Cancer du sein : en finir avec l’épidémie

André Cicolella pose le diagnostic d’une “crise sanitaire” liée à la toxicité de notre environnement

image du livre cancer-du-sein
Savoir affronter la dure réalité de la cancérologie du sein… a faire lire aux jeunes à titre préventif!

Cet essai d’André Cicollela, paru le 3 octobre 2016, propose une synthèse claire et accessible de l’état de la recherche scientifique sur le cancer du sein pour combattre les idées reçues : certes, certains cancers ont des causes génétiques, l’espérance de vie a augmenté et le dépistage s’est amélioré. Mais, quand on compare les taux de différents pays, on constate une très forte disparité liée aux modes de vie et aux facteurs de risques. Ainsi, d’après les bons résultats du Bhoutan, il serait théoriquement possible de réduire de 95 % le taux de cancer du sein en Belgique !

  • Pourquoi le nombre de cancers du sein dans le monde a-t-il doublé entre 1990 et 2013 ?
  • Pourquoi la Belgique connaît-elle 22 fois plus de cas que le Bhoutan ?
  • Pourquoi note-t-on des écarts importants entre pays de même niveau de développement, voire entre régions françaises ?
  • Pourquoi les jeunes femmes sont-elles de plus en plus touchées ?

S’appuyant sur les enquêtes scientifiques les plus récentes, André Cicolella passe au crible tous ces facteurs environnementaux, du DDT des années 1950 au bisphénol A aujourd’hui en passant par l’alimentation, la sédentarité ou les conditions de travail.

Il est temps de faire connaître les nombreuses données disponibles et de se mobiliser contre un étau qui nous touche tous, de près ou de loin. Si l’exposition au pesticide DDT a été reconnue cancérigène cinquante ans après les premières dénonciations, n’attendons pas cinquante autres années pour proscrire le bisphénol A et autres perturbateurs endocriniens de nos vies !

Des facteurs tels que le vieillissement de la population ou les progrès du dépistage n’expliquent que très partiellement l’épidémie qui touche toute la planète. Il n’y a pas de fatalité : si les cas de cancer du sein ont dramatiquement augmenté ces dernières décennies dans les pays occidentaux, c’est que les facteurs de risque présents dans notre environnement quotidien se sont multipliés.

La bonne nouvelle, c’est qu’il est possible de faire reculer l’épidémie, à condition de bien identifier ses causes et de mener les politiques publiques adéquates.

André Cicolella est chimiste toxicologue, ancien conseiller scientifique à l’Ineris et enseignant en santé environnementale à Sciences Po Paris. Il préside l’association Réseau environnement santé (RES), à l’origine de l’interdiction du bisphénol A dans les biberons et du perchloroéthylène pour le nettoyage à sec.

European lakes contaminated with chemicals banned in the 1970s

Recent DDT and PCB contamination in the sediment and biota of the Como Bay

Research has found evidence for recent contamination of Lake Como, northern Italy, with chemicals banned in the EU since the 1970s. Levels of DDT and PCBs in sediment, aquatic microorganisms and fish were examined. The results suggest glacial meltwater as a source for renewed DDT contamination and show recent contamination of fish above safe levels. The findings demonstrate the need for continued monitoring of persistent organic pollutants in European waters.

Abstract

Recent DDT and PCB contamination in the sediment and biota of the Como Bay (Lake Como, Italy), ScienceDirect, doi:10.1016/j.scitotenv.2015.10.099.
Como lake image by Jim.

Due to its peculiar geographical and morphological characteristics, Lake Como (Northern Italy) represents an interesting study-case for investigating the sub-basin scale circulation of persistent organic pollutants (POPs) that, despite being banned since the 1970s, have reached surprisingly high concentrations in some southern alpine lakes as a consequence of their release from melting glaciers in recent years. In particular, the Como Bay, which is located in the city of Como, seems noteworthy because its waters have a longer residence time than the other areas of the lake.

The analyses of the historical concentration of PCBs, pp′DDT and its metabolites in a sediment core sampled from the Como Bay covering a time-period from their ban to recent times, showed that the DDTs have never experienced a significant (p < 0.05) decrease over time, with concentrations of the most abundant homologue, pp′DDE, ranging from 27 to 75 ng g− 1 d.w. Conversely PCBs significantly (p < 0.05) decreased towards recent times, reaching concentrations around 80 ng g− 1 d.w. The contribution of high altitude and local sources was recorded also in the food web: both zooplankton and the zooplanktivorous fish agone were mainly contaminated by pp′DDE (81.4 ng g− 1 w.w. and 534.6 ng g− 1 w.w. respectively) and by the PCB metabolite hexa-CB (449.7 ng g− 1 w.w. and 1672.1 ng g− 1 w.w. respectively). The DDT concentrations in the agone (sampled during the years 2006–2009) never exceeded the limits for human consumption in Italy, while concentrations of six selected PCBs exceeded human health advisory recommendations in one of the fish samples analysed, when it was approximately two times higher than the recommended value of 125 ng g− 1.

The estrogen effect : how chemical pollution is threatening our survival

Altering Eden : the feminization of nature, by Deborah Cadbury

Altering Eden : the feminization of nature, by Deborah Cadbury.

The Book was first published January 1st 1997 under the original title: “Altering Eden : the feminization of nature”.

With the world population now exceeding six billion, it may seem strange that scientists are worried about threats to human fertility. Yet dramatic decreases in human sperm counts (a 50% decline since the 1940s) and soaring rates of testicular cancer suggest that there is cause for concern.

Science journalist Deborah Cadbury, here expanding her Emmy-winning Horizon program “Assault on the Male,” presents evidence that the widespread use of synthetic chemicals has disrupted our and other animals’ natural hormonal systems, in effect flooding them with megadoses of estrogen-like substances that “feminize” males and contribute to breast cancer and myriad other problems.

The list of suspect chemicals is alarming: DES, DDT, PCBs, plastics (used in everything from washing machines to dental sealants and food packaging), even birth-control pills. Traces of these substances have been detected in soil, water, wildlife and humans from around the globe, and have been implicated in such conditions as animal hermaphroditism, impaired sperm quality, microphallus, prostate cancer, endometriosis and even impaired intelligence.

How researchers began to recognize the problem and piece together its clues is a compelling and frightening story, which Cadbury tells with journalistic verve. Though she admits that a definite causal relationship between chemical exposure and reproductive abnormalities has not yet been proven, she finds the evidence compelling. This is a chilling account of industrialization’s adverse – and perhaps irreversible – effects.

More DES DiEthylStilbestrol Resources

The Toxic Baby

Onstage together at TEDWomen, Jagessar Chaffer and Tyrone Hayes tell their story

Filmed Dec 2010, video uploaded on 13 Feb 2012 by TED channel.

We know so much about global warming and climate change and yet we have no concept of internal environmentalism.

Filmmaker Penelope Jagessar Chaffer was curious about the chemicals she was exposed to while pregnant: could they affect her unborn child? So she asked scientist Tyrone Hayes to brief her on one he studied closely: atrazine, a herbicide used on corn.

More information

Persistence of DDT and PCB contamination in European lakes and waters

Lake Como contaminated with chemicals banned in the 1970s

DDT, a pesticide, and PCBs, once used in electronic devices, are considered toxic chemicals. They can persist in the environment for long periods and accumulate in food chains. The use of DDT and PCBs in the EU was banned in 1978 (Directive 79/117/EEC) and 1983 (Directive 76/769/EEC), respectively.

Lake Como contaminated with chemicals banned in the 1970s, Science for Environment Policy News Alert, 17 March 2016.

The bans have been largely effective, and their presence in the environment has been steadily decreasing. However, recent concentrations of DDT and PCBs have been surprisingly high in some southern Alpine lakes. The presence of these banned chemicals presents a renewed risk to the flora and fauna in such lakes, as well as to the humans who exploit these lakes for food.

Recent DDT and PCB contamination in the sediment and biota of the Como Bay (Lake Como, Italy), ScienceDirect, doi:10.1016/j.scitotenv.2015.10.099.
Como lake image by Jim.

New research has examined levels of PCBs and DDT in one such lake, Lake Como, in northern Italy. The researchers took sediment samples and ‘cores’ (collected from the bottom of the lake using a drill, capturing the layers of sediment laid down year after year) in 2009. The cores were used to construct a timeline of PCB and DDT contamination in Lake Como, spanning the last 20–25 years.

The concentrations of six PCBs and three forms of DDT were analysed in all samples. Core samples showed a reasonably steady decline in PCBs between 1970 to 2009, dropping from a combined total close to 200 nanograms per gram of dry sediment (ng/g dry weight (d.w.)) in the earliest (1970–75) sediments to around 90 ng/g d.w. in the 2009 sediments.

There was a noticeable increase, close to 300 ng/g d.w., around 2000–2002, which the authors attribute to three flood events in the lake, which overflowed in the city of Como, likely the source of this PCB ‘peak’. Levels of DDT, however, never declined, instead remaining relatively constant over time.

The persistence of DDT in the lake is best explained, the authors say, by glacial release. DDT, previously used for fruit tree pest control in the valleys below glaciers, was carried upmountain in the air and fell on glaciers trapped in snow. As a warming climate causes glaciers to retreat, the trapped contaminants are released back into the environment in melt water, flowing through rivers and streams and accumulating in lakes.

Samples of zooplankton (small aquatic organisms) were also collected in 2009 and samples of the Agone fish (Alosa agone) — which preys on zooplankton and is commonly eaten in the area — were taken between 2006 and 2009.

The human consumption limit for PCBs and DDT in Italy (according to the Italian Ministry of Health) is 125 and 100 ng/g wet weight (w.w.), respectively.

Agone in all years were contaminated with both PCBs and DDT. DDT remained below safe limits for human consumption in all years. However, while PCB levels were typically well below the safe limit in most years, in 2009 levels were nearly double the safe limit. Levels of both PCBs and DDT in zooplankton were both lower than those in Agone, indicating that these chemicals are being ‘bioaccumulated’.

The results show how historically banned chemicals can persist in, and be released into other parts of, the environment by unexpected mechanisms, posing a risk to both human health and the environment. While the findings are specific for Lake Como, they may represent processes occurring in other southern alpine lakes and water systems, and demonstrate the need for continued monitoring of persistent organic compounds in European waters.

Chemical Exposure linked to 1.4 Billion Euros in Women’s Health Care Costs

Endocrine-disrupting chemicals may raise risk of developing endometriosis, uterine fibroids

Washington, DC – Endocrine-disrupting chemicals may contribute to reproductive health problems experienced by hundreds of thousands of women, costing European Union an estimated €1.4 billion ($1.5 billion) a year in health care expenditures and lost earning potential, according to a new study published in the Endocrine Society’s Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, Female Reproductive Disorders, Diseases, and Costs of Exposure to Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals in the European Union.

Chemical Exposure Linked to 1.4 Billion Euros in Women’s Health Care Costs, The Endocrine Society, March 22, 2016.

The study examined rates of uterine fibroids – benign tumors on the uterus that can contribute to infertility and other health problems – and an often painful condition called endometriosis where the tissue that normally lines the uterus develops elsewhere in the body. The two conditions are common, with as many as 70 percent of women affected by at least one of the disorders.

Research has linked the development of uterine fibroids and endometriosis to chemicals found in pesticides, cosmetics, toys and food containers. Past studies suggest a byproduct of the pesticide DDT, a chemical known as DDE, can raise the risk of developing uterine fibroids. Another group of chemicals called phthalates, which are found in plastic products and cosmetics, have been tied to growing risk of endometriosis.

DDT and phthalates are known endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs). EDCs can contribute to health problems by mimicking, blocking or otherwise interfering with the body’s hormones – the signaling system the body uses to determine how cells develop and grow. Unborn children are particularly vulnerable because exposure during key points in development can raise the risk of health problems later in life.

“The data shows that protecting women from exposure to endocrine-disrupting chemicals could substantially reduce rates of disease and lower health care and other social costs of these conditions”

said Leonardo Trasande, MD, MPP, Associate Professor of Pediatrics, Environmental Medicine & Population Health at NYU Langone Medical Center.

Female Reproductive Disorders, Diseases, and Costs of Exposure to Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals in the European Union, Endocrine Society, dx.doi.org/10.1210/jc.2015-2873, March 22, 2016.

The study is part of a series of economic analyses that found endocrine-disrupting chemical exposure may be costing the European Union upwards of €157 billion ($173 billion) a year. Prior studies in the series examined the costs associated with infertility and male reproductive dysfunctions, birth defects, obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and neurobehavioral and learning disorders.

To assess the economic burden of EDC exposure, a group of scientists convened a panel of global EDC experts to adapt existing environmental health cost models, relying on the Institute of Medicine’s 1981 approach of assessing the contribution of environment factors in causing illness. Based on the body of established literature, the researchers evaluated the likelihood that EDCs contributed to various medical conditions and dysfunctions.

Researchers only considered endometriosis and uterine fibroids in the analysis because there is robust data on their incidence and association with endocrine-disrupting chemical exposure. The researchers estimated that 145,000 cases of endometriosis and 56,700 cases of uterine fibroids in Europe could be attributed to exposure to endocrine-disrupting chemicals.

“Although these two gynecological conditions affect millions of women worldwide, we recognize that this analysis only reflects the tip of the iceberg,” “A growing body of evidence suggests EDC exposure is linked to a broader range of female reproductive problems, including polycystic ovary syndrome, infertility and pregnancy complications. These disorders also place a significant cost burden on women, their families and society as a whole.”

Trasande said.

The economic analysis included direct costs of hospital stays, physician services, and other medical costs. The researchers also calculated estimates of indirect costs such as lost worker productivity associated with these often painful disorders.

EDCS: Are Boys turning into Girls because of Man-made Chemicals?

Endocrine Disruptors: Boys turning into Girls…

” Recently we are seeing accelerated puberty in young girls, alarming increase in the men with extremely low sperm counts and transgender phenomenon growing at alarming pace.

Endocrinologist have found out that endocrine disruptor found in man made common chemicals like DES, dioxin, PCBs, DDT , plasticizers and in many more chemical we use daily are responsible for this unusual phenomenon.

Endocrine disruptors gets locked in to your fatty tissues and they can not be excreted out of our bodies as they are insoluble in water and they get accumulated during our entire life time. Endocrine disrupting chemicals disturbs the endocrine glands that releases hormones into the bloodstream to control various organs of the body. The endocrine glands includes the pituitary, thyroid, adrenal, thymus, pancreas, ovaries, and testicles. Developing fetuses and infants are are more vulnerable to endocrine disruptors.

In 50s and 60s doctor prescribed a synthetic estrogen called diethylstilbestrol (DES) to pregnant women with the goal to prevent miscarriages which was later found to contain endocrine disruptors. Over five million women were effected by this drug. Miscarriages,spontaneous abortions, premature births ,birth defects of the the uterus,ovaries,immune system defects,undescended testicles, malformed sperm in boys,chronic depression and other psychiatric disorders were reported. Use of estrogen have caused breast cancer in some women. With not much of government control over this chemical manufacturer let us follow simple precaution to save our next generation:

  • Educate yourself,your family and friends about endocrine disruptors.
  • Use organic pesticides and fertilizers.
  • Do not give young children soft plastic teether or toys.
  • Buy organic food whenever possible.
  • Do not store fatty foods or water in plastic containers.
  • Use glass article were ever possible.
  • It is better to use natural estrogen replacement for men who require hormone replacement therapy. “

Man-made chemicals exposure and fertility decline

Superman and the Martians. behind the comic strip dialogue

Superman and the Martians, behind the dialogue

For a healthier life, consume chemicals in moderation!
@HealthandEnv 2012.

Superman and the Martians, the comic strip

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Superman and the Martians. Comic strip about the need for safer chemicals

Taken from “Choosing our future” comic book, 2012 edition

Life on earth means exposure to chemicals and living in a chemical soup – Page 3

image of Superman and the Martians comic strip
For a healthier life, consume chemicals in moderation! @HealthandEnv 2012.

Superman and the Martians, the comic strip

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Superman and the Martians. Comic strip about the need for safer chemicals

Taken from “Choosing our future” comic book, 2012 edition

Life on earth means exposure to chemicals and living in a chemical soup – Page 2

Superman and the Martians comic strip
For a healthier life, consume chemicals in moderation! @HealthandEnv 2012.

Superman and the Martians, the comic strip

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