June 2015 Science Bulletin #1: EDC exposure in ICU patients; flame retardants associated with delay in puberty; and more

June 11, 2015 at 5:26 pm | Posted in News and Science Bulletins | Leave a comment
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June 2015 Science Bulletin #1
Human research

EDCs, exposure | Considerable exposure to the endocrine disrupting chemicals phthalates and bisphenol-A in intensive care unit (ICU) patientsPlastic-containing medical devices were the main source of DEHP exposure: post-operative patients on hemofiltration, extracorporeal membrane oxygenation or both showed serum levels 100-or 1000-fold higher than the levels in the general population reported in the literature. The serum and some of the urinary levels of the DEHP metabolites are the highest ever reported in humans; some at biologically highly relevant concentrations of ≥10-50μM.

Air pollution, diabetes | Association between Ambient Air Pollution and Diabetes Mellitus in Europe and North America: Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Existing evidence indicates a positive association of air pollution and T2DM risk, albeit there is high risk of bias. High-quality studies assessing dose-response effects are needed. Research should be expanded to developing countries where outdoor and indoor air pollution are high.

Flame retardants, delayed pubertyBrominated Flame Retardants and Other Persistent Organohalogenated Compounds in Relation to Timing of Puberty in a Longitudinal Study of Girls. Exposure to hormonally active chemicals could plausibly affect pubertal timing, so we are investigating this in the Breast Cancer and the Environment Research Program. This first longitudinal study of puberty in girls with serum POPs measurements (to our knowledge) reveals a delay in onset with higher concentrations.

EDCs, obesity | Exposure to Endocrine-Disrupting Chemicals during Pregnancy and Weight at 7 Years of Age: A Multi-pollutant ApproachIn single pollutant models, HCB, βHCH, PCB138, and PCB180 were associated with increased child BMI z-scores; HCB, βHCH, PCB138, and DDE with overweight risk. PCA generated four factors that accounted for 43.4% of the total variance. The organochlorine factor was positively associated with BMI z-scores and with overweight (adj RRs tertile 3 vs 1: 2.59; 95% CI: 1.19, 5.63) and these associations were robust to adjustment for other EDCs. Exposure in the second tertile of the phthalate factor was inversely associated with overweight.

May 2015 News Bulletin: Where next for science advice? Changing “the cancer conversation”. Air pollution deaths underestimated.

May 15, 2015 at 12:35 pm | Posted in News and Science Bulletins | Leave a comment

May 2015 News Bulletin

Science Advice | Where next for scientific advice in Europe? After the controversy over its chief scientific adviser, the European Commission now has an opportunity to put in place a world-class, open and accountable science advisory system. (Guardian)

Cancer prevention | Change the cancer conversation. The ‘war on cancer’ has run off course. Efforts must refocus on the best interests of patients. (Nature)

Air pollution deaths | Air pollution may cause more UK deaths than previously thought, say scientists. Current figures of almost 30,000 UK deaths a year from air pollution do not factor in lethal nitrogen dioxide from diesel engines, wood, oil and coal burning. (Guardian)

Air pollution levels | UK ordered to clean up NO2 pollution immediately. The UK’s current plan, which allows illegal levels of pollution to persist for more than 20 years after the original deadline, must be scrapped in favour of a more effective strategy by end 2015. (Chemistry World)

Waterway pollution levels | Pesticides are polluting our waters — and we often don’t know it. Of 11,300 waterway pollution measurements, 52 percent breached U.S. or E.U. limits, the researchers found. These breaches occurred in countries with both poorly- and well-established regulatory systems. (Washington Post) Click here for study.

Environmental burden of disease | Making It Real—The Environmental Burden of Disease. What Does It Take to Make People Pay Attention to the Environment and Health? The health impact of exposure to environmental chemicals can be an elusive and difficult concept to grasp. We lack complete data and understanding on the extent to which the industrial chemicals present in our everyday lives—in our food, water, air, and the products we use every day—impact our health. Four articles published in this issue of the JCEM begin to shed light on the price we are paying. (JCEM)

May 2015 Science Bulletin #2: BPA impacts reproduction of generations of mice; BTEX as EDC below current “safe” levels; and more

May 13, 2015 at 1:23 pm | Posted in News and Science Bulletins | Leave a comment

May Science Bulletin #2:
Non-human, policy and
methodological research

Benzene etc., endocrine disruption | New Look at BTEX: Are Ambient Levels a Problem? The reviewers identified epidemiological studies assessing the noncancer health impacts of ambient level BTEX (benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, and xylenes) exposure (i.e., nonoccupational) and discussed how the health conditions may be hormonally mediated. This analysis suggests that all four chemicals may have endocrine disrupting properties at exposure levels below reference concentrations (i.e. “safe” levels) issued by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

BPA, diabetes | Bisphenol-A Treatment During Pregnancy in Mice: A New Window of Susceptibility for the Development of Diabetes in Mothers Later in Life . The researchers show that several months after delivery, mothers treated with the bisphenol-A (BPA) during gestation, at environmentally relevant doses, exhibit profound glucose intolerance and altered insulin sensitivity as well as increased body weight. These mice presented a decreased insulin secretion both in vivo and in vitro together with reduced pancreatic β-cell mass.

Biomonitoring | Identification and Prioritization of Relationships between Environmental Stressors and Adverse Human Health Impacts. Due to the computational efficiency of the Frequent Itemset Mining method, all chemicals and health effects can be considered in a single analysis. The resulting list provides a comprehensive summary of the chemical/health co-occurrences from NHANES that are higher than expected by chance. This information enables ranking and prioritization on chemicals or health effects of interest for evaluation of published results and design of future studies.

Biomonitoring data, risk assessment | Uses of NHANES Biomarker Data for Chemical Risk Assessment: Trends, Challenges, and Opportunities. This article highlights: 1) the extent to which U.S. NHANES chemical biomarker data have been evaluated, 2) groups of chemicals that have been studied, 3) data analysis approaches and challenges, and 4) opportunities for using these data to inform risk assessments. Best practices for analysis and interpretation must be defined and adopted to allow the full potential of the NHANES to be realized.

Pharmaceuticals, risk assessment | Improving Environmental Risk Assessment of Human Pharmaceuticals. This paper presents 10 recommendations for improving the European Medicines Agency’s guidance for environmental risk assessment of human pharmaceutical products. They concern: expanding the scope of the current guideline; requirements to assess the risk for development of antibiotic resistance; jointly performed assessments; refinement of the test proposal; mixture toxicity assessments on active pharmaceutical ingredients with similar modes of action; use of all available ecotoxicity studies; mandatory reviews; increased transparency; inclusion of emission data from production; and a risk management option.

BPA, reproduction | The effects of in utero bisphenol A exposure on reproductive capacity in several generations of mice. The results indicate that BPA exposure (0.5 and 50μg/kg/day) significantly delayed the age at vaginal opening in the F3 generation compared to vehicle control. Both DES (0.05μg/kg/day) and BPA (50μg/kg/day) significantly delayed the age at first estrus in the F3 generation compared to vehicle control. BPA exposure reduced gestational index in the F1 and F2 generations compared to control. Further, BPA exposure (0.5μg/kg/day) compromised the fertility index in the F3 generation compared to control. Finally, in utero BPA exposure reduced the ability of female mice to maintain pregnancies as they aged.

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