Say NO to EDCs, STOP Hormone Disruptors!

Join EDC-Free Europe campaign to STOP Endocrine-Disrupting Chemicals!

Tell President Juncker, the Head of the European Commission and his 27 Commissioners that you want them to protect our health and stop our exposure to hormone disrupting chemicals, also known as endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs).

On 15 June EU Commissioners will finally decide on the criteria to identify these chemicals. This decision was delayed by fierce lobbying from the chemicals and pesticides industries, a delay which has now been judged illegal by the EU Court of Justice.

Hormone disrupting chemicals can interfere with natural hormones, the chemical messengers of our bodies. Scientific studies show that these chemicals are very likely contributing to the increases in hormone-related diseases such as breast or testicular cancer, fertility problems, diabetes and obesity as well as learning and behavioural problems in children.

Please join us in sending a strong message to the Commissioners that they should choose the best option to protect public health – See option three from 2013 EU public consultation on EDCs.

Existing EU laws that are designed to stop the use of these chemicals and reduce our exposure can only work if ALL hormone disrupting chemicals are properly identified on the basis of the latest science.

Our everyday exposure to these chemicals must stop in order to protect the health of current and future generations.

Say NO to hormone disrupting chemicals!

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Inert ingredients listed in Glyphosate-based chemicals found to add up to the toxic cocktail

New evidence about the dangers of glyphosate-based herbicides

New Evidence About the Dangers of Monsanto’s Roundup, the intercept, May 17 2016.

Roundup image via London Permaculture.

Until recently, the fight over Roundup has mostly focused on its active ingredient, glyphosate. But mounting evidence shows it’s not only glyphosate that’s dangerous, but also chemicals listed as “inert ingredients” in some formulations of Roundup and other glyphosate-based weed killers. Though they have been in herbicides — and our environment — for decades, these chemicals have evaded scientific scrutiny and regulation in large part because the companies that make and use them have concealed their identity as trade secrets.

Abstract

Co-Formulants in Glyphosate-Based Herbicides Disrupt Aromatase Activity in Human Cells below Toxic Levels, International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 26 February 2016.

Pesticide formulations contain declared active ingredients and co-formulants presented as inert and confidential compounds.

We tested the endocrine disruption of co-formulants in six glyphosate-based herbicides (GBH), the most used pesticides worldwide. All co-formulants and formulations were comparably cytotoxic well below the agricultural dilution of 1% (18–2000 times for co-formulants, 8–141 times for formulations), and not the declared active ingredient glyphosate (G) alone.

The endocrine-disrupting effects of all these compounds were measured on aromatase activity, a key enzyme in the balance of sex hormones, below the toxicity threshold. Aromatase activity was decreased both by the co-formulants alone (polyethoxylated tallow amine—POEA and alkyl polyglucoside—APG) and by the formulations, from concentrations 800 times lower than the agricultural dilutions; while G exerted an effect only at 1/3 of the agricultural dilution.

It was demonstrated for the first time that endocrine disruption by GBH could not only be due to the declared active ingredient but also to co-formulants. These results could explain numerous in vivo results with GBHs not seen with G alone; moreover, they challenge the relevance of the acceptable daily intake (ADI) value for GBHs exposures, currently calculated from toxicity tests of the declared active ingredient alone.

What are EDCs?

Join EDC-Free Europe campaign to STOP Hormone Disruptors!

Mr Juncker, we are exposed to hormone disrupting chemicals every day. How will you protect our health?

Image sources: EDC Free Eurpe blog and graphic.

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What Mark will You leave on Our World?

World Environment Day 2016 official video by UNEP

Video published on 4th June 2016 by UNEP.

Go Wild for Life: celebrate World Environment Day on June 5th!

More Information

  • World Environment Day (WED) is the United Nations’ most important day for encouraging worldwide awareness and action for the protection of our environment. Since it began in 1974, it has grown to become a global platform for public outreach that is widely celebrated in over 100 countries.
    Visit #
    WED2016 official website.
  • Read Healthy Environment, Healthy People.
  • Watch our interviews and trailers video playlist on YouTube.

Hey, it is World Environment Day !

Go Wild for Life: celebrate World Environment Day on June 5th

Image sources: wall papers for free, holidaysandobservances.

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How charitable giving is profitable to the pharmaceutical industry

Drug companies won’t support charities if they can’t be sure they’re also helping themselves…

How Big Pharma Uses Charity Programs to Cover for Drug Price Hikes, bloomberg, May 19, 2016.

A billion-dollar system in which charitable giving is profitable for Big Pharma…
.
Press Play > to listen to the recording.

In August 2015, Turing Pharmaceuticals and its then-chief executive, Martin Shkreli, purchased a drug called Daraprim and immediately raised its price more than 5,000 percent. Within days, Turing contacted Patient Services Inc., or PSI, a charity that helps people meet the insurance copayments on costly drugs. Turing wanted PSI to create a fund for patients with toxoplasmosis, a parasitic infection that is most often treated with Daraprim.

Having just made Daraprim much more costly, Turing was now offering to make it more affordable. But this is not a feel-good story. It’s a story about why expensive drugs keep getting more expensive, and how U.S. taxpayers support a billion-dollar system in which charitable giving is, in effect, a very profitable form of investing for drug companies—one that may also be tax-deductible. “…

…Continue reading: How Big Pharma Uses Charity Programs to Cover for Drug Price Hikes, bloomberg, May 19, 2016.

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Women’s beliefs about medication use during their pregnancy: a UK perspective

What every pregnant woman needs to know about over-the-counter drugs

Up to three quarters of pregnant women are suffering in silence from minor injuries because they fear that over-the-counter drugs could harm their babies.

Abstract

Background
Previous research has examined the number and extent of medicines taking in pregnant women but not their beliefs and risk perception surrounding their use.

Women’s beliefs about medication use during their pregnancy: a UK perspective, International Journal of Clinical Pharmacy, 30 May 2016.

Objective
To describe beliefs and risk perception associated with medicines use for the treatment of common acute conditions among UK women and explore whether this is related to actual medicines use. Settings Cross-sectional, web-based study in the UK.

Methods
Pregnant women and mothers within 1 year of giving birth were invited to participate in an online cross-sectional questionnaire-based study via a pregnancy website in the UK. Anonymous data were collected from women regarding their use of medicines (both over-the-counter and prescribed) and their beliefs regarding medicines use during pregnancy.

Main outcome measures
Pregnant women’s beliefs about medicines and their relation to pharmacological treatment of acute conditions in pregnancy.

Results
Pharmacological treatment of conditions in pregnancy ranged from 65.4 % for urinary tract infections (UTIs) to 1.1 % for sleeping problems. Almost three out of ten women avoided using some medications during pregnancy. For heartburn and UTIs, women who did not treat the condition viewed medicines in general as being overused, more harmful and less beneficial, than those who treated the condition. In general, UK pregnant women perceived medicines to be beneficial and slightly overused.

What every pregnant woman needs to know about over-the-counter drugs, The Telegraph, 3 JUNE 2016.

Conclusions
Women’s beliefs about medications impact on treatment of specific conditions in pregnancy such as heartburn and UTIs. Healthcare professionals should explore patient’s beliefs regarding medication at the first maternity care visit to promote appropriate medication use in pregnancy.

Distilbène 1, Laboratoires M.Borne

Alte kleine runde Blechdose Distilbene, eBay

Le Diethylstilbestrol ou DES a été commercialisé via de nombreux noms tels que le Distilbène®, Stilbetin®, Stilboestrol-Borne®, Benzestrol®, Chlorotrianisene®, Estrobene® et Estrosyn® par exemple.

Nombre de sociétés ont promu et vendu leur médicament DES sous plus de 200 noms de marque différents.

Images de médicaments DES

Le Distilbène DES, en savoir plus

Healthy Environment, Healthy People

UNEP report confirms unhealthy environment can shorten your life

Investing in environmental sustainability can serve as an insurance policy for health and human well-being, UNEP, May 2016.

The degradation of the environment – the air we breathe, the food we eat, the water we drink, and the ecosystems which sustain us – is estimated to be responsible for at least a quarter of the global total burden of disease, according to a new May 2016 UNEP report.

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) reflect the common understanding that a healthy environment is integral to the full enjoyment of basic human rights, including the rights to life, health, food, water and sanitation, and quality of life.

Healthy Environment, Healthy People, Thematic report, Ministerial policy review session, Second session of the United Nations Environment Assembly, of the United Nations Environment Programme, Nairobi, 23–27 May 2016

Directly tackling the inter-linkages between environment and human health presents new and interwoven opportunities to meet the SDGs in a more cost-effective and beneficial manner. To “ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages” (SDG3) – which includes a specific target related to air quality – cannot be achieved over the long term without explicit action on terrestrial ecosystems (SDG15), oceans (SDG14), cities (SDG11), water and sanitation (SDG6).

UN report confirms unhealthy environment can shorten your life, lifestyle.inquirer, June 1st.

Air pollution is the world’s largest single environmental risk to health (some 7 million people across the world die each year due to everyday exposure to poor air quality), but it cannot be viewed in isolation.

Environmental Degradation is Costly

Environmental degradation is estimated to cause 174-234 times as many premature deaths as occur in conflicts annually. Disproportionate impacts of environmental harms are evident on specific groups: the poor, the young, the elderly, women and migrant workers, the report says.

Zika, Ebola, MERS, SARS, Marburg… new zoonotic diseases (spread from animals to humans) are currently emerging every four months, with the main drivers being exponential population growth, intensive livestock breeding, (there are 36 billion domestic animals on the planet) and concomitant disturbed environments and biodiversity loss. Strengthening healthy ecosystems is key to preventing or slowing the emergence of these costly diseases. A key need is for greater investment in integrated surveillance of wildlife, livestock and human health.

The financial costs of environmentally related health risks are generally in the range of 5-10 per cent of GDP, with air pollution taking the highest toll. Evidence exists, however, of the catalytic and multiple benefits of investing in environmental quality in terms of development, poverty reduction, resource security, reduced inequities and reduced risks to human health and well-being.

The Role and Contribution of Montane Forests and Related Ecosystem Services to the Kenyan Economy, the United Nations Environment Programme UNEP report, February 2012.

A 2012 UNEP report showed that well-managed montane forest cover reduced malarial disease prevalence, and that malaria resulted in additional health costs to the Government as well as labour productivity losses.

The UNEP Healthy Environment, Healthy People report indicates that lack of access to clean water and sanitation causes 58 per cent of cases of diarrhoeal diseases in low and middle-income countries. Unsafe water, inadequate sanitation or insufficient hygiene result in 3.5 million deaths worldwide, representing 25 per cent of the premature deaths of children younger than 14, it says.

Mental Health

There is growing evidence to suggest that exposure to natural environments can be associated with mental health benefits.

Clean air and water, sanitation and green spaces, safe workplaces can enhance people’s quality of life: reduced mortality and morbidity, healthier lifestyles, improved productivity of workers and their families, improve lives of women, children and elderly and are crucial to mental health.

Mental health issues rank among the 10 largest non-fatal threats in most countries, according to the report.

The great outdoors? Exploring the mental health benefits of natural environments, Frontiers in Psychology, NCBI PubMed PMC4204431, 2014 Oct 21.

There is growing evidence to suggest that exposure to natural environments can be associated with mental health benefits. Proximity to greenspace has been associated with lower levels of stress and reduced symptomology for depression and anxiety, while interacting with nature can improve cognition for children with attention deficits and individuals with depression. A 2014 epidemiological study has shown that people who move to greener urban areas benefit from sustained improvements in their mental health.

Natural environments and mental health, Advances in Integrative Medicine, Integrative Mental Health, Volume 2, Issue 1, April 2015, Pages 5–12.

“It is becoming increasingly evident that the 2.2 million years our genus has spent in natural environments are consequential to modern mental health… The accumulating strength of research from multiple disciplines makes it difficult to dismiss the clinical relevancy of natural environments in 21st century mental health care,” says another report.

An integrated Approach

Based on evidence of the linkages between poor environmental quality and health, the report identifies several priority problem areas for urgent policy attention, including:

  1. Unsafe water, inadequate sanitation or insufficient hygiene which cause mortality, morbidity and lost economic productivity;
  2. Nutritionally poor diet composition and quality, as well as increased physical inactivity, which has increased the growth of non-communicable diseases throughout the world; and
  3. Degraded ecosystems and stresses to the Earth’s natural systems, which reduce ecosystem services that support human health, enhance exposure to natural disasters, food security, and at times give rise to disease outbreaks.

Climate change is exacerbating the scale and intensity of these environment-related health risks, and is acknowledged as a major health risk multiplier, with existing impacts that are expected to increasingly affect human health including through negative changes to land, oceans, biodiversity and access to freshwater, and the increasing frequency and higher impact of natural disasters.

The report’s findings provide a strong basis for adopting an integrated approach for improving human health and well-being through increased engagement by the health sector in ecosystem management and decision-making. They also identify integrated actions and strategies, such as:

Decouple resource use and change lifestyles:
Use fewer resources per unit of economic output produced and reduce the environmental impact of any resources used in production and consumption activities through more efficient practices.

Enhance ecosystem resilience and protection of the planet’s natural systems:
Build capacity of the environment, economies and societies to anticipate, respond to and recover from disturbances and shocks through: agro-ecosystem restoration and sustainable farming systems; strengthening ecosystem restoration, in particular wetlands, dryland vegetation, coastal zones and watersheds, including through reforestation; reducing livestock and logging pressures to increase resilience and mitigate extreme weather conditions of storms, drought and floods.

Addressing the nexus between environment and human health through delivering on environmental sustainability can provide a common platform for meeting many of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Through multiplier effects that can accelerate and sustain progress across multiple SDGs, investing in environmental sustainability can serve as an insurance policy for health and human well-being, the report concludes.

This post is a reprint from UNEP UNEA Stories of ChangeHealthy Environment, Healthy People.

Environmental signaling: from environmental estrogens to endocrine-disrupting chemicals and beyond

Environmental chemicals mimic hormones or other metabolic signaling molecules and behavioral experience can be transduced into chemical signals that also modify gene expression

Abstract

The landmark report (Herbst et al. 1971) linking prenatal treatment with a synthetic estrogen, diethylstilbestrol (DES), to cancer at puberty in women whose mothers took the drug while pregnant ushered in an era of research on delayed effects of such exposures on functional outcomes in offspring.

An animal model developed in our laboratory at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences confirmed that DES was the carcinogen and exposure to DES caused, as well, functional alterations in the reproductive, endocrine, and immune systems of male and female mice treated in utero.

American Society of Andrology and European Academy of Andrology, NCBI PubMed PMID: 27230799, 2016 May 27.

Lighthouse at sunset, Aaron.

DES was also being used in agriculture and we discovered, at the first meeting on Estrogens in the Environment in 1979 (Estrogens in the Environment, 1980), that many environmental contaminants were also estrogenic.

Many laboratories sought to discern the basis for estrogenicity in environmental chemicals and to discover other hormonally active xenobiotics. Our laboratory elucidated how DES and other estrogenic compounds worked by altering differentiation through epigenetic gene imprinting, helping explain the transgenerational effects found in mice and humans.

At the Wingspread Conference on the Human-Wildlife Connection in 1991 (Advances in Modern Environmental Toxicology, 1992), we learned that environmental disruption of the endocrine system occurred in many species and phyla, and the term endocrine disruption was introduced.

Further findings of transgenerational effects of environmental agents that mimicked or blocked various reproductive hormones and the ubiquity of environmental signals, such as Bisphenol-A increased concern for human and ecological health.

Scientists began to look at other endocrine system aspects, such as cardiovascular and immune function, and other nuclear receptors, with important observations regarding obesity and metabolism. Laboratories, such as ours, are now using stem cells to try to understand the mechanisms by which various environmental signals alter cell differentiation.

Since 2010, research has shown that trauma and other behavioral inputs can function as ‘environmental signals,’ can be encoded in gene regulation networks in a variety of cells and organs, and can be passed on to subsequent generations. So now we come full circle: environmental chemicals mimic hormones or other metabolic signaling molecules and now behavioral experience can be transduced into chemical signals that also modify gene expression.

More DES DiEthylStilbestrol Resources