Systematic review of pesticides as a cause of Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma; phthalates and obesity; and more // Sept 2014 science digest #1 (human)

September 21, 2014 at 2:02 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Sept. 2014 Science Digest #1 //
Human Research

Pesticides, Cancer | Non-Hodgkin lymphoma and occupational exposure to agricultural pesticide chemical groups and active ingredients: a systematic review and meta-analysis. In a handful of papers, associations between pesticides and NHL subtypes were reported; B cell lymphoma was positively associated with phenoxy herbicides and the organophosphorus herbicide glyphosate. Diffuse large B-cell lymphoma was positively associated with phenoxy herbicide exposure. Despite compelling evidence that NHL is associated with certain chemicals, this review indicates the need for investigations of a larger variety of pesticides in more geographic areas, especially in low- and middle-income countries, which, despite producing a large portion of the world’s agriculture, were missing in the literature that were reviewed.

BPA, reproduction | Bisphenol A and Reproductive Health: Update of Experimental and Human Evidence, 2007–2013. Based on reports that BPA impacts female reproduction and has the potential to affect male reproductive systems in humans and animals, this review concludes that BPA is a reproductive toxicant. (See a presentation of the strengths and weaknesses of this review here.)

Perchlorate, thyroid function | Maternal perchlorate levels in women with borderline thyroid function during pregnancy and the cognitive development of their offspring; Data from the Controlled Antenatal Thyroid Study. This is the first study using individual-level patient data to study maternal perchlorate exposure and offspring neurodevelopment and suggests that high-end maternal perchlorate levels in hypothyroid/hypothyroxinemic pregnant women have an adverse effect on offspring cognitive development, not affected by maternal levothyroxine therapy. (Perchlorate is a component of rocket fuel.)

Phthalates, fertility | Urinary Phthalate Metabolites Are Associated With Decreased Serum Testosterone in Men, Women, and Children From NHANES 2011-2012. Study exploring relationships between urinary concentrations of 13 phthalate metabolites and serum total T levels among men, women, and children. In boys 6-12 years old, an interquartile range increase in metabolites of di-2-ethylhexyl phthalate was associated with a 29% (95% confidence interval, 6, 47) reduction in testosterone.

Phthalates, obesity | Age and Sex-Specific Relationships between Phthalate Exposures and Obesity in Chinese Children at Puberty. Study reporting age and sex-specific concentration-effect associations between phthalate exposure and fat distribution in Chinese children. Urinary phthalate levels in 11-13 yrs boys were about 30 percent higher than those in girls, and ∑MEHP levels in younger boys (<10 yrs) were significantly higher than those in elder boys (>10 yrs). Associations were positive for MBP and ∑LMP with both BMI z-score and fat distribution in boys >10 years of age, and negative for ∑MEHP with fat distribution in girls <10 years of age.

NGOs question need for Chief Scientific Advisor; pollution problems with diesel; and more // Sept. 2014 News Digest

September 21, 2014 at 1:42 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

September 2014 News Digest

Flame retardants, mental development | More Evidence for PBDEs as Neurotoxicants: Cohort Study Corroborates Earlier Findings. Summary of research reporting a third U.S. birth cohort to show strikingly consistent associations between prenatal exposure to polybrominated diphenyl ether (PBDE) flame retardants and impaired performance on neurodevelopment tests later in childhood. (EHP)

Science and decision-making | NGO backlash to Chief Scientific Advisor position grows. More European non-profit groups have thrown their weight behind a call by Greenpeace and HEAL for the European Commission to scrap the position of its Science Tsar, Anne Glover, in a letter sent to the incoming EU president, Jean-Claude Juncker. (Euractiv)

Air pollution | The great diesel scandal: how cheap fuel is choking our cities Diesel’s popularity with motorists has surged, but its green image was an illusion. Now concern is growing over the damage caused by emissions, with children particularly vulnerable. (The Guardian)

BPA alternatives | BPA-Free Plastic Containers May Be Just as Hazardous. Scientific American: Animal studies find that a replacement compound for the estrogen-mimicking chemical bisphenol A may also be harmful to human health. (Scientific American)

Phthalates, infertility | Researchers Investigate Link Between Phthalates And Infertility. Exposure to phthalates, plasticizing agents that appear in products such as food packaging and cosmetics, has been linked to altered hormonal development and impaired fertility. But so far scientists have not determined exactly how the compounds might influence reproduction. Now a team of researchers has identified a potential mechanism: They find that exposure to certain phthalates is correlated with a biomarker for oxidative stress. (Chemical & Engineering News)

PFC regulation | Leading scientists call for a stop to non-essential use of fluorochemicals. A number of leading international researchers, amongst others from the National Food Institute, Technical University of Denmark, recommend that fluorochemicals are only used where they are absolutely essential, until better methods exist to measure the chemicals and more is known about their potentially harmful effects. The recommendation appears in the Helsingør Statement following an international conference. (Danish Technical University)

Initiatives to mprove reproducibility of research; flame retardants in peanut butter; and more // August 2014 news round-up

August 12, 2014 at 4:53 pm | Posted in 5&5 News & Science | Leave a comment
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August 2014 News Digest

Research Wranglers: Initiatives to Improve Reproducibility of Study Findings. Advances in science depend on researchers being able to reproduce the findings of their peers, thus providing a solid platform from which to move forward with new lines of scientific inquiry. Yet for a variety of reasons, irreproducibility appears to be a growing problem in experimental research. Now funding agencies and research journals are crafting guidelines to ensure that published studies are well designed, well reported, and better able to generate reproducible results. (Environmental Health Perspectives)

Flame Retardants Are Everywhere. If flame retardants can be found even in peanut butter, then where else have they spread? And what health risks come with them? (New York Times)

Denmark scraps planned ban on phthalate chemicals. After pressure from the European Commission and the outcome of a related court case, the Danish government has decided to scrap its planned ban on four phthalates, a group of chemicals used to soften plastic. (Euractiv)

Danes to propose candidate list phthalates as EDCs. Denmark has announced that it will withdraw its legislation to ban four phthalates (DEHP, DBP, BBP and DIBP), after the European Commission considered infringement action for going against an EU-wide decision. However, the country has notified ECHA that it intends to propose that the four phthalates, which are already on the REACH candidate list based on their reprotoxic properties, are also designated as endocrine disruptors. (Chemical Watch)

Over 60% of breads sold in the UK contain pesticide residues, tests show The levels found were below “maximum residue level” (MRL) limits. Pesticide Action Network UK (Pan UK) said MRLs only indicate whether the pesticides had been applied to crops in the amounts permitted. “There is the possibility of harm from the repeated ingestion of low doses of pesticides and no one has done research on the impact of the cocktails of pesticides.” (The Guardian)

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