August 2015 News Bulletin: Chemical combinations and cancer risk; food packaging problems.

August 18, 2015 at 12:07 pm | Posted in News and Science Bulletins | Leave a comment
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August 2015 News Bulletin

Combinations of ‘safe’ chemicals may increase cancer risk, study suggests. Lots of chemicals are considered safe in low doses. But what happens when you ingest a little bit of a lot of different chemicals over time? In some cases, these combinations may conspire to increase your risk of cancer, according to a new report. (LA Times)

A Hard Nut to Crack: Reducing Chemical Migration in Food-Contact Materials. Consumer-level food packaging serves a wide range of functions, such as providing product information, preventing spoilage, and protecting food during the journey from production to retail to pantry, fridge, or freezer. That’s why food producers lavish so much time and money on it. But what happens when these valuable and painstakingly engineered containers leach chemicals and other compounds into the food and drink they’re designed to protect? (EHP)

EU bans endocrine disruptor from textile imports. Campaigners at Greenpeace are celebrating the EU’s decision to ban imports on textiles containing nonylphenol ethoxylates (NPEs), chemicals used as detergents and wetting agents in the manufacture of clothing . (Chemistry World)

EDC exposure costs; “toxic shockers”; and more // Recent news highlights (Jan 2015)

January 14, 2015 at 1:07 pm | Posted in News and Science Bulletins | Leave a comment
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Recent news highlights (Jan 2015)

Costs of EDC exposure | Toiletry chemicals linked to testicular cancer and male infertility cost EU millions, report says. The hormone-mimicking chemicals used routinely in toiletries, cosmetics, medicines, plastics and pesticides cause hundreds of millions of euros of damage to EU citizens every year, according to the first estimate of their economic impact. (The Guardian)

Evaluating PFC harms | PFOA and High Cholesterol: Basis for the Finding of a Probable Link. Interesting backgrounder on the work of the C8 Science panel, created as part of a class action settlement to study the relationship between perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and disease in the community surrounding DuPont’s Washington Works facility in West Virginia. (Environmental Health Perspectives)

Systematic review methods | Growing Use in U.S., EU of Systematic Review For Safety Analyses Targets Different Issues. Research and regulatory agencies in North America and Europe are increasing their use of systematic review, but they are applying the strategies to different targets. (Bloomberg)

Understanding chemical health risks | Toxic shockers: Key chemicals to look out for. “From BPA to burnt toast, pretty much everything in the modern world comes with a hidden cocktail of chemical extras. Get the facts on what to worry about.” (New Scientist)

Flaws in evaluating carcinogens | Benzene and worker cancers: ‘An American tragedy’. Internal memorandums, emails, letters and meeting minutes obtained by the Center for Public Integrity over the past year suggest that America’s oil and chemical titans, coordinated by their trade association, the American Petroleum Institute, spent at least $36 million on research “designed to protect member company interests,” as one 2000 API summary put it. Many of the documents chronicle an unparalleled effort by five major petrochemical companies to finance benzene research in Shanghai, China, where the pollutant persists in workplaces. Others attest to the industry’s longstanding interest in such “concerns” as childhood leukemia. (Center for Public Integrity)

EDC regulation | Echa committee says DEHP is an endocrine disruptor. Echa’s Member State Committee (MSC) has unanimously agreed to identify the phthalate DEHP as a substance of very high concern (SVHC) because of its endocrine-disrupting properties in the environment. (Chemical Watch)

Effect of PFC exposure on thyroid levels in pregnancy; PCBs on hearing; and more // August 2014 science digest #1

August 10, 2014 at 2:44 pm | Posted in News and Science Bulletins | Leave a comment
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August Science Digest #1
Human research

Thyroid function, PFCs | Associations between perfluoroalkyl acids (PFASs) and maternal thyroid hormones in early pregnancy: A population-based cohort study. PFASs were positively associated with thyroid stimulating hormone and weakly negatively associated with free thyroxine in the subset of pregnant women with high thyroid peroxidase antibody, a marker of autoimmune hypothyroidism and which occurs in 6-10% of pregnancies. PFASs may exacerbate the already high TSH and low fT4 levels in these women during early pregnancy, which is a critical time of thyroid hormone-mediated fetal brain development; however, the clinical significance of these findings is not clear.

Hearing, PCBs | Prenatal and Postnatal Serum PCB Concentrations and Cochlear Function in Children at 45 Months of Age. Study finding an association between poorer performance in hearing tests and postnatal exposure to PCBs; maternal and cord PCB concentrations were not associated with hearing performance.

Obesity, BPA || Early-Life Bisphenol A Exposure and Child Body Mass Index: A Prospective Cohort Study. To determine if early life BPA exposure was associated with increased body mass index (BMI) at 2-5 years of age, 297 mother-child pairs were studied (HOME Study). Prenatal and early childhood BPA exposures were not associated with increased BMI at 2-5 years, but higher early childhood exposure to BPA was associated with accelerated growth during this period.

Brain cancer, solvents | Childhood brain tumours: associations with parental occupational exposure to solvents. An increased risk of childhood brain tumor (CBT) was observed with maternal occupational exposures to chlorinated solvents (OR=8.59, 95% CI 0.94–78.9) any time before birth. Paternal exposure to solvents in the year before conception was also associated with an increased CBT risk: OR=1.55 (95% CI 0.99–2.43). This increased risk appeared to be mainly attributable to exposure to aromatic solvents: OR=2.72 (95% CI 0.94–7.86) for benzene and OR=1.76 (95% CI 1.10–2.82) for other aromatics.

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