5&5 News and Science Highlights from January 2013

February 6, 2013 at 1:16 pm | Posted in News and Science Bulletins | Leave a comment


Wash Your HandsTriclosan fears lead to alternative soaps. CleanWell’s hand soaps promise to slay germs, and foam and ooze – just as soap should. But unlike many antibacterial soaps, the ones from this young San Francisco company and a growing number of other manufacturers lack a potentially harmful chemical: triclosan.

BPA: contested science, divergent safety evaluations. It’s time to ‘dare to start again’ with bisphenol A (BPA) risk assessment as industry-sponsored research and peer-reviewed studies seem to “deviate strongly”, according to the European Environment Agency (EEA).

Path-blazing researcher explores environmental links to autism. Over the last 10 years, Irva Hertz-Picciotto’s work with more than 1,000 autistic children has changed how science looks at autism, focusing discussion on the crossroads of environment and genetics, and addressing many of the challenges in conducting epidemiological research into the causes of the disorder.

For our full archive of news and science, categorised by environmental agent, disease and research type, visit CPES’ Pinboard site here.

Warnings From a Flabby Mouse. “One of the puzzles of the modern world is why we humans are growing so tubby. Maybe these two mice offer a clue,” says Nicholas Kristof, New York Times columnist.

Eat Like a Mennonite. “There is only so much food you can eat from a paper bag: we need the government to require testing of commercial chemicals for hormonal effects, and to regulate them in a meaningful way; and we need manufacturers to design products with safer substances in the first place.”


Maternal Urinary Bisphenol A during Pregnancy and Maternal and Neonatal Thyroid Function in the CHAMACOS Study. This epidemiological study suggests that exposure to BPA during pregnancy may reduce total T4 in pregnant women and decrease TSH in male neonates.

Early-life prevention of non-communicable diseases. Comment in The Lancet: Much more attention should be given to “early-life interventions, optimisation of nutrition, and reduction of toxic exposures to curtail the increasing prevalence of non-communicable disease.”

Effects of persistent organic pollutants on the developing respiratory and immune systems: A systematic review. This systematic review of 41 epidemiological studies suggests that early-life exposure to POPs can adversely influence immune and respiratory systems development.

The male mammary gland: a target for the xenoestrogen bisphenol A. A mouse study observing age- and dose-specific effects of BPA on mammary gland morphology, indicating that BPA exposure around birth may go on to alter the male mammary gland in adulthood. These results may provide insight into gynaecomastia, the most common male breast disease in humans.

Pesticides and oncogenic modulation. Review finding substantial in vitro mechanistic work suggesting that pesticides are capable of inducing mutations in oncogenes, with human population studies indicating associations between pesticide exposure levels and mutation occurrence in cancer-related genes.

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