Initiatives to mprove reproducibility of research; flame retardants in peanut butter; and more // August 2014 news round-up

August 12, 2014 at 4:53 pm | Posted in News and Science Bulletins | Leave a comment
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August 2014 News Digest

Research Wranglers: Initiatives to Improve Reproducibility of Study Findings. Advances in science depend on researchers being able to reproduce the findings of their peers, thus providing a solid platform from which to move forward with new lines of scientific inquiry. Yet for a variety of reasons, irreproducibility appears to be a growing problem in experimental research. Now funding agencies and research journals are crafting guidelines to ensure that published studies are well designed, well reported, and better able to generate reproducible results. (Environmental Health Perspectives)

Flame Retardants Are Everywhere. If flame retardants can be found even in peanut butter, then where else have they spread? And what health risks come with them? (New York Times)

Denmark scraps planned ban on phthalate chemicals. After pressure from the European Commission and the outcome of a related court case, the Danish government has decided to scrap its planned ban on four phthalates, a group of chemicals used to soften plastic. (Euractiv)

Danes to propose candidate list phthalates as EDCs. Denmark has announced that it will withdraw its legislation to ban four phthalates (DEHP, DBP, BBP and DIBP), after the European Commission considered infringement action for going against an EU-wide decision. However, the country has notified ECHA that it intends to propose that the four phthalates, which are already on the REACH candidate list based on their reprotoxic properties, are also designated as endocrine disruptors. (Chemical Watch)

Over 60% of breads sold in the UK contain pesticide residues, tests show The levels found were below “maximum residue level” (MRL) limits. Pesticide Action Network UK (Pan UK) said MRLs only indicate whether the pesticides had been applied to crops in the amounts permitted. “There is the possibility of harm from the repeated ingestion of low doses of pesticides and no one has done research on the impact of the cocktails of pesticides.” (The Guardian)

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