New search
download case
  • Overview
  • Teaching Notes
  • Answer Key
  • Comments/Replies

Streams of Coal or Streams of Death?

A Toxicology Case Study



Author:

Linda Niedziela
Biology Department
Elon University
lniedziela@elon.edu

Abstract:

Mary Beth was raised in Western Pennsylvania, an area where thousands of abandoned coal mines have led to extensive contamination of streams and associated ground waters. Aquatic life has clearly suffered, but the health effects on people living along the waterways have not been so clear. In working through this interrupted case study, students consider the biological consequences for Mary Beth’s family by analyzing selected research articles. Originally developed for an upper level toxicology course, it would also be appropriate for a cancer biology course and could easily be adapted for a course in science and society or environmental studies.

Objectives:
  • Use basic terminology and apply fundamental concepts of toxicology.
  • Distinguish between toxicology and epidemiology.
  • Understand the relationship between scientific research and risk assessment.
  • Appreciate the complexity of the risk assessment process.
  • Appreciate the improvements in environmental conditions and workplace safety that have occurred in the United States in the last 50 years.
  • Analyze primary research literature.
  • Explain the causes and mechanism of carcinogenesis.
Keywords: Coal mining; abandoned mine drainage; coal dust; carcinogenesis; cancer; risk assessment; workplace safety; experimental design; Western Pennsylvania
Topical Area: Social justice issues
Educational Level: Undergraduate upper division
Formats: PDF
Type/Method: Interrupted, Journal Article
Language: English
Subject Headings: Toxicology   Public Health   Epidemiology  
Date Posted: 03/31/07
Date Modified: N/A
Copyright: Copyright held by the National Center for Case Study Teaching in Science, University at Buffalo, State University of New York. Please see our usage guidelines, which outline our policy concerning permissible reproduction of this work.

Teaching Notes


Case teaching notes are password-protected and access to them is limited to paid subscribed instructors. To become a paid subscriber, begin the process by registering here.

Teaching notes are intended to help teachers select and adopt a case. They typically include a summary of the case, teaching objectives, information about the intended audience, details about how the case may be taught, and a list of references and resources.

  Download Teaching Notes

Answer Key


Answer keys for the cases in our collection are password-protected and access to them is limited to paid subscribed instructors. To become a paid subscriber, begin the process by registering here.


  Get Answer Key



Name:
Email:
Department:
Institution:
City State:
Comments:
security code
Enter Security Code: