The Human Price: How Environmental Toxins Affect the Human Body

Lucinda Barca Supernavage, Anatomy, Physiology, Northwest School of the Arts

Final Unit (PDF)

Implementing Common Core Standards (PDF)

200 Word Synopsis

I intend to incorporate this curriculum unit into my Anatomy and Physiology course which studies the regional and systematic structures and functions of the human body.  Emphasis is placed on histology (the study of tissues) and the major systems of the body.  This seminar was very relevant to the curriculum as I aim to make my students more cognizant of their influence on the environment and, in turn, the environment’s negative impact on their bodies.  Students will become informed the products that have made our lives comfortable in the 21st Century are actually highly toxic chemical pollutants that dump themselves in our tissues and make their own selves comfortable.  Students will research an array of chemicals (such as DDT, Ozone, Lead, Mercury, BPA, etc.) that we are exposed to on a daily basis without awareness (their history, sources, uses, effects on the human body, etc.) and present their findings to the class.  They will investigate the effects of smoking and other toxins on the human body, calculate toxicity levels and ratings, and design advertisements to promote healthier lifestyles.  Excerpts from two very important books will be discussed: Rachel Carson’s 1962 Silent Spring and Sandra Steingraber’s modern day Raising Elijah.