March 2014 Science Digest #2: Non-human toxicological and policy research

March 18, 2014 at 12:37 pm | Posted in News and Science Bulletins | Leave a comment

PFCs, Immunotoxicity | Perfluorinated compounds: emerging POPs with potential immunotoxicity. Immunosuppression is a critical effect associated with exposure to PFCs, as it has been reported to reduce antibody responses to vaccination in children. Mounting evidence suggests that immunotoxicity in experimental animals can occur at serum concentrations below, within, or just above the reported range for highly exposed humans and wildlife. Considering bioaccumulation and exposure to multiple PFCs, the risk of immunotoxicity for humans and wildlife cannot be discounted.

Environmental exposures, Autism | Environmental toxicants and autism spectrum disorders: a systematic review. The findings of this review suggest that the etiology of ASD may involve, at least in a subset of children, complex interactions between genetic factors and certain environmental toxicants that may act synergistically or in parallel during critical periods of neurodevelopment, in a manner that increases the likelihood of developing ASD. Note this critique in Forbes which makes some good points about good practice in presenting summary data, if being a little over-excited.

Pesticide toxicity | Major Pesticides Are More Toxic to Human Cells Than Their Declared Active Principles. Pesticide safety testing focuses on the active ingredient; however, many other “inert” ingredients are added to the pesticide formulation which is actually sold. This study suggests these extra ingredients can substantially alter the toxicity of the pesticide; if confirmed, it means that pesticide testing may be considerably under-estimating toxicity.

BPA Toxicity | Toxicity Evaluation of Bisphenol A Administered by Gavage to Sprague Dawley Rats From Gestation Day 6 Through Postnatal Day 90. The FDA study which found no evidence of BPA toxicity at low doses. Questions have been raised about the appropriateness of end-points (no neurotoxicity assays), BPA contamination of control animals, and the whether the length of study was sufficient.

Windows of Exposure, Neurotoxicity | Neurobehavioural effects of developmental toxicity. LANCET NEUROLOGY: To control the pandemic of developmental neurotoxicity, we propose a global prevention strategy. Untested chemicals should not be presumed to be safe to brain development, and chemicals in existing use and all new chemicals must therefore be tested for developmental neurotoxicity. To coordinate these efforts and to accelerate translation of science into prevention, we propose the urgent formation of a new international clearinghouse.

Alternatives to BPA | Are Structural Analogues to Bisphenol A Safe Alternatives? All test compounds caused the same qualitative effects on estrogen receptor and androgen receptor activities, and most of the alternatives exhibited potencies within the same range as BPA. Hormone profiles for the compounds indicated a specific mechanism of action on steroidogenesis which generally lead to decreased androgen, and increased estrogen and progestagen levels.

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