaches toxicology and animal physiology, and conducts research in toxicology of pesticides and metals and their effects on aquatic species. She is particularly interested in the health effects of chronic exposures to environmentally relevant concentrations of pollutants. Dr. Hontela’s most recent area of research are the effects of mixtures on fish species and the influence of temperature and anoxia on the toxicity of pollutants.

Dr. Hontela completed her PhD at the University of Alberta and a postdoctoral fellowship at the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Calgary, then worked as a professor at the University of Quebec in Montreal. She was appointed a Canada Research chair in Ecotoxicology at the University of Lethbridge in 2003. She serves on the editorial board of the Journal of Applied Toxicology and has contributed toxicological data to Environment Canada and other groups of environmental managers.

Moderator: Klaus Jericho

Date: Thursday, May 22, 2014
Time: Noon - 1:30 PM
Location: Country Kitchen Catering (Lower level of The Keg) 1715 Mayor Magrath Dr S
Cost: $11.00 (includes lunch)

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