Thank you for reading!
This is our final edition of Health & Environment! After years of very successfully writing and producing H&E, Paul Whaley is moving on to concentrate full time on his work developing systematic review methods for chemical risk assessment.
In addition to covering news and science each month about chemicals and health, H&E has also included a detailed feature article, all of which are archived here.
These still make valuable and relevant reading covering topical issues such as the pros and cons of adopting different regulatory definitions of “endocrine disruptor”, absence of regulation of food packaging, and the value of the precautionary principle as a driver of innovation.
In addition to his excellent work on H&E, Paul has maintained a very useful archive of news and science which can also be accessed here.
We wish Paul all the very best in his future career and will continue to work with him in our collective effort to reduce human exposure to harmful chemicals.
The Cancer Prevention & Education Society
PFCs, immunotoxicity | Immunotoxicity Associated with Exposure to Perfluorooctanoic Acid (PFOA) or Perfluorooctane Sulfonate (PFOS).The NTP concludes that both PFOA and PFOS are presumed to be an immune hazard to humans based on a high level of evidence from animal studies that PFOA and PFOS suppressed the antibody response and a moderate level of evidence from studies in humans. The evidence that these chemicals affect multiple aspects of the immune system supports the overall conclusion that both PFOA and PFOS alter immune functions in humans.
Phthalates, fertility | Parental contributions to early embryo development: influences of urinary phthalate and phthalate alternatives among couples undergoing IVF treatment. Our results suggest an inverse association between male preconception concentrations of select phthalate metabolites and blastocyst quality, likely occurring after genomic activation. If corroborated with other studies, such findings will have public health and clinical significance for both the general population and those undergoing IVF.
Cancer prevention | Cancer Prevention During Early Life. CDC’s Division of Cancer Prevention and Control sponsored a special issue in the journal Pediatrics about factors from before birth through early childhood that may affect a person’s chance of getting cancer. The authors of papers in this issue are experts from many different professions, showing the importance of working together to address potential cancer causes and risk factors.
Air pollution, cardiovascular disease | Air pollution and cardiovascular mortality with over 25years follow-up: A combined analysis of two British cohorts. Adverse effects of air pollution on cardiovascular disease (CVD) mortality are well established. There are comparatively fewer studies in Europe, and in the UK particularly, than in North America. We examined associations in two British cohorts with >25years of follow-up. Elevated non-significant hazard ratios for CVD mortality were seen with 1991 BS and SO2 and with ESCAPE PM10 and PM2.5 in fully adjusted linear models.
POPs exposure during weight loss | Increased blood levels of persistent organic pollutants (POP) in obese individuals after weight loss-A review. Most research in this field, including animal studies, is carried out on a single compound or group of selected compounds, not taking the “cocktail effect” into consideration. This does not reflect the true range of POP to which humans are actually exposed. Few chronic investigations have been published and, in particular, few studies were available that compared the increase in POP concentrations with clinical consequences as individuals lost weight. These limitations call for caution in interpreting results. The benefits of losing weight still far outweigh the potential adverse health risks. However, further studies are recommended to determine the clinical significance of increased blood levels of POPs following rapid and excessive weight loss, particularly for women attending weight reduction treatment before pregnancy.
Stop playing whack-a-mole with hazardous chemicals. When new parents see the words “BPA-free” on a baby bottle or sippy cup, they are meant to assume that the product is safe. This may well not be the case — quite to the contrary. In fact, in some cases, hormone-disrupting BPA, or bisphenol-A, has simply been swapped for a similar chemical — BPS, or bisphenol-S — that may well pose even greater dangers to child health. In this way, manufacturers have done an end run around on the much-publicized dangers of BPA without addressing the underlying problem. (Washington Post)
This Pesticide Is Prohibited in Britain. Why Is It Still Being Exported? Paraquat, one of many pesticides that can’t be used in Europe but is sold in the United States and elsewhere, has been linked to Parkinson’s disease in a growing body of research. (New York Times)
EU investigation could put furniture fire rules up in flames. Brussels has launched an investigation into whether Ireland’s furniture fire safety regulations — the strictest in Europe — comply with EU free-market rules, following a complaint by manufacturers. (The Times)
Concern Over EDCs Continues to Grow. In a follow-up interview with MedPage Today, Andrea Gore expressed her hopes for advancements in the field for the coming new year. “I hope that the scientists who are conducting the research on EDCs, and the physicians who are treating increasing numbers of sick patients with chronic diseases, are recognized as the bona fide experts who are called upon to develop and implement policies about chemical safety. The experts guiding regulatory policy need to be free of any connections to the chemical industry to ensure that there are no conflicts of interest.” (MedPage Today)