5&5: News and Science Selections from February 2011

March 5, 2011 at 6:05 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment


Nerve Cell Cross-Section

A nerve cell. Image: Wikimedia

PBDE Disruption of Thyroid Hormone–Induced Purkinje Cell Dendrite Arborization. A technical study which looks at how disruption of the thyroid system may hamper brain development, by changing how nerve cells develop. EHP synopsis here.

Mitochondrial dysfunction in autism spectrum disorders. Systematic review finding that, although many studies suffer from limitations, the evidence supports the notion that environmentally-induced mitochondrial dysfunction is associated with autism spectrum disorders. A different study has also found a role for mitochondrial dysfunction in Parkinson’s Disease (synopsis here).

Prenatal Organochlorine Compound Exposure, Rapid Weight Gain, and Overweight in Infancy. Study finding prenatal DDE exposure to be associated with rapid weight gain in the first 6 months and elevated BMI later in infancy, among infants of normal-weight mothers.

Widely Used Pesticides with Previously Unknown Endocrine Activity Revealed as in Vitro Anti-Androgens. Study finding that which finds many agricultural pesticides disrupt male hormones. These include some which had previously not been tested for this yet are commonly found in food. Synopsis by EHN here.

Prenatal environmental exposures, epigenetics, and disease. This review summarizes recent evidence that prenatal exposure to diverse environmental chemicals dysregulates the fetal epigenome, with potential consequences for subsequent developmental disorders and disease manifesting in childhood, over the lifecourse, or even transgenerationally.


Toxic Chemicals in Pregnant Women? An uncomplicated Q&A with Dr Sarah Janssen, MD, about the difficult issues presented by research finding that pregnant women have a range of possibly harmful chemicals in their bodies.

Green Cleaning Spruces Up Environment. WebMD asks: what does “going green” actually mean, when it comes to cleaning products? The answer, they say, has to do with the fact that much of the cleaning we do “isn’t cleaning, it’s polluting”.

Home Pesticide Chemical May Hurt Kids’ Cognition. Data analyzed for almost 350 children found that increase in exposure to piperonyl butoxide — a chemical mixed with pyrethroid pesticides to improve its efficacy — was associated with delayed mental development at age 3 years. Original study here.

Clorox comes clean: Company discloses all ingredients in all products. The maker of bleach, Pine-Sol and other popular cleaning products has announced it will disclose the specific preservatives, dyes and fragrances it uses in its cleaning, disinfecting and laundry products sold in the U.S. and Canada.

First Chemicals Banned In European Union. Chemical & Engineering News provide a lucid explanation of what the new chemical phase-outs under REACH actually mean. The phase-outs have in places been mis-described as bans.

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