Editors: Ashita Sharma, Manish Kumar, Satwinderjeet Kaur, Avinash Kaur Nagpal

Evaluation of Environmental Contaminants and Natural Products: A Human Health Perspective

eBook: US $69 Special Offer (PDF + Printed Copy): US $153
Printed Copy: US $119
Library License: US $276
ISBN: 978-981-14-1095-6 (Print)
ISBN: 978-981-14-1096-3 (Online)
Year of Publication: 2019
DOI: 10.2174/97898114109631190101


Unbridled urbanization and development of natural land resources has led to the degradation of our surrounding environment. The air that we breathe, the water we drink and the food we eat is at risk of being contaminated with a plethora of chemical pollutants, some of them being potentially carcinogenic. This presents a challenge to human health. This book attempts to address this challenge in two parts which represent two different approaches. The first part of the book summarizes the alarming effects of environmental contaminants. Various studies depicting the direct relationship of environmental contaminants with cancer incidence have been referenced. Scientific studies have established an inverse relation between cancer and ingestion of dietary phytoconstituents (phytochemicals) in the form of fruits, vegetables and botanical herbs. Plant products as dietary supplements can suppress contaminant toxicity by regulating the resulting reactive species and also by assisting their bodily excretion through Phase 1 and Phase 2 enzyme metabolism. The second part of the book, shifts focus to phytoconstituents which, if included in diet, can prevent the harmful effects of pollutants. The text references numerous studies showing the anti-mutagenic, anti-genotoxic and anti-carcinogenic potential of many plant products. The combination of information about contemporary issues of carcinogenic contaminants in the environment coupled with the references to relevant studies in this handbook will enlighten readers studying courses in environmental chemistry, toxicology, botany, and ecology about environmental toxins and help them understand specific dietary measures known to reduce the toxic impact. Researchers in the field of nutrition can also benefit from the information provided.


Environmental contaminants are constantly increasing in the environment due to the ill planned economic development. Increase in degenerative diseases as a result of continuous exposure to environmental contaminants is posing a serious threat to mankind. While living in such an environment, it has become an absolute necessity to find ways to enhance the protective nature of human metabolic response against the exposure to carcinogens. Various phytochemicals were considered as nectar against many degenerative diseases in ancient civilizations. Modern science is also making efforts to understand the protective effects of natural products. There is a need to compile the information about pollutants which can damage mankind and the protectants to safeguard our existence. The book is a unique and well-arranged compilation of these important aspects.

The first section of the book covers various sources and effects of emerging contaminants in our ambient environment. Environmental contaminants are associated with an increase in incidences of various types of cancers. The chapter entitled “Environmental risk and cancer” covers all such pollutants in detail. Due to the emergence of various contaminants, it has also become important for scientific community to assess the toxicity of various chemical agents present in the environment. Next chapters of the book suggest various plant and bacterial bioassays which could be used to analyze the toxic potential. Injudicious urbanization and economic development have increased the concentrations of some toxins into the environment which could have been prevented if judiciously used; pesticides and biphenyls are perfect examples. In the second section, editors have tried to compile the information about various natural products and their protective effects against carcinogenic potential of environmental contaminants. The metabolic link between plant products and cancer chemoprevention is also summarized well in one of the chapters in the book. The volume of Environmental Contaminants and Natural Products is a concise and well-organized handbook for researchers working in the field.

Renu Wadhwa
National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science & Technology (AIST)
Tsukuba Science City - 305 8565