May 2014 Chemicals and Health News Highlights

May 26, 2014 at 11:50 am | Posted in News and Science Bulletins | Leave a comment
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Crib Mattresses Emit Potentially Harmful Chemicals, Cockrell School Engineers Find. More evidence that crib mattresses may be a significant source of exposure to potentially toxic chemicals. Analyzing the foam padding in crib mattresses, the team found that the mattresses release significant amounts of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), potentially harmful chemicals also found in household items such as cleaners and scented sprays.

Avon will remove triclosan from products – what will replace it? Simply removing triclosan from the formula would seem to be the obvious solution for companies wishing to avoid the chemical. However, in many cases companies are opting to replace triclosan with quaternary ammonia compounds or quats, of which the most commonly used is benzalkonium chloride – a potential breathing irritant.

Real reform can curb exposure to toxic chemicals. American Congress of Obstetricians and the American Society for Reproductive Medicine: “We urge lawmakers to consider evidence of the negative health impacts of toxic substances on the public, and produce a strong law that will effectively protect pregnant women, children and other vulnerable populations from these harms.”

Preclinical research: Make mouse studies work. NATURE: Important article about the lack of rigour in much preclinical research, with lessons for improving methods in toxicological research using animals.

Toxicology: The plastics puzzle. NATURE: The decision by many regulators to ban BPA from baby bottles, combined with industry marketing campaigns, has convinced many consumers that the plastics and other containers currently used to store food are safe. It is a false sense of security. BPA is still a constituent of many food containers, especially cans. And when companies did abandon BPA, they often adopted compounds that share much of the same chemistry and raise many of the same concerns as BPA.

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