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|This is the
final lecture of the 10 on toxicologic epidemiology. It has been written primarily to
recap the presentations given in earlier lectures. Despite the fact that the
recapitulation here may be somewhat redundant to some students, it is refreshing and thus
important to others, especially to those with little or no experience in integrating
health, science, and politics into a single entity. In addition, it is the intent of this
final chapter to give a sense of where, how, and what the field of toxicologic
epidemiology is grown into.
Earlier in Lecture 1, this discipline was defined as the study of the frequency and distribution of adverse human health effects caused or modified by toxic agents or harmful materials. As discussed later in this lecture, such a one-liner definition is too simplistic for something that represents a highly complex health science discipline. It is partly for fear of such complexity that the toxic agents in this series are conveniently confined to those categorized as environmental contaminants. Note that here the frequency and distribution of interest need only to be potential, and are studied for the ultimate purpose of regulating health risk.
The titles of the 10 lectures are: (1) Toxicology and Epidemiology; (2) Public Health and Risk Assessment; (3) Toxicology and Risk Assessment; (4) Epidemiology and Risk Assessment; (5) Toxicologic Side of Epidemiology; (6) Epidemiologic Side of Toxicology; (7) Human Exposure Assessment I; (8) Human Exposure Assessment II; (9) Characterization of Health Risk; and (10) Toxicologic Epidemiology.