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Belfast Senior College


Living in a world of toxic chemicals


with Barry Timms

Calendar Jan 19, 2023 at 9:30 am

During the past 75 years, over 80,000 synthetic chemicals have been released into the environment. Humans have been exposed to a vast number of man-made chemicals via food, breathed in, or through the skin. Relatively few of these chemicals have been tested for toxicity, and each year about 1,500 new chemicals are produced. Academic research has shown that a significant number of these chemicals have the potential to adversely impact human health, especially in the developing fetus and young children. There is no doubt that many man-made substances are a benefit to society, but others, such as Agent Orange (dioxin), and DDT are associated with cancer and other life-threatening diseases.

This course will offer an introduction to our understanding of how these chemicals interfere with normal body functions, especially with regard to natural hormone actions that are important at critical stages of growth and development during pregnancy and early childhood.

Dr. Timms is an emeritus professor in the Division of Basic Biomedical Sciences, Sanford School of Medicine, University of South Dakota and former lecturer and course director for Medical Histology. He received an MPhil from Aston University, and PhD in Biological Sciences from Cardiff University School of Medicine, UK. Dr. Timms completed postdoctoral fellowships at the University of Iowa. He has served on scientific review panels for the National Institutes of Health (NIDDK), Department of Defense, National Toxicology Program and the Environmental Protection Agency. Dr. Timms’ research interests included investigations of the cellular growth control mechanisms in the prostate, and the effect of environmental endocrine disruptors in reproductive biology. His research was supported for many years through grants from NIDDK, NIEHS and EPA.


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