5&5: News and Science Highlights from July 2012

August 6, 2012 at 7:42 pm | Posted in News and Science Bulletins | Leave a comment


Trihalomethanes, chlorite, chlorate in drinking water and risk of congenital anomalies: a population-based case-control study in Northern Italy. The first study showing an excess risk of different congenital anomalies related to disinfection by-product exposure via drinking water: further research is needed to confirm the observed relationships in large datasets, specifically for chlorate.

A Research Strategy to Discover the Environmental Causes of Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disabilities. Are there still undiscovered environmental causes of autism or other NDDs among the thousands of chemicals currently in wide use in the United States? Unless studies specifically examine developmental consequences of early exposures to untested chemicals, sub-clinical dysfunction caused by these exposures can go unrecognized for years, as we saw with lead.

Our chemicals and health archive now contains over 1800 links to news stories and research, organised by health outcome and exposure. Use it to keep up-to-date on the latest news and research, create custom RSS feeds, and as a platform for your own research projects. Click here to see it.

Thyroid function and perfluoroalkyl acids in children living near a chemical plant. This is the first large-scale report in children suggesting associations of serum PFOS and PFNA with thyroid hormone levels and of serum PFOA and hypothyroidism.

Mixtures of endocrine disrupting contaminants modelled on human high end exposures: an exploratory study in rats. The observations in this study suggest that highly exposed population groups, especially women of reproductive age, may not be protected sufficiently against the combined effects of chemicals that affect the hormonal milieu required for normal male sexual differentiation.

Urinary Phthalate Metabolite Concentrations and Diabetes among Women in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) 2001-2008. Study associating urinary levels of several phthalates with prevalent diabetes. It state that future prospective studies are needed to further explore these associations to determine whether phthalate exposure can alter glucose metabolism or increase the risk of insulin resistance and diabetes.


Why is it So Difficult to Choose Safer Alternatives for Hazardous Chemicals? Who, exactly, decides on the replacements for toxic chemicals, and on the basis of what criteria? And why does finding truly safer alternatives seem so difficult?

NIEHS experts speak at EU Conference on Endocrine Disruptors. Bear with this one – it describes Jerry Heindel’s six principles of hormone function, which are important to understand and form the basis for his recommendations as to how chemicals should be assessed for endocrine-disrupting properties.

Clashing Provisions of EU Regulations Pose Obstacle for Assessment of Cosmetics. Indeed they do: cosmetics manufacturers will not be able to use animals to test ingredient safety, but for nanomaterials there are no non-animal test methods which have been validated.

Your manicure looks beautiful. But the health effects are ugly. Polishes are infamous for containing the “Big Three” hazardous chemicals: toluene, which can damage nervous and reproductive systems; formaldehyde, which can causes rashes and asthma; and dibutyl phthalate, which has been shown to affect sexual organ development in male fetuses.

Flame Retardants In Furniture Foam Are Not Effective, CPSC And UL Officials Tell Regulators. Foam-padded furniture containing flame retardants burns almost as fast as identical furniture without these chemicals, officials of the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and Underwriters Laboratories (UL) told Congress last week. (Subscription required)

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