High infant phthalate exposure in hospitals; sunscreen lowers fertility; and more // Dec 2014 science update #1

December 15, 2014 at 2:44 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

December 2014 Science Digest #1:
Epidemiological Research

Phthalates, exposure | Phthalates and critically ill neonates: device-related exposures and non-endocrine toxic risks. Study finding that the daily intake of DEHP for critically ill preterm infants is on the order of 4,000 and 160,000 times higher than desired for avoiding reproductive and hepatic [liver-related] toxicities, respectively.

Sunscreen, male fertility | Urinary Concentrations of Benzophenone-Type Ultraviolet Radiation Filters and Couples’ Fecundity. Male partners’ concentrations of the UV filters BP-2 and 4-hydroxybenzophenone were associated with reduced fecundity in adjusted models (fecundability odds ratio (FOR) = 0.69 (95% confidence interval (CI): 0.50, 0.95) and FOR = 0.74 (95% CI: 0.54, 1.00), respectively). In models adjusting for both partners’ concentrations, male BP-2 concentration remained associated with reduced fecundity (FOR = 0.69, 95% CI: 0.49, 0.97). These data suggest that male exposure to select UV filters may diminish couples’ fecundity, resulting in a longer time to pregnancy.

Organophosphates, respiratory symptoms | Early-life Exposure to Organophosphate Pesticides and Pediatric Respiratory Symptoms in the CHAMACOS Cohort. Higher prenatal organophosphate (OP) exposures were non-significantly associated with respiratory symptoms in the previous 12 months at 5 or 7 years of age. This association was strongest for some OP compounds in the second half of pregnancy. Childhood OP concentrations were associated with respiratory symptoms and exercise-induced coughing in the previous 12 months at age 5 or 7 years.

Methodology, epidemiology | Thinking One Step Ahead: Strategies to Strengthen Epidemiological Data for Use in Risk Assessment. Risk assessment is a cornerstone of environmental health research and policy making. A commentary in this issue of EHP presents a set of recommendations and guidelines to help researchers more effectively characterize uncertainty in epidemiological findings. Not only will this provide more transparency for the science itself, says coauthor Jennifer Pierson, a scientific program manager at the ILSI Health and Environmental Sciences Institute, it should also lead to more sound policies when those findings are integrated into risk assessments.

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.

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