How to progress in endocrine disruption debate; new methods for safer chemicals; and more // Jan 2015 science digest #2

January 14, 2015 at 12:46 pm | Posted in News and Science Bulletins | Leave a comment
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January 2015 Science Digest #2:
Non-Human and Policy Research

Endocrine disruptors, scientific debate | A path forward in the debate over health impacts of endocrine disrupting chemicals. There are four areas fundamental to the debate about the human health impacts of EDCs. The first is about the definitions for terms such as “endocrine disrupting chemical”, “adverse effects”, and “endocrine system”. The second is focused on elements of hormone action including “potency”, “endpoints”, “timing”, “dose” and “thresholds”. The third addresses the information needed to establish sufficient evidence of harm. Finally, the fourth focuses on the need to develop and the characteristics of transparent, systematic methods to review the EDC literature.

Safer chemicals | Advancing Safer Alternatives Through Functional Substitution. This article describes a functional approach to chemicals management we call “functional substitution” that encourages decision-makers to look beyond chemical by chemical substitution to find a range of alternatives to meet product performance. We define functional substitution, outline a rationale for greater use of this concept when considering risks posed by uses of chemicals, and provide examples of how functional approaches have been applied toward the identification of alternatives.

Breast cancer, prevention | Environmental exposures, breast development and cancer risk: Through the looking glass of breast cancer prevention. This review summarizes the report entitled: Breast Cancer and the Environment: Prioritizing Prevention, highlights research gaps and the importance of focusing on early life exposures for breast development and breast cancer risk.

Endocrine disruptors, breast cancer research | Advancing Research on Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals in Breast Cancer: Expert Panel Recommendations. The daunting tasks of identifying, characterizing, and elucidating the mechanisms of endocrine disrupting chemicals in breast cancer need to be addressed to produce a comprehensive model that will facilitate preventive strategies and public policy. An expert panel met to describe and bring attention to needs linking common environmental exposures, critical windows of exposure, and optimal times of assessment in investigating breast cancer risk.

Endocrine disruptors, reproduction | Effect of maternal exposure to endocrine disrupting chemicals on reproduction and mammary gland development in female sprague-dawley rats. Significant morphological/histological changes were observed at the end of lactation in the MGs of EDC-treated dams. The total transcriptome profile as well as lactation-related genes in MGs also corroborate the morphological findings as more profound gene expression changes are present only at the weaning period. The study highlights the heightened sensitivity of the MGs during critical windows of exposure, particularly pregnancy and lactation, with an impact on pups’ survival.

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