First attempts at regulating endocrine disruptors; green chemistry awards; and more // November 2014 news round-up

November 25, 2014 at 7:17 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

November 2014 news round-up

Calls to Ban Toxic Chemicals Fall on Deaf Ears Around the World. Endocrine disrupting chemicals are everywhere, found in cosmetics, preservatives, medicines and countless household products such as shampoos and toothpaste, which are used every day by billions of people across the world. Now, for the first time anywhere in the world, the European Union is attempting to regulate them. (Newsweek)

Who Are This Year’s Innovators Tackling Climate Change and Promoting Energy Efficiency? The 2014 winners of the Presidential Green Chemistry Awards have done it again. These scientists are helping to crack the code and solve some of the most challenging problems facing our modern society. They are turning climate risk and other problems into a business opportunity, spurring innovation and investment. (EPA Blog)

Why Receipts and Greasy Fingers Shouldn’t Mix. An order of French fries may be bad for your health in ways that extend well beyond the outsize calorie count. According to a new study by scientists at the University of Missouri, people who used hand sanitizer, touched a cash register receipt and then ate French fries were quickly exposed to high levels of bisphenol A (BPA), a chemical widely used to coat receipt paper. (TIME)

Fire Retardants Wash Out In Laundry. Flame retardants used in furniture and electronics work their way into aquatic food chains, accumulating in organisms from mussels to fish to seals. Scientists know that rivers and lakes receive significant amounts of fire suppressants from treated wastewater, but how the compounds get into sewage plants has remained a mystery. For the first time, a new study suggests that the biggest contributors are our washing machines. (Chemical & Engineering News)

New chemicals added to SIN List. Green chemicals NGO Chemsec included nearly 30 new chemicals on a list of harmful substances that the EU should regulate in order to curb health risks and water contamination. (Euractiv)

Low libido linked to additives used to soften materials found in every home . In the first study of its kind, Dr Emily Barrett, of the University of Rochester School of Medicine in the US, measured levels of phthalates in the urine of 360 pregnant women in their 20s and 30s. Those with the most phthalates in their bodies were two and a half times as likely to say they had frequently lacked interest in sex as those with the least. (Daily Mail)

The value of chief scientific advisers, EDC mixtures and prostate problems, and more // Nov 2014 science update #2

November 25, 2014 at 7:08 pm | Posted in 5&5 News & Science | Leave a comment
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November 2014 Science Digest #2:
Non-Human and Policy Research

Science policy | What Role for a Chief Scientist in the European Union System of Scientific Advice? At a time of increasing recognition worldwide of the role of chief science advisers as of critical importance in improving dialogue between science and policy, the European Union is currently considering the role which science advisers should play in European policy. After contextualizing this debate within the broader efforts undertaken by the Barroso Commission to strengthen science in EU policymaking, this article discusses what role, if any, a chief scientist may play within the EU system of scientific advice.

BPA, cardiovascular disease | Bisphenol A Exposure Enhances Atherosclerosis in WHHL Rabbits. Incidents of coronary stenosis increased by 11% and smooth muscle cells increased by 73% in the exposed group (400mcg/kgbw/d) compared to the vehicle group. Furthermore, BPA-treated WHHL rabbits showed increased adipose accumulation and hepatic and myocardial injuries accompanied by up-regulation of endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress and inflammatory and lipid metabolism markers in livers.

Mixtures, prostate cancer | Perinatal exposure to mixtures of anti-androgenic chemicals causes proliferative lesions in rat prostate. Mixtures of endocrine disrupters relevant for human exposure was found to elicit persistent effects on the rat prostate following perinatal exposure, suggesting that human perinatal exposure to environmental chemicals may increase the risk of prostate cancer later in life.

Mixtures, risk assessment | Brain drain: the cost of neglected responsibilities in evaluating cumulative effects of environmental chemicals. The laws regulating the safety of additives already require that regulators in Europe and the USA consider cumulative effects; so far, they seem to have neglected the mandate. We must move beyond treating chemical exposures as isolated incidents and look at their cumulative biological effects on organs and their role in the onset of chronic diseases.

Research methods | The Navigation Guide: Systematic Review for the Environmental Health Sciences. For decades the field of clinical science has used systematic review methods to integrate research findings and present the results in a consistent and unbiased manner to support health-protective recommendations. An interdisciplinary team of clinical and environmental health scientists has now adopted principles of systematic review and applied them to the environmental health sciences in a framework called the “Navigation Guide”.

Phthalates, diabetes | Gestational exposure to di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP) impairs pancreatic β-cell function in F1 rat offspring. In this study, global DNA methylation level was increased while the expression of genes involved in the development and function of β-cells were down-regulated in DEHP exposed groups. The authors conclude that gestational exposure to DEHP favours β-cell dysfunction and whole-body glucometabolic abnormalities in the F1 offspring.

Birth weight & PCB exposure; leukaemia & flame retardants; and more // Nov 2014 science digest #1

November 12, 2014 at 5:26 pm | Posted in 5&5 News & Science | Leave a comment
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November 2014 Science Digest #1:
Epidemiological Research

Birth Weight, PCBs | Prenatal exposure to PCB-153, p,p’-DDE and birth outcomes in 9000 mother-child pairs: Exposure-response relationship and effect modifiers. This study suggests that the association between low-level exposure to PCB-153 and birth weight exists and follows an inverse linear exposure-response relationship with effects even at low levels, and that maternal smoking and ethnicity modify this association.

Leukaemia, Flame Retardants | Residential Levels of Polybrominated Diphenyl Ethers and Risk of Childhood Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL) in California. Study finding no association with ALL, the most common childhood cancer, for common PBDEs, but positive associations for specific octa and nonaBDEs. Additional studies with repeated sampling and biological measures would therefore be informative. Synopsis here. (“Up until a few years ago, nobody was even measuring them [octa- and nona-BDE congeners],” says Linda Birnbaum, director of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences.)

Asthma, BPA | Bisphenol A Exposure and the Development of Wheeze and Lung Function in Children Through Age 5 Years. A birth cohort study, enrolled during early pregnancy in the greater Cincinnati, Ohio, area among 398 mother-infant dyads. Two maternal urine samples were collected during pregnancy (at 16 and 26 weeks) and child urine samples annually to assess gestational and child BPA exposure. Results provide evidence suggesting that prenatal but not postnatal exposure to BPA is associated with diminished lung function and the development of persistent wheeze in children.

Behaviour, BPA | Prenatal Bisphenol A Exposure and maternally reported behavior in boys and girls. In analyses restricted to children of mothers with detectable prenatal urinary BPA (n=125), BPA was associated with moderately increased internalizing and externalizing behaviors, withdrawn/depressed behavior, somatic problems, and Oppositional/Defiant Disorder traits in boys.

Asthma, PFCs | Perfluoroalkyl Chemicals and Asthma among Children 12–19 Years of Age: NHANES (1999–2008). This cross-sectional study provides some evidence for associations between exposure to PFCs and asthma-related outcomes in children. The evidence is inconsistent, however, and prospective studies are needed.

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