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Chemodynamics: transport and behavior of chemicals in the environment--a problem in environmental health.

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PMC
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Disciplines
  • Chemistry
  • Ecology
  • Geography
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Abstract

In the manufacture and use of the several thousand chemicals employed by technological societies, portions of these chemicals escape or are intentionally introduced into the environment. The behavior, fate, and to some extent the effects produced by these chemicals are a result of a complex interaction of the properties of the chemical with the various processes governing transport, degradation, sequestration, and uptake by organisms. In addition, such processes as adsorption, evaporation, partitioning, and degradation are influenced by ambient conditions of temperature, air movement, moisture, presence of other chemicals, and the concentration and properties of the subject chemicals. These influence the level and extent of exposure to these chemicals that man might receive. Study of the physiochemical properties and extent of exposure to these chem;cals that man might receive. Study of the physiochemical properties of compounds in relation to these various processes has provided a basis for better understanding of the quantitative behavior. Such information is useful in development of predictive models on behavior and fate of the chemicals in relation to human exposure. Beyond this, it provides information that could be used to devise procedures of manufacture, use, and disposal that would minimize environmental contamination. Some of the physical principles involved in chemodynamics are presented in this review.

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