NGOs question need for Chief Scientific Advisor; pollution problems with diesel; and more // Sept. 2014 News Digest

September 21, 2014 at 1:42 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

September 2014 News Digest

Flame retardants, mental development | More Evidence for PBDEs as Neurotoxicants: Cohort Study Corroborates Earlier Findings. Summary of research reporting a third U.S. birth cohort to show strikingly consistent associations between prenatal exposure to polybrominated diphenyl ether (PBDE) flame retardants and impaired performance on neurodevelopment tests later in childhood. (EHP)

Science and decision-making | NGO backlash to Chief Scientific Advisor position grows. More European non-profit groups have thrown their weight behind a call by Greenpeace and HEAL for the European Commission to scrap the position of its Science Tsar, Anne Glover, in a letter sent to the incoming EU president, Jean-Claude Juncker. (Euractiv)

Air pollution | The great diesel scandal: how cheap fuel is choking our cities Diesel’s popularity with motorists has surged, but its green image was an illusion. Now concern is growing over the damage caused by emissions, with children particularly vulnerable. (The Guardian)

BPA alternatives | BPA-Free Plastic Containers May Be Just as Hazardous. Scientific American: Animal studies find that a replacement compound for the estrogen-mimicking chemical bisphenol A may also be harmful to human health. (Scientific American)

Phthalates, infertility | Researchers Investigate Link Between Phthalates And Infertility. Exposure to phthalates, plasticizing agents that appear in products such as food packaging and cosmetics, has been linked to altered hormonal development and impaired fertility. But so far scientists have not determined exactly how the compounds might influence reproduction. Now a team of researchers has identified a potential mechanism: They find that exposure to certain phthalates is correlated with a biomarker for oxidative stress. (Chemical & Engineering News)

PFC regulation | Leading scientists call for a stop to non-essential use of fluorochemicals. A number of leading international researchers, amongst others from the National Food Institute, Technical University of Denmark, recommend that fluorochemicals are only used where they are absolutely essential, until better methods exist to measure the chemicals and more is known about their potentially harmful effects. The recommendation appears in the Helsingør Statement following an international conference. (Danish Technical University)

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