April 2015 Science Bulletin #2: increasing the policy impact of research; biomonitoring and the concept of “toxic trespass”; and more

April 13, 2015 at 4:28 pm | Posted in News and Science Bulletins | Leave a comment

April Science Bulletin #2:
Non-human studies,
research methods and reviews

Science and policy | Scientific contestations over “toxic trespass”: health and regulatory implications of chemical biomonitoring. Interesting examination of stakeholder interpretations of biomonitoring evidence through interviews with scientists from industry, environmental health organizations, academia, and regulatory agencies. Both social movements and industry stakeholders frame the meaning of scientific data in ways that advance their own interests; the ways in which they do so are mapped in a very revealing diagram.

Science and policy | How to increase the potential policy impact of environmental science research. This article highlights eight common issues that limit the policy impact of environmental science research. The article also discusses what environmental scientists can do to resolve these issues, including optimising directness of the study to policy-makers needs, using powerful study designs, and minimising risk of bias.

Phthalates, fertility | Prenatal exposure to di-(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP) affects reproductive outcomes in female mice. These results indicate that prenatal DEHP exposure increased male-to-female ratio compared to controls. Further, 22.2% of the 20μg/kg/day treated animals took longer than 5 days to get pregnant at 3 months and 28.6% of the 750mg/kg/day treated animals lost some of their pups at 6 months. Thus, prenatal DEHP exposure alters F1 sex ratio, increases preantral follicle numbers, and causes some breeding abnormalities.

Phthalates, neurotoxicity | Phthalates and neurotoxic effects on hippocampal network plasticity. This review summarizes the effects of phthalate exposure on brain structure and function with particular emphasis on developmental aspects of hippocampal structural and functional plasticity. In general, it appears that widespread disruptions in hippocampal functional and structural plasticity occur following developmental (pre-, peri- and post-natal) exposure to phthalates. Whether these changes occur as a direct neurotoxic effect of phthalates or an indirect effect through disruption of endogenous endocrine functions is not fully understood.

Phthalates, fertility | Short term exposure to di-n-butyl phthalate (DBP) disrupts ovarian function in young CD-1 mice. DBP exposure decreased serum E2 at all doses. 0.1 mg/kg/day DBP increased FSH, decreased antral follicle numbers, and increased mRNA encoding pro-apoptotic genes (Bax, Bad, Bid). These novel findings show that DBP can disrupt ovarian function in mice at doses relevant to humans.

BPA, autoimmunity | Environmental estrogen bisphenol A and autoimmunity. Autoimmunity development is influenced by multiple factors and is thought to be a result of interactions between genetic and environmental factors. Here, we review the role of a specific environmental factor, bisphenol A (BPA), in the pathogenesis of autoimmune diseases. BPA belongs to the group of environmental estrogens that have been identified as risk factors involved in the development of autoimmune diseases.

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