Measuring the amount of pharmaceutical pollution in our waterways

Sewage treatment plants are not capable of filtering medicine drug residues

Scientists began sampling the Hudson river this month to measure the amount of pharmaceutical pollution in the waterway.

Residue from medicine has long polluted waterways, but has only been identified as a serious problem in recent years.

Sewage treatment plants are not capable of filtering pharmaceuticals, allowing them to pass from human and animal waste to open waters.

Pharmaceutical pollution likely caused male fish in some rivers and lakes to develop female sexual characteristics in recent years.

Improper disposal of old medicines – like flushing it down the toilet – is also a problem.

  • Read How bad is pharmaceutical pollution in the Hudson?northjersey, April 10, 2017.
  • Read Riverkeeper to present water quality data for Upper Hudson in three public events Wednesday, April 12, riverkeeper, 04.07.17.

Problems of Birth Defects

From Hippocrates to Thalidomide and After

From Hippocrates to thalidomide and after : original papers with commentaries by T.V.N. Persaud

A collection of 57 papers and commentaries, arranged in eight sections, discuss the historical aspects, epidemiology, mechanisms, genetics, etiology, prenatal diagnosis, management, and social aspects of birth defects.

  • Paperback: 399 pages
  • Publisher: University Park Press (1977).
  1. Beliefs, Mythology, Magic and Superstition.
    • Congenital malformations in the past.
    • A brief history of teratology to the early 20th century.
  2. Epidemiology of Birth Defects.
    • Classification and nomenclature of morphological defects.
    • Epidemiologic aspects of the problem of congenital malformations.
    • Congenital malformations. A report of a study of series of consecutive births in 24 centres. (Extracts).
    • The incidence of developmental and other genetic abnormalities.
  3. Teratological Mechanisms.
    • Interrelation of the common congenital malformations. Some aetiological implications.
    • Defective regulatory mechanisms in teratogenesis.
    • Mechanisms of teratogenesis.
    • Congenital postural deformities: perinatal associations.
  4. Cytogenetic and Chromosomal Studies.
    • A morphological distinction between neurones of the male and female, and the behaviour of the nucleolar satellite during accelerated nucleoprotein synthesis.
    • The detection of chromosomal sex in hermaphrodites from a skin biopsy.
    • The chromosome number of man.
    • Retrospective and prospective epidemiological studies of 1500 karyotyped spontaneous human abortions.
    • Chromosome abnormality and perinatal death.
    • Cytogenetics of fetal wastage.
    • Spontaneous abortion and aging of human ova and spermatozoa.
    • Where have all the conceptions gone?
    • Genetics of common disorders.
    • Genetic hazards to man from environmental agents.
  5. Environmental Influences and Congenital Abnormalities.
    • Pigs born without eye balls.
    • Congenital cataract following German measles in the mother.
    • The role of viruses in congenital defects.
    • Congenital toxoplasmosis. A prospective study of 378 pregnancies.
    • Therapeutic abortions with a folic acid antagonist, 4-aminopteroyl-glutamic acid (4-amino P.G.A.) administered by the oral route. (Extract).
    • Diskussionsbemerkung von Privatdozent Dr. W. Lenz, Hamburg, zu dem Vortrag von R. A. Pfeiffer und K. Kosenow: Zur Frage der exogenen Entstehung schwerer Extremitatenmissbildungen.
    • Thalidomide and congenital abnormalities.
    • Foetal malformations due to thalidomide.
    • Nonadrenal female pseudohermaphrodism after administration of testosterone to mother during pregnancy.
    • Masculinization of female fetus due to use of orally given progestins.-
    • Adenocarcinoma of the vagina. Association of maternal stilbestrol therapy with tumor appearance in young women.
    • Are anti-epileptics harmful in pregnancy? (Extract).
    • Anticonvulsant drugs and congenital abnormalities.
    • Congenital abnormalities and anticonvulsant drugs.
    • A clinical look at the problem of drugs in pregnancy and their effect on the fetus.
    • Intra-uterine methylmercury poisoning in Iraq.
    • Assessing the impact of low level chemicals on development: behavioral and latent effects.
    • A preliminary report of cigarette smoking and the incidence of prematurity. (Extract).
    • Effect of mothers’ smoking habits on birth weight of their children.
    • The fetal alcohol syndrome.
    • Potatoes and spina bifida.
    • The outcome of 625 pregnancies in women subjected to pelvic radium or roentgen irradiation. (Extract).
    • Radiation and pregnancy.
  6. Detection of Environmental Teratogens.
    • Environmental factors in the etiology of human malformations: perspectives and problems of evaluation.
    • Hazards of the first nine months: an epidemiologist’s nightmare.
  7. Prenatal Diagnosis and Management of Congenital Abnormalities.
    • Prenatal diagnosis of genetic disorders. An analysis of experience with 600 cases.
    • Prenatal diagnosis of mongolism by X-ray.
    • Diagnosis of congenital fetal abnormalities by sonography.
    • Amniography for detection of congenital malformations.
    • Diagnosis of human fetal abnormalities by fetography.
    • Genetic counselling-or what can we tell parents?.
    • Pre-, peri- and postnatal prevention of major neuropediatric handicaps.
  8. Social, Ethical, and Medico-Legal Problems.
    • Moral and ethical problems of pre-natal diagnosis.
    • Attitudes toward defective newborns.
    • Ethical and social aspects of treatment of spina bifida.
    • Moral and ethical dilemmas in the special-care nursery.
    • Further References.
More DES DiEthylStilbestrol Resources

BPF, BPS and other bisphenol analogues found more estrogenic than BPA

“BPA-free” may mean very little for consumers trying to protect their health from endocrine disrupting chemicals

Six popular BPA alternatives all mimic estrogen in breast cancer cells; three of them more so than BPA itself, according to new research.

2017 Study Abstract

Background
Plasticizers with estrogenic activity, such as bisphenol A (BPA), have been reported to have potential adverse health effects in humans. Due to mounting evidence of these health effects and public pressure, BPA is being phased out by the plastics manufacturing industry and replaced by other bisphenol variants in “BPA-free” products.

Objectives
We have compared estrogenic activity of BPA to 6 bisphenol analogues (bisphenol S, BPS; bisphenol F, BPF; bisphenol AP, BPAP; bisphenol AF, BPAF; bisphenol Z, BPZ; bisphenol B, BPB) in three human breast cancer cell lines.

Methods
Estrogenicity was assessed by cell growth in an estrogen receptor (ER)-mediated cell proliferation assay, and by the induction of estrogen response element (ERE)-mediated transcription in a luciferase assay. Gene expression profiles were determined in MCF-7 human breast cancer cells by microarray analysis and confirmed by Illumina-based RNA sequencing.

Results
All bisphenols showed estrogenic activity in promoting cell growth and inducing ERE-mediated transcription. BPAF was the most potent bisphenol, followed by BPB > BPZ ~ BPA > BPF ~ BPAP > BPS. The addition of ICI 182,780 antagonized the activation of ERs by bisphenols. Data mining of ToxCast high-throughput screening assays confirms our results but also shows divergence in the sensitivities of the assays. The comparison of transcriptome profile alterations resulting from BPA alternatives with an ERα gene expression biomarker further indicates that all BPA alternatives act as ERα agonists in MCF-7 cells. These results were confirmed by RNA sequencing.

Conclusion
In conclusion, BPA alternatives are not necessarily less estrogenic in a human breast cancer cell model. Three bisphenols (BPAF, BPB, and BPZ) were more estrogenic than BPA. The relevance of human exposure to BPA alternatives in hormone-dependent breast cancer risk should be investigated.

Sources and More Information
  • Transcriptome profiling reveals bisphenol A alternatives activate estrogen receptor alpha in human breast cancer cells, bioRxiv, Mar. 2, 2017.
  • BPA-free? Substitutions mimic hormones in breast cancer cells, environmentalhealthnews, March 16, 2017.
  • BPA Free by Mark Morgan.

The fetal ovary exhibits temporal sensitivity to a ‘real-life’ mixture of environmental chemicals

Scientific Reports, Developmental biology, Embryology, 02 March 2016

2016 Study Abstract

The development of fetal ovarian follicles is a critical determinant of adult female reproductive competence.

Prolonged exposure to environmental chemicals (ECs) can perturb this process with detrimental consequences for offspring.

Here we report on the exposure of pregnant ewes to an environmental mixture of ECs derived from pastures fertilized with sewage sludge (biosolids): a common global agricultural practice.

Exposure of pregnant ewes to ECs over 80 day periods during early, mid or late gestation reduced the proportion of healthy early stage fetal follicles comprising the ovarian reserve.

Mid and late gestation EC exposures had the most marked effects, disturbing maternal and fetal liver chemical profiles, masculinising fetal anogenital distance and greatly increasing the number of altered fetal ovarian genes and proteins.

In conclusion, differential temporal sensitivity of the fetus and its ovaries to EC mixtures has implications for adult ovarian function following adverse exposures during pregnancy.

History of the determination of market share for diethylstilbestrol in an era prior to the development of relative denominator values

Gosselin, Raymond A., Thesis Ph. D. University of South Carolina 1995

History of Medicine, 1995.

History of the determination of market share for diethylstilbestrol in an era prior to the development of relative denominator values

Imprint: 1995.
Physical description: 149 pages ; 28 cm.
Thesis: Ph. D. University of South Carolina 1995.
Genre/Technique: Academic dissertations

Topic-MESH

  • Diethylstilbestrol — adverse effects.
  • Drug Industry — history.
  • Pregnancy Complications — drug therapy.
  • Carcinogens.

a book by Raymond A. Gosselin, available at History of Medicine (Shelfmark: IH.U.6.AA9).

More DES DiEthylStilbestrol Resources

Thirty people tested discover the omnipresence of Glyphosate in their bodies

French NGO Générations Futures finds 100% people tested in France are exposed to glyphosate

To what extent are the French exposed to glyphosate – the world’s best-selling herbicide? generations-futures, 6 April 2017.

Image © credit Claire Robert.

Paris/Brussels, 6 April 2017 – Thirty human “guinea-pigs” entrusted samples of their urine to Générations Futures for testing for traces of the famous glyphosate, one of the active molecules in the herbicide, RoundUp®.

The results? All 100% of the samples contain residues of this herbicide, which is a “probable carcinogen” according to the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC).

Context

Glyphosate is the world’s most widely used active ingredient in herbicides. In March 2015, a few months before the European authorisation of glyphosate was due to expire, experts at the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classified glyphosate as a “probable human carcinogen”. EU regulations prohibit the use of pesticides that are classified as carcinogens or probable carcinogens. However, EU regulations refer to EU classification for carcinogenicity not to that of IARC.

Originally, when the authorisation of glyphosate expired, the European Commission proposed allowing its sale for a further 14 years. But this proposition, which was widely criticised by NGOs and civil society, did not receive the support of the Member States. In the end, the Commission was obliged to extend the approval for only 18 months and the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) was asked to publish an opinion on the safety of glyphosate the spring of this year. On 15 March 2017, a summary of this opinion was published clearing glyphosate of any carcinogenic risk for humans! The ball is now in the European Commission’s court as it will soon make a new proposal to the Member States.

The survey

It is against this backdrop that Générations Futures wanted to learn more about the extent to which the French are exposed to this widely used herbicide. We chose to carry out a urine analysis of 30 people, including men and women between the ages of eight and 60 years old, living in the city and in the countryside and with a varied diet, organic and non-organic, vegetarian and non-vegetarian. A certain number of well-known people agreed to participate. Analysis was carried out with help of an ELISA test.

Results?

Our investigation demonstrates the omnipresence of this dangerous molecule in our bodies.

  • 100% of the samples analysed contained glyphosate at a concentration above the lowest limit of quantification (LoQ = 0.075ng/ml).
  • The average concentration of glyphosate found in the samples was 1.25 ng/ml urine.
  • The sample with the lowest value was at 0.09 ng/ml and the highest value was 2.89 ng/ml, which is 32.11 times higher than the lowest value.
  • Twenty-nine of the 30 samples (96.66%) contained concentrations that were above the maximum allowable pesticide concentration in water (0.1 ng/ml).

“Unfortunately, these tests confirmed what we feared having consulted surveys undertaken elsewhere in Europe and around the world: we are all contaminated with glyphosate. It is indeed time for the European authorities to become aware of the urgency to act, and to finally forbid this molecule considered likely to be carcinogenic to humans by the International Agency for Research on Cancer!”

says Francois Veillerette, spokesperson for Générations Futures.

“Not all the cards are played yet. We can still stop the authorisation of this substance. We therefore invite citizens to take action and join the 500,000 Europeans who have already signed the European Citizens’ Initiative calling for the banning of this dangerous molecule,”

he concludes.

The Health and Environment Alliance (HEAL) is also calling for a ban on glyphosate. Génon K. Jensen, Executive Director at the Health and Environment Alliance (HEAL) says:

“This study shows that all those tested in France have been exposed to glyphosate. This means that, in all likelihood, all Europeans are contaminated – potentially elevating everyone’s risk of cancer. “The evidence against glyphosate is piling up all the time. National governments face the decision at the end of this year whether to continue allowing glyphosate in Europe. We urge everyone to tell their governments to put preventing cancers first.”

Contacts
Générations Fuures EXPPERT Surveys
  1. EXPPERT Survey 1: Which endocrine disrupting insecticides are children exposed to everyday? Press release, Brussels, 25 March 2013.
  2. EXPPERT Survey 2: Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals and banned Pesticides in strawberries. Press release, 25 March 2013.
  3. EXPPERT Survey 3: How are children exposed to Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals?Press release, 9 July 2014.
  4. EXPPERT Survey 4: Nineteen endocrine disrupting pesticides found in samples of women’s hair. Press release, 12 March 2015. Our blog.
  5. EXPPERT Survey 5: Pesticides that are banned or suspected to be EDCs are found in green salads. Press release, 22 September 2015. Our blog.
  6. EXPPERT Survey 6: Homes close to pesticide spraying show all year exposure. Press release, 1 March 2016. Our blog.
  7. EXPPERT Survey 7: Exposure to endocrine-disrupting pesticides. What are the exposures in daily life? Press release, 11 October 2016. Our blog.
  8. EXPPERT Survey 8: Exposure to endocrine-disrupting pesticides in water. Press release, 8 January 2017. Our blog.
  9. EXPPERT Survey 9: Seven French celebrities discover their contamination from endocrine disruptors. Press release, 24 February 2017. Our blog.

Don’t pollute my future!

The impact of the environment on children’s health

Introduction

Protecting the children from the environment

In 2015, 5.9 million children under age five died. The major causes of child deaths globally are pneumonia, prematurity, intrapartum-related complications, neonatal sepsis, congenital anomalies, diarrhoea, injuries and malaria. Most of these diseases and conditions are at least partially caused by the environment. It was estimated in 2012 that 26% of childhood deaths and 25% of the total disease burden in children under five could be prevented through the reduction of environmental risks such as air pollution, unsafe water, sanitation and inadequate hygiene or chemicals.

Children are especially vulnerable to environmental threats due to their developing organs and immune systems, smaller bodies and airways. Harmful exposures can start as early as in utero. Furthermore, breastfeeding can be an important source of exposure to certain chemicals in infants; this should, however, not discourage breastfeeding which carries numerous positive health and developmental effects. Proportionate to their size, children ingest more food, drink more water and breathe more air than adults. Additionally, certain modes of behaviour, such as putting hands and objects into the mouth and playing outdoors can increase children’s exposure to environmental contaminants.

Download Don’t pollute my future! The impact of the environment on children’s health, who publications, WHO/FWC/IHE/17.01.

Rapports étudiants en médecine et profs avec liens d’intérêts labos pharmaceutiques non déclarés

Les étudiants en médecine sont-ils sous l’influence des labos pharmaceutiques ?

Pendant ses études, un futur médecin croise des enseignants, des professeurs émérites et des labos pharmaceutiques sans toujours s’en rendre compte.

Le cas échéant, les profs informent-ils leurs étudiants de leurs liens d’intérêts avec les laboratoires?

“Je considère que nos étudiants, ils n’y comprendront rien, ils ont 18 ou 19 ans, je ne vois vraiment pas comment ils pourraient avoir accès à une information éclairée.”

déclare le Pr Gilles Freyer, Vice-Président de la Faculté de Médecine de Lyon Sud.

  • Regardez la vidéo édifiante de l’oeil du 20h, 16 mars 2017.
  • Lisez Les étudiants en médecine sont-ils sous l’influence des labos pharmaceutiques?, blog france tv info, 16 mars 2017.

Sur le même sujet

Popular farm pesticides found in drinking water

Occurrence of Neonicotinoid Insecticides in Finished Drinking Water and Fate during Drinking Water Treatment

A team of chemists and engineers at the U.S. Geological Survey and University of Iowa reported that they found neonicotinoids in treated drinking water. It marks the first time that anyone has identified this class of pesticide in tap water.

2017 Study Abstract

Neonicotinoid insecticides are widespread in surface waters across the agriculturally intensive Midwestern United States.

We report for the first time the presence of three neonicotinoids in finished drinking water and demonstrate their general persistence during conventional water treatment.

Occurrence of Neonicotinoid Insecticides in Finished Drinking Water and Fate during Drinking Water Treatment,
American Chemical Society, April 5, 2017.

Periodic tap water grab samples were collected at the University of Iowa over 7 weeks in 2016 (May–July) after maize/soy planting.

Clothianidin, imidacloprid, and thiamethoxam were ubiquitously detected in finished water samples at concentrations ranging from 0.24 to 57.3 ng/L.

Samples collected along the University of Iowa treatment train indicate no apparent removal of clothianidin or imidacloprid, with modest thiamethoxam removal (∼50%).

First evidence found of popular farm pesticides in drinking water, washingtonpost, April 5, 2017.

Image credit ℒaura Tou.

In contrast, the concentrations of all neonicotinoids were substantially lower in the Iowa City treatment facility finished water using granular activated carbon (GAC) filtration.

Batch experiments investigated potential losses. Thiamethoxam losses are due to base-catalyzed hydrolysis under high-pH conditions during lime softening.

GAC rapidly and nearly completely removed all three neonicotinoids. Clothianidin is susceptible to reaction with free chlorine and may undergo at least partial transformation during chlorination.

Our work provides new insights into the persistence of neonicotinoids and their potential for transformation during water treatment and distribution, while also identifying GAC as a potentially effective management tool for decreasing neonicotinoid concentrations in finished drinking water.

Workplace cancer prevention must be extended to reprotoxic substances

Millions of persons are exposed to substances toxic for reproduction in many work-related activities

Putting more than 10 years of paralysis behind it, the European Commission finally launched a revision of the directive on the prevention of occupational cancers in May 2016. Lawmakers can now address reprotoxic substances in the workplace, writes Laurent Vogel, a researcher at the European Trade Union Institute (ETUI).

Abstract

The rules are insufficient as far as workplace protection is concerned. Whereas carcinogenic and mutagenic substances are the subject of more stringent prevention requirements by employers, reprotoxic substances have the “advantage” of a more lenient framework. A lot is at stake: out of 235 substances identified as proven or suspected reprotoxic substances, over 160 evade the most stringent regulation because they are not also classified as carcinogenic or mutagenic. If we confine ourselves to production volumes, the inadequately controlled risks are considerable. They concern lead, bisphenol A (a massively produced endocrine disruptor) and several phthalates.

A directive concerning the protection of pregnant or breastfeeding workers does certainly exist. But reprotoxic disorders concern men as much as women. Limiting specific measures to pregnant women may lead to various forms of discrimination. Furthermore, reprotoxic substances usually act on sex cells (eggs and spermatozoids) or on the first stages of embryo development. Rules concerning pregnant or breastfeeding workers obviously do not make it possible to prevent harmful effects on fertility. European legislation triggers a specific preventive action only from the time when a woman worker has informed her employer that she is pregnant. Such information is seldom communicated before the tenth week of pregnancy. Now, the risks for foetal development arising from chemical substances are at their highest during the first three months. Legislative provisions are therefore fairly ineffective and are likely to have stigmatising effects on pregnant women.”

Read Workplace cancer prevention must be extended to reprotoxic substances, euractiv, Mar 30, 2017.

European Trade Union Institute Publications