Speaker Name(s): Miriam Diamond, Ph.D.
Description: Miriam Diamond, Ph.D., Dept. of Geography; Dept. of Chemical Engineering and Applied Chemistry Centre for Environment, U of T. Numerous synthetic chemicals have enabled us to live our relatively comfortable and convenient lives that include considerable technological sophistication. Some of these chemicals can inadvertently escape into the environment and enter us. Problems can arise and have arisen when the chemicals have the potential to act as toxins and when the chemicals are persistent. We will examine two classes of such chemicals – polybrominated diphenyl ethers that are used as flame retardants in electronic equipment and furnishings and polychlorinated biphenyls that were and are used in electrical equipment and other applications. We will trace the origin of these chemicals in the various products and how they enter us via the indoor environment and our food.