Occurrence and migration of a wide range EDCs from intact surfaces of baby teethers

Migration of Parabens, Bisphenols, Benzophenone-Type UV Filters, Triclosan, and Triclocarban from Teethers and Its Implications for Infant Exposure

Certain teething products often used for young children and babies may contain bisphenols, parabens, triclosan and harmful chemicals – including those marked BPA-free – all materials that are used in personal care products and plastics that have been banned or restricted by the EU and US governments.

Abstract

Parabens (p-hydroxybenzoic acid esters), bisphenols, benzophenone-type UV filters, triclosan, and triclocarban are used in a variety of consumer products, including baby teethers. Nevertheless, the exposure of infants to these chemicals through the use of teethers is still unknown.

In this study, 59 teethers, encompassing three types, namely solid plastic, gel-filled, and water-filled (most labeled “bisphenol A-free”), were collected from the U.S. market and analyzed for 26 potential endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) from intact surfaces through migration/leaching tests performed with Milli-Q water and methanol.

Migration of Parabens, Bisphenols, Benzophenone-Type UV Filters, Triclosan, and Triclocarban from Teethers and Its Implications for Infant Exposure Environmental Science and Technology, DOI: 10.1021/acs.est.6b04128, December 7, 2016.

baby booty by pinprick.

The total amount of the sum of six parent parabens (Σ6 Parabens) leached from teethers ranged from 2.0 to 1990 ng, whereas that of their four transformation products (Σ4 Parabens) ranged from 0.47 to 839 ng. The total amount of the sum of nine bisphenols (Σ9 bisphenols) and 5 benzophenones (Σ5 benzophenones) leached from teethers ranged from 1.93 to 213 ng and 0.59 to 297 ng, respectively. Triclosan and triclocarban were found in the extracts of teethers at approximately 10-fold less amounts than were bisphenols and benzophenones.

Based on the amount leached into Milli-Q water, daily intake of these chemicals was estimated from the use of teethers by infants at 12 months of age. This is the first study to document the occurrence and migration of a wide range EDCs from intact surfaces of baby teethers.

Launch of the European Human Biomonitoring Initiative

The HBM4EU consortium included lead partners from each of the participating countries, as well as the EEA

A conference to launch the “European Human Biomonitoring Initiative” (HBM4EU) took place on 8 December 2016 in Brussels. It was followed by a half-day stakeholders meeting on 9 December.

HBM4EU is a joint effort of 26 countries and the European Commission, co-funded by Horizon 2020, to coordinate and advance human biomonitoring (HBM) activities in Europe. The stated aim is “to provide better evidence in support of policy making”.

The launch event introduced the initiative and presented some of the key activities to be undertaken. Long-standing HBM activities from programmes outside the European Union, including US, Canada and Japan, were be presented to give participants a perspective on how the EU project fits into the international landscape.

Launch of EU human biomonitoring initiative, env-health, 8 December 2016.

Although 26 countries are involved, biomonitoring will take place in 25 countries, including 22 EU members and three non-members. They are Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom. Information on the national organisations participating in the consortium can be found here.

The nine substance groupings that will be the focus of the European Human Biomonitoring Initiative in the first two years (2017-2018) are:

  • phthalates and Hexamoll® DINCH,
  • bisphenols,
  • per-/polyfluorinated compounds,
  • flame retardants,
  • cadmium and chromium,
  • PAHs,
  • aniline family,
  • chemical mixtures,
  • and emerging substances.

A half-day technical consultation took place the following day. It will be the first in a series of more in-depth discussions with stakeholders that accompanies annual work plans. Génon Jensen, HEAL Executive Director spoke at the introductory session on the project and its stakeholder process on: “Human biomonitoring to inform and empower citizens”. This main session was followed by break-out groups on research and stakeholder expectations.

HEAL has become the informal coordinator on human biomonitoring for NGOs working on chemicals because of our long involvement in promoting human biomonitoring for better health and environmental policy. In 2006, HEAL undertook a small-scale biomonitoring programme on mercury, which resulted in health moving to the centre of international discussions on mercury.

More Information

  • The role of human biomonitoring in assessing and managing chemical risks, eea.europa.eu.
  • The initial prioritisation exercise and selected substances, eea.europa.eu.

Estrogenic activity of water, sediment, and fish bile of the Pearl River, Southern China

Evaluation of estrogenic activity in the Pearl River by using effect-directed analysis

Abstract

This study investigated estrogenic activity of water, sediment, and fish bile of the Pearl River in southern China by effect-directed analysis based on in vitro yeast screen assay and chemical analysis.

Results showed higher estradiol equivalents (EEQ) for surface water in dry season than in wet season. Simple risk assessment suggested that high estrogenic risk would be expected in Shima River and Danshui River receiving discharge of effluents from cities in the region. Fractionation and effect-directed analysis showed that estrogenic activity mainly occurred in relatively polar fractions of surface water.

Evaluation of estrogenic activity in the Pearl River by using effect-directed analysis, Environmental science and pollution research international, NCBI PubMed PMID: 27522204, 2016 Nov.

Pearl River by toyohara.

Seven target estrogenic compounds

  1. bisphenol A,
  2. 4-nonylphenol,
  3. 4-tert-octylphenol,
  4. 17α-ethynyl estradiol,
  5. estrone,
  6. diethylstilbestrol,
  7. and 17β-estradiol

only accounted for part of the measured estrogenic activity, with the rest contributions from other potential estrogenic chemicals such as phenols.

Findings from this study suggest that fish in the river could be affected by those estrogenic chemicals. Proper measures should be taken to reduce the estrogenic activity in wastewaters before they are discharged into the riverine system in order to protect aquatic organisms.

Environmental influences on reproductive health: the importance of chemical exposures

Environmental exposures: pregnancy, placenta, and miscarriage

Abstract

Chemical exposures during pregnancy can have a profound and life-long impact on human health.

Because of the omnipresence of chemicals in our daily life, there is continuous contact with chemicals in food, water, air, and consumer products.

Consequently, human biomonitoring studies show that pregnant women around the globe are exposed to a variety of chemicals.

In this review we provide a summary of current data on maternal and fetal exposure, as well as health consequences from these exposures.

Environmental influences on reproductive health: the importance of chemical exposures, Fertility and Sterility, Volume 106, Issue 4, Pages 905–929, September 15, 2016.

Pregnancy image: Stefan Pasch.

We review several chemical classes, including polychlorinated biphenyls, perfluoroalkyl substances, polybrominated diphenyl ethers, phenols, phthalates, pesticides, and metals.

Additionally, we discuss environmental disparities and vulnerable populations, and future research directions.

We conclude by providing some recommendations for prevention of chemical exposure and its adverse reproductive health consequences.

BPA-free products and the next generation of bisphenols

An old culprit but a new story

Abstract

The concept that developmental events shape adult health and disease was sparked by the recognition of a link between maternal undernutrition and coronary disease in adults. From that beginning, a new field—the developmental origins of health and disease—emerged, and attention has focused on the effects of a wide array of developmental perturbations.

Exposure to endocrine-disrupting chemicals has been of particular interest, and a ubiquitous environmental contaminant bisphenol A (BPA) has become the endocrine-disrupting chemical poster child. Bisphenol A has been the subject of intense investigation for nearly two decades, and exposure effects have been described in hundreds of experimental, epidemiological, and clinical studies. From the standpoint of reproductive health, the findings are particularly important, as they suggest that the ovary, testis, and reproductive tract in both sexes are targets of BPA action. The findings and the media and regulatory attention garnered by them have generated increasing public concern and resulted in legislative bans on BPA in some countries.

An old culprit but a new story: bisphenol A and “NextGen” bisphenols, Fertility and Sterility, Volume 106, Issue 4, Pages 820–826, September 15, 2016.

The subsequent introduction of BPA-free products, although a masterful marketing strategy, is in reality only the beginning of a new and complex chapter of the BPA story. In this review we attempt to summarize what we have learned about the reproductive effects of BPA, present the reasons why studying the effects of this chemical in humans is no longer sufficient, and outline the challenges that the growing array of next generation bisphenols represents to clinicians, researchers, federal agencies, and the general public.

Biomonitoring of human exposures to chlorinated derivatives and structural analogs of bisphenol A

BPS, BPF, BPB and chlorinated derivatives likely to have similar effects than BPA

Bisphenol A (BPA) is a chemical that is widespread in the environment. Researchers reviewed and critically discussed the sources and routes of human exposure to chlorinated derivatives (ClxBPA) and alternatives to BPA (BPF, BPS), as well as their metabolism, toxicity and concentrations in human tissues. The researchers suggest BPA alternatives and derivatives may have similar effects, and provide directions for future research.

Abstract

Biomonitoring of human exposures to chlorinated derivatives and structural analogs of bisphenol A, ScienceDirect, Environmental Pollution, Volume 85, December 2015, Pages 352–379.

The high reactivity of bisphenol A (BPA) with disinfectant chlorine is evident in the instantaneous formation of chlorinated BPA derivatives (ClxBPA) in various environmental media that show increased estrogen-activity when compared with that of BPA.

The documented health risks associated with BPA exposures have led to the gradual market entry of BPA structural analogs, such as bisphenol S (BPS), bisphenol F (BPF), bisphenol B (BPB), etc. A suite of exposure sources to ClxBPA and BPA analogs in the domestic environment is anticipated to drive the nature and range of halogenated BPA derivatives that can form when residual BPA comes in contact with disinfectant in tap water and/or consumer products.

The primary objective of this review was to survey all available studies reporting biomonitoring protocols of ClxBPA and structural BPA analogs (BPS, BPF, BPB, etc.) in human matrices. Focus was paid on describing the analytical methodologies practiced for the analysis of ClxBPA and BPA analogs using hyphenated chromatography and mass spectrometry techniques, because current methodologies for human matrices are complex. During the last decade, an increasing number of ecotoxicological, cell-culture and animal-based and human studies dealing with ClxBPA exposure sources and routes of exposure, metabolism and toxicity have been published. Up to date findings indicated the association of ClxBPA with metabolic conditions, such as obesity, lipid accumulation, and type 2 diabetes mellitus, particularly in in-vitro and in-vivo studies. We critically discuss the limitations, research needs and future opportunities linked with the inclusion of ClxBPA and BPA analogs into exposure assessment protocols of relevant epidemiological studies.

Environmental contaminants linked to decline in dog fertility

Study raises questions about chemicals in packaging and pet food

Abstract

Adverse temporal trends in human semen quality and cryptorchidism in infants have been associated with exposure to environmental chemicals (ECs) during development.

A Warning for Dogs, and Their Best Friends, in Study of Fertility, nytimes, AUG. 9, 2016.

Here we report that a population of breeding dogs exhibit a 26 year (1988–2014) decline in sperm quality and a concurrent increased incidence of cryptorchidism in male offspring (1995–2014). A decline in the number of males born relative to the number of females was also observed.

Environmental chemicals impact dog semen quality in vitro and may be associated with a temporal decline in sperm motility and increased cryptorchidism, nature, 09 August 2016.

ECs, including diethylhexyl phthalate (DEHP) and polychlorinated bisphenol 153 (PCB153), were detected in adult dog testes and commercial dog foods at concentrations reported to perturb reproductive function in other species. Testicular concentrations of DEHP and PCB153 perturbed sperm viability, motility and DNA integrity in vitro but did not affect LH stimulated testosterone secretion from adult testis explants.

Decline in dog fertility could be a wake-up call for humans, MNN, August 10, 2016.

The direct effects of chemicals on sperm may therefore contribute to the decline in canine semen quality that parallels that reported in the human.

Chemicals in food contact materials: CHEMtrust Policy Briefing

A gap in the internal market, a failure in public protection

image of food-packaging
CHEMtrust intend to update their briefing as this policy area develops. Food packaging via hypescience.

CHEMtrust briefing “Chemicals in food contact materials: A gap in the internal market, a failure in public protection“, first published on 26th January 2016, outlines the key problems, and proposes some solutions.

Food packaging, factory equipment, food utensils – almost everything we eat has been in contact with one or more of these items. The EU’s laws should ensure that chemicals used in these materials are safe, but they do not go far enough and contain holes.

These holes – for example a lack of harmonised rules on paper and card, inks, coatings and adhesives – mean that public health is not properly protected, and also lead to disruption of the internal market.

EDCs exposure linked to altered gene function in pregnant women’s placentas

Chemicals may alter placenta genes, threaten fetuses

image of a Spritz-of-Perfume
Researchers link endocrine disrupting chemical exposure to altered gene function in pregnant women’s placentas, which could hamper fetal growth. A Spritz of Perfume image by Jennuine Captures Photography.

Women exposed to widely used chemicals while pregnant are more likely to have altered gene function in their placentas, according to a new study.

2015 Study Abstract

Background:
There is increasing concern that early-life exposure to endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) can influence the risk of disease development. Phthalates and phenols are two classes of suspected EDCs that are used in a variety of everyday consumer products, including plastics, epoxy resins, and cosmetics. In utero exposure to EDCs may impact disease propensity through epigenetic mechanisms.

Objective:
The objective of this study was to determine if prenatal exposure to multiple EDCs is associated with changes in miRNA expression of human placenta, and if miRNA alterations are associated with birth outcomes.

Methods:
Our study was restricted to a total of 179 women co-enrolled in the Harvard Epigenetic Birth Cohort and the Predictors of Preeclampsia Study. We analyzed associations between first-trimester urine concentrations of 8 phenols and 11 phthalate metabolites and expression of 29 candidate miRNAs in placenta by qRT-PCR.

Results:
For three miRNAs, miR-142-3p, miR15a-5p, and miR-185, we detected associations between ∑phthalates or ∑phenols on expression levels (p<0.05). By assessing gene ontology enrichment, we determined the potential mRNA targets of these microRNAs predicted in silico were associated with several biological pathways, including the regulation of protein serine/threonine kinase activity. Four gene ontology biological processes were enriched among genes significantly correlated with the expression of miRNAs associated with EDC burden.

Conclusions:
Overall, these results suggest that prenatal phenol and phthalate exposure is associated with altered miRNA expression in placenta, suggesting a potential mechanism of EDC toxicity in humans.

Sources and more information
  • First-Trimester Urine Concentrations of Phthalate Metabolites and Phenols and Placenta miRNA Expression in a Cohort of U.S. Women, Environ Health Perspect; DOI:10.1289/ehp.1408409, 19 June 2015.
  • Chemicals may alter placenta genes, threaten fetuses, Environmental Health News, July 1, 2015.

BPS and BPF Systematic Review and Comparison of the Hormonal Activity

Why ‘BPA-Free’ May Be Meaningless

plastics image
“We’ve got to do something about putting brand new compounds in products without having consulted with biologists about what they do,” said Cheryl S. Watson, a professor at the University of Texas. Image via Hindrik Sijens.

2015 Study Abstract

Background:
Increasing concern over Bisphenol A (BPA) as an endocrine disrupting chemical and its possible effects on human health have prompted the removal of BPA from consumer products, often labeled “BPA-free.” Some of the chemical replacements however, are also bisphenols, and may have similar physiological effects in organisms. Bisphenol S (BPS) and bisphenol F (BPF) are two such BPA substitutes.

Objectives:
This review was carried out to evaluate the physiological effects and endocrine activities of the BPA substitutes BPS and BPF. Further, we compared the hormonal potency of BPS and BPF to BPA.

Methods:
We conducted a systematic review, based on the Office of Health Assessment and Translation (OHAT) protocol.

Results:
We identified the body of literature-to-date, consisting of 32 studies (25 in vitro only, and seven in vivo). The majority of these studies examined the hormonal activities of BPS and BPF and found their potency to be in the same order of magnitude and of similar action to BPA (estrogenic, anti-estrogenic, androgenic, and anti-androgenic) in vitro and in vivo. BPS also has potencies similar to estradiol in membrane-mediated pathways, which are important for cellular actions like proliferation, differentiation, and death. BPS and BPF also showed other effects in vitro and in vivo, such as altered organ weights, reproductive endpoints, and enzyme expression.

Conclusions:
Based on the current literature, BPS and BPF are as hormonally active as BPA, and have endocrine disrupting effects.

Sources and more information
  • Bisphenol S and F: A Systematic Review and Comparison of the Hormonal Activity of Bisphenol A Substitutes, Environ Health Perspect; DOI:10.1289/ehp.1408989, 16 March 2015, full study PDF.
  • Why ‘BPA-Free’ May Be Meaningless, time, April 15, 2015.