June 2015 Science Bulletin #2: Non-human and policy research

June 21, 2015 at 9:02 pm | Posted in News and Science Bulletins | Leave a comment

June 2015 Science Bulletin #2
Non-human and policy research

Pesticides, pollution levels | Agricultural insecticides threaten surface waters at the global scale. Despite widespread insecticide application to croplands worldwide, no comprehensive field data-based evaluation of their risk to global surface waters exists. Our data show, for the first time to our knowledge at the global scale, that more than 50% of detected insecticide concentrations (n = 11,300) exceed regulatory threshold levels. This finding indicates that surface water pollution resulting from current agricultural insecticide use constitutes an excessive threat to aquatic biodiversity.

PFAS, regulation | The Madrid Statement on Poly- and Perfluoroalkyl Substances (PFASs). A group of scientists call for phase out of PFASs. See here for an extended commentary on the Statement.

EDCs, low-dose effects | Assessing dose-response relationships for endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs): a focus on non-monotonicity. The fundamental principle in regulatory toxicology is that all chemicals are toxic and that the severity of effect is proportional to the exposure level. An ancillary assumption is that there are no effects at exposures below the lowest observed adverse effect level (LOAEL), either because no effects exist or because they are not statistically resolvable, implying that they would not be adverse. Chemicals that interfere with hormones violate these principles in two important ways: dose-response relationships can be non-monotonic; and effects are often observed below the LOAEL.

BPA, diabetes | Long-term oral exposure to bisphenol A induces glucose intolerance and insulin resistance. In this study, 4- to 6-week old male mice on a high-fat diet (HFD) were treated with 50 µg/kg body weight/day of BPA orally for 12 weeks. Long-term oral exposure to BPA along with an HFD for 12 weeks induced glucose intolerance in growing male mice. Intraperitoneal glucose tolerance tests showed that the mice receiving an HFD and BPA exhibited a significantly larger area under the curve than those receiving an HFD only.

EDCs, exposure | Effect-directed identification of endocrine disruptors in plastic baby teethers. This study demonstrates that plastic teethers can be a source of infant exposure to well-established and unknown EDCs. Because of their limited value to the product, but potential toxicity, manufacturers should critically revisit the use of parabens in plastic teethers and further toys. Moreover, plastic teethers might leach EDCs that escape routine analysis and, thus, toxicological evaluation.

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