Prenatal exposure to BPA tied to diminished lung function and persistent wheeze in children

Young kids who were exposed to Bisphenol-A (BPA) before birth are more likely than others to have a wheeze before age five, according to a new study.

Jama journal
Prenatal – but not postnatal – exposure to BPA is associated with diminished lung function and the development of persistent wheeze in children.

Young kids who were exposed to Bisphenol-A (BPA) before birth are more likely than others to have a wheeze before age five, according to a new study that found no connection to BPA exposure after birth.

Abstract:

Importance
Bisphenol-A (BPA), a prevalent endocrine-disrupting chemical, has been associated with wheezing in children, but few studies have examined its effect on lung function or wheeze in older children.

Objectives
To test whether BPA exposure is associated with lung function, with wheeze, and with pattern of wheeze in children during their first 5 years.

Design, Setting, and Participants
A birth cohort study, enrolled during early pregnancy in the greater Cincinnati, Ohio, area among 398 mother-infant dyads. We collected maternal urine samples during pregnancy (at 16 and 26 weeks) and child urine samples annually to assess gestational and child BPA exposure.

Main Outcomes and Measures
We assessed parent-reported wheeze every 6 months for 5 years and measured child forced expiratory volume in the first second of expiration (FEV1) at age 4 and 5 years. We evaluated associations of BPA exposure with respiratory outcomes, including FEV1, child wheeze, and wheeze phenotype.

Results
Urinary BPA concentrations and FEV1 data were available for 208 children and urinary BPA concentrations and parent-reported wheeze data were available for 360 children. The mean maternal urinary BPA concentration ranged from 0.53 to 293.55 µg/g of creatinine. In multivariable analysis, every 10-fold increase in the mean maternal urinary BPA concentration was associated with a 14.2% (95% CI, −24.5% to −3.9%) decrease in the percentage predicted FEV1 at 4 years, but no association was found at 5 years. In multivariable analysis, every 10-fold increase in the mean maternal urinary BPA concentration was marginally associated with a 54.8% increase in the odds of wheezing (adjusted odds ratio, 1.55; 95% CI, 0.91-2.63). While the mean maternal urinary BPA concentration was not associated with wheeze phenotype, a 10-fold increase in the 16-week maternal urinary BPA concentration was associated with a 4.27-fold increase in the odds of persistent wheeze (adjusted odds ratio, 4.27; 95% CI, 1.37-13.30). Child urinary BPA concentrations were not associated with FEV1 or wheeze.

Conclusions and Relevance
These results provide evidence suggesting that prenatal but not postnatal exposure to BPA is associated with diminished lung function and the development of persistent wheeze in children.

Sources and more information:
  • Bisphenol A Exposure and the Development of Wheeze and Lung Function in Children Through Age 5 Years,
    JAMA Pediatrics, articleid=1913573, October 06, 2014.
  • Kids exposed to BPA before birth at risk of wheeze: study,
    Reuters, Oct 6, 2014.

An Overview of California’s Explosion in Autism Cases, from the 1980s to Today

Will the U.S. be ready on time for their growing population of adults with autism?

Californiaʼs Autism Epidemic image
72,000-and-Growing: California’s Massive Autism Epidemic (counting *only* the more severe cases) – an overview of California’s explosion in autism cases, from the 1980s to today.

Escalating over more than two decades, California’s massive epidemic of disabling autism is now triggering the largest social services crisis in the state’s history…

  • At the end of 1987, the Department of Developmental Services (“DDS”) identified a total of 3,902 Californians with functionally and substantially disabling autism meeting the strict threshold of eligibility for DDS services. The entire DDS population at the time was 80,483.
  • Now, more than two and half decades later, in mid-2014, DDS identifies 72,000 Californians with DDS-eligible autism meeting the same, or even more restrictive, criteria. The entire DDS population at this time is 282,000 and growing.
  • While the strictly-defined DDS autism population soared 1,850%, the state’s population increased only 32%. Other developmental disability categories grew in numbers as well over this period, but at modest rates. “

Read 72,000-and-Growing: Californiaʼs Autism Epidemic, AutismSociety, October 2014.

About potentially dangerous drug interactions and systems to prevent them

Pharmacists’ failure to check drug risks leads to ‘horrible’ death in Creston, B.C.

image of creston pharmasave
Pharmacists’ failure to check drug risks leads to ‘horrible’ death in Creston, B.C.

A B.C. man is going public to warn others after his mother was killed by an adverse interaction between two prescription drugs, a well-known risk that was overlooked by health professionals she trusted.

There was a physician and two pharmacists and a computer system that all failed here. It’s not a simple mistake,” said Ernie Lambert, whose mother died in 2012.

Helena Lambert’s local pharmacists dispensed the medications without noting or warning of the potential problems of taking them concurrently, even though widely used software at the pharmacy would have flagged the potential adverse interaction. …

…continue reading: Pharmacists’ failure to check drug risks leads to ‘horrible’ death, CBCnews, Oct 06, 2014.

Farmers using Pesticides linked to High Rates of Depression, Suicides

Pesticides applied by farmers and their workers may alter brain chemicals

image of pesticides spraying
Research suggests that pesticides applied by farmers and their workers may alter brain chemicals.

” On his farm in Iowa, Matt Peters worked from dawn to dusk planting his 1,500 acres of fields with pesticide-treated seeds. “Every spring I worried about him,” said his wife, Ginnie. “Every spring I was glad when we were done.”

In the spring of 2011, Ginnie Peters’ “calm, rational, loving” husband suddenly became depressed and agitated. “He told me ‘I feel paralyzed’,” she said. “He couldn’t sleep or think. Out of nowhere he was depressed.”

A clinical psychologist spoke to him on the phone and urged him to get medical help. “He said he had work to do, and I told him if it’s too wet in the morning to plant beans come see me,” Mike Rossman said. “And the next day I got the call.”

Peters took his own life. He was 55 years old.

No one knows what triggered Peters’ sudden shift in mood and behavior. But since her husband’s death, Ginnie Peters has been on a mission to not only raise suicide awareness in farm families but also draw attention to the growing evidence that pesticides may alter farmers’ mental health. “…

…continue reading: Pesticide use by farmers linked to high rates of depression, suicides, by Brian Bienkowski on Environmental Health News, October 6, 2014.

More information:

  • Pesticide Exposure and Depression among Male Private Pesticide Applicators in the Agricultural Health Study,
    EHP, September 2014.
  • Association between pesticide exposure and suicide rates in Brazil, ScienceDirect, May 2014.
  • Trends and characteristics of occupational suicide and homicide in farmers and agriculture workers, 1992-2010, IRO, 2014.
  • Pesticide Exposure and Depression Among Agricultural Workers in France, AJE, Sept 2013.
  • Depression and pesticide exposures among private pesticide applicators enrolled in the Agricultural Health Study, NCBI, Sept 2008.
  • A cohort study of pesticide poisoning and depression in Colorado farm residents,
    NCBI, Aug 2008.
  • Pesticide exposure and suicidal ideation in rural communities in Zhejiang province, China, WHO, April 2008.

The FDA wants Doctors to protect their Patients from Unsafe Drugs

Pay Close Attention to Patients Feedback

image of Pay close attention to patient feedback flyer
The FDA cautioned physicians to avoid offers that sound too good to be true, and to question aggressive marketing tactics and major discounts on prescription drugs suggesting that the medicines may be stolen, fake, substandard or unapproved.

The number of Rogue Wholesale Drug Distributors selling fake or unapproved prescription drugs in the U.S. market is growing…

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration warned that doctors need to:

  • be vigilant when purchasing medicines
  • verify that their supplier is licensed by the state
  • know the source for prescription drugs.

Sources and more information:

  • Know Your Source: Protecting Patients from Unsafe Drugs,
    FDA ucm389121, 09/23/2014 .
  • Reducing the Threat of Counterfeit and Unapproved Drugs in Clinical Settings, brookings, 2013/07/19.

Statutes of limitations: the special problem of DES suits

Two methods that DES plaintiffs may be able to use to overcome the potential statutes of limitations bar are discussed

image of PubMed NCBI The Endocrine Society logo
This Note discusses two methods that DES plaintiffs may be able to use to overcome the potential statutes of limitations bar: (1) the discovery rule, and (2) state provisions which toll the statute of limitations for minors.

In 1971, medical studies determined that DES causes a rare type of vaginal cancer in a small number of daughters of mothers who took DES during pregnancy. Subsequently, medical studies determined that exposure to DES can cause other vaginal abnormalities in the daughters, some of which may be precancerous.

As a result of these discoveries, many lawsuits have been filed by these daughters against DES manufacturers. Many DES suits may be barred by statutes of limitations, both because the number of years between the daughters’ exposure to DES in utero and the discovery that DES can cause injuries exceeds the statutory period, and because the cancer or other injuries caused by DES may not develop for many additional years.

This Note discusses two methods that DES plaintiffs may be able to use to overcome the potential statutes of limitations bar:

  1. the discovery rule,
  2. and state provisions which toll the statute of limitations for minors.
  • The Note contends that courts should apply an expanded discovery rule to DES suits to avoid the unfair result of barring a claim before the plaintiff could have known that she had a cause of action.
  • In addition, the Note argues that the injury which causes the statute of limitations to begin to run in DES suits should not be rigidly defined.
  • Finally, the Note urges that courts allow eligible DES plaintiffs to take advantage of applicable state provisions that toll the statute of limitations for minors.

Sources

  • Statutes of limitations: the special problem of DES suits, NCBI, PMID: 7258194, 1981 Spring;7(1):91-106.
More DES DiEthylStilbestrol Resources

Endocrine Disruption of the Neuro-immune Interface

By the Collaborative on Health and the Environment

Dr. Jamie DeWitt describes scenarios where endocrine disrupting chemicals can alter brain development by changing signals to the immune cells that can mediate development of sex specificity in the brain.

Building on the January 8, 2014 teleconference featuring Dr. Rodney Dietert  on how the developing immune system is a target for endocrine disrupting chemicals, Dr. Jamie DeWitt discussed how certain cells of the immune system may mediate endocrine signals to direct aspects of brain development. She also described scenarios where endocrine disrupting chemicals can alter brain development by changing signals to the immune cells that can mediate development of sex specificity in the brain.

Sources:

Additional resources of interest:
  • Suppression of Humoral Immunity by Perfluorooctanoic Acid is Independent of Elevated Serum Corticosterone Concentration in MicePDF
  • Current Status of Developmental Immunotoxicity: Early-Life Patterns and TestingPDF
  • Breaking Patterns of Environmentally Influenced Disease for Health Risk Reduction: Immune PerspectivesPDF
  • Bisphenol A: Developmental Toxicity from Early Prenatal ExposurePDF

World’s First Womb-Transplant Baby Born

A woman in Sweden has given birth to a baby boy using a transplanted womb, in a medical first

Early this year, nine women in Sweden had received uterus transplants in an experimental fertility project. The project even included a first live-donor uterus transplant from mother to child. A baby boy, was born prematurely last month , almost 32 weeks into the pregnancy. Both mum and first womb-transplant baby are now said to be doing well. The successful birth is the result of more than 15 years of research.

Sources and more information:

Do You know what Breast Brachytherapy is?

Dr. Cynara Coomer video about The BC5 Project and breast cancer treatment options

Video published on 1 Oct 2014 by The BC5 Project.


On the first day of Breast Cancer Awareness Month Dr. Cynara Coomer, Chief of Breast Surgery at Staten Island University Hospital, was interviewed by more than 20 news stations across the country about the BC5 Project and breast cancer treatment options, including brachytherapy.

Antimicrobials Sold or Distributed for Use in Food-Producing Animals

Antibiotics in Livestock: F.D.A. 2012 Report finds Use is Rising

FDA Department of Health and Human Services logo image
This FDA summary report presents the sales and distribution data for the 2012 calendar year for antimicrobial drugs approved for use in food-producing animals.

The amount of antibiotics sold for use in livestock rose substantially in recent years, according to the Food and Drug Administration 2002 summary report, a pattern that experts said was troubling given the efforts to battle antibiotic resistance in humans.

Several observed trends from 2009 through 2012 include:

  • The total quantity of antimicrobial active ingredients sold or distributed for use in food-producing animals increased by 16%.
  • The percentage of domestic sales and distribution of medically important antimicrobials approved for use in food-producing animals that have an approved indication for production use decreased from 72% to 68%. This number does not represent sales attributable to products used solely for production indications because most of these products are also approved for therapeutic indications.
  • The percentage of domestic sales and distribution of medically important antimicrobials approved for use in food-producing animals that are sold over-the-counter (OTC) did not appreciably change, going from 98% to 97%.

Sources and more information:

  • 2012 SUMMARY REPORT On Antimicrobials Sold or Distributed for Use in Food-Producing Animals, Food and Drug Administration Department of Health and Human Services, September, 2014.
  • Antibiotics in Livestock: F.D.A. Finds Use Is Rising,
    NYTimes, OCT. 2, 2014.