WEEK 7:
Global Environment 1:

Food & Water

Schedule
Week 7-1 Presentations

Persistent Organic Pollutants
Dr Mark Donohoe

Electrolysis Corrosion in Metal Water Pipes from Mains Power Supply
Don Maisch 

Poisoning our Children: How Glyphosate and Other Pesticides in Food Damage our Health and Children
André Leu
International Director,
Regeneration International

Week 7-2 Presentations

Epigenetic Mechanism of Hormonal and Endocrine Disruption

Prof Leigh Ackland (Deakin)

Regenerative Agriculture: Enabling not dominatining nature
Dr Charles Massey






Week 7-3 Presentations

Water Toxicity and Management
Prof Marc Cohen 

EPA Regulations and GMOs
Dr Jonathon Latham USA










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Professor
Leigh Ackland
Epigenetic Mechanism of Hormonal and Endocrine Disruption
Endocrine disruptors (EDs) are linked with endocrine disorders, cancers, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and degenerative brain disorders. Exposure can occur over a lifetime and be transmitted across generations. A key mechanism of action of EDs is through their epigenetic effects on cells that results in the altered activity of genes. My talk will describe three main cellular processes by which EDs exert their effects to cause disease. These include methylation and acetylation of genes and of histones, and the effects of non-coding RNA. Examples of two EDs will be described, including bisphenol A used in the production of plastics, causing breast cancer, and mercury a global contaminant produced from coal-burning that impairs brain function. A third example will illustrate the epigenetic effects caused by lifestyle factors in type 2 diabetes. Personal strategies to minimize exposure to EDs will be discussed.
Key Messages
  • Human activity produces environmental chemicals termed endocrine disruptors that
    contribute to cancers, diabetes, neurological and heart disease.
  • Endocrine disruptors act at low concentrations over long time periods and their effects
    are complex.
  • Endocrine disruptors exert their effects through epigenetic mechanisms.

Dr Don Maisch
Electrolysis Corrosion in Metal Water Pipes from Mains Power Supply
There is a significant body of research that clearly indicates that health problems can be caused or aggravated when mains power electrical currents flow on copper and steel water pipes by causing internal corrosion from electrolysis.

Urban water supply systems, if metal, are in effect an uncontrolled part of the overall electrical supply system, with each building connected electrically with all other buildings in the area via the water pipe system. This can result in a substantial neutral return electrical current on the overall water supply system affecting to a varying degree all homes on that circuit.


When this is the case, the electrical charge on building water pipes can cause internal corrosion in the piping and thus expose occupants to varying degrees of metal toxicity, resulting in an increased risk of a range of illnesses as a result of drinking dissolved metal, such as lead and copper.

Key Messages
  • Metal water pipe corrosion from electrolysis is a very common problem in Australian buildings, both residential and commercial.
  • This corrosion can result in unhealthy levels of copper and lead in drinking water.
  • The linking of water supply metal contamination with mains power is generally not acknowledged by the relevant authorities.
Professor
Mark Cohen
Water toxicity and its management
There are many things about the physics, chemistry and biology of water that are not fully understood, yet we do know is water is the basic infrastructure for life and can quickly spread pathogens and provide a growth media for mould. We also know drinking and bathing water commonly contains:

• Chlorine and chlorine by-products
• Bacteria, viruses and other microbes
• Volatile organic compounds and sediment
• Heavy metals and radioactive elements
• Residues, pollutants and 'emerging contaminants'

This lecture will review water toxicity and how it can be managed and why it may be more important to filter bathing water than drinking water.
Key Messages
  • Point-of-use filtration is the cheapest and most effective way of ensuring water quality.
  • Bathing in heated water leads to absorption of toxic volatile compounds that directly enter the
    bloodstream without passing through the liver.
  • Water quality needs to consider the levels of dissolved substances as well as the pH, structure and
    memory of water.
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