Pollutant Burdens in Humans: A Measure of Environmental Quality

  • John H. Finklea
  • Douglas I. Hammer
  • Kenneth M. Bridbord
  • Vaun A. Newill
Conference paper
Part of the Environmental Science Research book series (ESRH, volume 1)


Pollutant burdens in humans are becoming important milestones in our effort to assure that the health of our citizens and the quality of our environment will be protected from the adverse effects attributable to an increasingly urbanized and industrialized society. Human pollutant burdens will find greatest utility as tools for the appraisal of multimedia environmental problems related to metals, pesticides, and synthetic organic compounds.1 By definition, a tissue carries a pollutant burden whenever it contains an environmental residue greater than that needed for optimum growth and development. Each of us has multiple pollutant burdens. Human pollutant burden patterns may serve as indicators of the environmental quality, as reflectors of biological response, as inputs into environmental standards, as channel markers for research, and as safeguards for pollution control and recycling technology.


Trace Metal Population Burden Synthetic Organic Compound Pollutant Burden Channel Marker 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1972

Authors and Affiliations

  • John H. Finklea
    • 1
  • Douglas I. Hammer
    • 1
  • Kenneth M. Bridbord
    • 2
  • Vaun A. Newill
    • 3
  1. 1.Division of Health Effects Research National Environmental Research CenterEnvironmental Protection AgencyUSA
  2. 2.Division of Processes and Effects Research Office of Research and MonitoringEnvironmental Protection AgencyUSA
  3. 3.Office of Research and MonitoringEnvironmental Protection AgencyUSA

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