April 2016 Science Bulletin: EFSA criticised for approach to glyphosate; funding predicts research outcomes; and more.

April 14, 2016 at 5:00 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

April 2016 Science Bulletin

Science and policy | Differences in the carcinogenic evaluation of glyphosate between IARC and EFSA. “Serious flaws in the scientific evaluation in the RAR incorrectly characterise the potential for a carcinogenic hazard from exposure to glyphosate. Since the RAR is the basis for the European Food Safety Agency (EFSA) conclusion, it is critical that these shortcomings are corrected.”

Safer chemicals | The Value of Alternatives Assessment. Regrettable substitutions, implemented without adequate screening, can too quickly enter the market if we neglect to develop processes to evaluate those alternatives. For example, research at the NIEHS has shown that many of the substitutes for certain brominated flame retardants may be as concerning as the chemicals they are replacing (Jarema et al. 2015). It is critical, therefore, that we establish thoughtful yet efficient processes to guide the transition to safer chemicals and products.

Air pollution, neurodegenerative diseases | Traffic-Related Air Pollution and Dementia Incidence in Northern Sweden: A Longitudinal Study. Participants in the group with the highest exposure were more likely than those in the group with the lowest exposure to be diagnosed with dementia (Alzheimer’s disease or vascular dementia), with a hazard ratio (HR) of 1.43 (95% CI: 0.998, 2.05 for the highest vs. the lowest quartile). The estimates were similar for Alzheimer’s disease (HR 1.38) and vascular dementia (HR 1.47).

Funding and research outcomes | Financial Conflicts of Interest and Study Results in Environmental and Occupational Health Research. Of the 373 studies included in the analysis, 17.2% had a financial COI associated with organizations involved with the processing, use, or disposal of industrial and commercial products, and studies with this type of COI were more likely to report negative results (Adjusted Odds Ratio = 4.31), as were studies with any COI associated with the military (employment or funding; Adjusted Odds Ratio = 9.15).

PBDEs, neurotoxicity | Prenatal polybrominated diphenyl ether and perfluoroalkyl substance exposures and executive function in school-age children. Each ln-unit increase in perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) was associated with poorer behavior regulation (β=3.14, 95% CI 0.68, 5.61), metacognition (β=3.10, 95% CI 0.62, 5.58), and global executive functioning (β=3.38, 95% CI 0.86, 5.90). However, no association was observed between perfluorooctanoate (PFOA) and executive function. Prenatal exposures to BDE-153 and PFOS may be associated with executive function deficits in school-age children.

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