House dust can carry hormone-altering chemicals prompting body cells to accumulate fat

Chemicals in household dust may promote fat cell development, 2019

New Orleans, LA – Endocrine-disrupting chemicals present in household dust promote the development of fat cells in a cell model and could contribute to increased growth in children relative to their age, according to research presented Monday, March 25 at ENDO 2019, the Endocrine Society’s annual meeting.

“This is some of the first research investigating links between exposure to chemical mixtures present in the indoor environment and metabolic health of children living in those homes,”

said lead researcher Christopher Kassotis, Ph.D., of Duke University’s Nicholas School of the Environment in Durham, N.C.

Previous research has shown that chemical exposures can promote accumulation of triglycerides—a type of fat found in the blood—and increased obesity in animal models. Many observational studies have found a link between exposure to endocrine-disrupting chemicals believed to contribute to obesity and increased weight in humans.

In this study, Kassotis and colleagues investigated the effect of chemical mixtures isolated from house dust. They collected 194 house dust samples from households in central North Carolina. They then extracted the chemicals from the dust in the lab. These extracts were tested for their ability to promote fat cell development in a cell model.

They found that very low concentrations of dust extracts were able to promote precursor fat cell proliferation and fat cell development. According to the EPA, children are estimated to consume between 60 and 100 milligrams of dust each day.

“We found that two-thirds of dust extracts were able to promote fat cell development and half promote precursor fat cell proliferation at 100 micrograms, or approximately 1,000 times lower levels than what children consume on a daily basis,”

Kassotis said.

The researchers then measured more than 100 different chemicals in the dust and looked at the relationship between their concentrations and the extent of fat cell development. They found that approximately 70 of the chemicals had a significant positive relationship with the development of dust-induced fat cells, and approximately 40 were linked with precursor fat cell development.

“This suggests that mixtures of chemicals occurring in the indoor environment might be driving these effects,”

Kassotis said.

The researchers found several chemicals were significantly elevated in the dust of homes of children who were overweight or obese. They are continuing to study these chemicals—some of which are found in common household products such as laundry detergents, household cleaners, paints and cosmetics—to determine which ones may be linked to obesity.

Reference. Image thecaspiantimes.

Endocrine disruptors alter pubertal timing

Endocrine disrupters and possible contribution to pubertal changes

Puberty represents a crucial milestone in one’s reproductive life. For this reason, any effect of the environment on pubertal timing might announce later consequences on reproduction. For the last 20 years, data has accumulated suggesting changes in pubertal timing and a possible role for exposure to endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs). This review will summarize the recent data regarding secular trends in age at puberty in boys and girls as well as the likely increase in central precocious puberty incidence in girls. Finally, we will review the epidemiological and animal data suggesting a role for endocrine disrupting chemicals in the reported changes in pubertal timing.

Abstract

The onset of puberty strongly depends on organizational processes taking place during the fetal and early postnatal life. Therefore, exposure to environmental pollutants such as Endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) during critical periods of development can result in delayed/advanced puberty and long-term reproductive consequences. Human evidence of altered pubertal timing after exposure to endocrine disrupting chemicals is equivocal. However, the age distribution of pubertal signs points to a skewed distribution towards earliness for initial pubertal stages and towards lateness for final pubertal stages. Such distortion of distribution is a recent phenomenon and suggests environmental influences including the possible role of nutrition, stress and endocrine disruptors. Rodent and ovine studies indicate a role of fetal and neonatal exposure to EDCs, along the concept of early origin of health and disease. Such effects involve neuroendocrine mechanisms at the level of the hypothalamus where homeostasis of reproduction is programmed and regulated but also peripheral effects at the level of the gonads or the mammary gland.

Endocrine disruptors alter female reproduction throughout multiple generations

OR23-1 Transgenerational Effects of Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals on Pubertal Timing through Epigenetic Reprogramming of the Hypothalamus

According to a recent animal study, endocrine disruptors, hormone-altering chemicals that are widespread in our environment, can shape the brain through four generations, altering offspring’s maternal behavior, sexual development and reproduction, The Endocrine Society reports.

Abstract

Endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) are a rising concern for public health due to their ubiquitous presence as complex mixtures affecting development throughout generations. Our goal was to study the effect of a mixture of EDCs on female sexual development during 3 generations. Female rats (F0 generation) were orally exposed to a mixture of 14 anti-androgenic and estrogenic EDCs or corn oil for 2 weeks before and throughout gestation and until weaning. The mixture was composed of plasticizers (BPA, DBP, DEHP), fungicides/pesticides (Vinclozolin, Procymidon, Prochloraz, Epoxynazole, Linurone, p-p’-DDT), UV filters (4-MBC, OMC), Butyl Paraben and the analgesic Acetaminophen. The doses were in the micrograms/kg range in order to represent human exposure. Sexual development (vaginal opening, GnRH interpulse interval and estrous cyclicity) as well as maternal behavior were studied from F1 to F3 generations. At PND21 the mediobasal hypothalamus of the F1 and F3 were removed for gene expression analysis by RNAseq and RT-qPCR as well as for Chromatin Immunoprecipitation of histone modifications at regulatory regions of target genes. While F2 and F3 females showed delayed vaginal opening, decreased percentage of regular estrous cycles and decreased GnRH interpulse interval, no such changes were detected in F1 animals. These reproductive phenotypes were associated with alterations in both transcriptional and histone posttranslational modifications of hypothalamic genes involved in reproductive competence and behavior like kisspeptin (Kiss1), oxytocin (Oxt), estrogen (Esr1), glutamate (Grin2d), dopamine signaling (Th and Drd1) as well as glucocorticoid activity (Nr3c1 and Crh). Concomitant with a decrease in transcriptional activity, we have observed either a decrease of active histone marks (H3K4me3, H3K9ac) for Esr1 and Oxt promoter regions, an increase of repressive histone modifications (H3K27me3, H3K9me3) for Grin2D, Th and Nr3c1 promoter regions or both for the Kiss1 promoter. Up-regulated genes (Pomc, and CRH) showed decreased H3K9me3 and increased H3K9ac at their 5’regulatory regions. F1 females that were exposed in utero to the EDC mixture, showed a reduction in Th mRNA expression and decreased grooming/licking behavior while spending more time resting alone. These alterations on maternal behavior are known to cause transgenerational alterations of the development of the corticotropic and gonadotropic axis. Overall, our data shows that gestational and lactational exposure to an environmentally relevant EDC mixture transgenerationally affects sexual development throughout epigenetic reprogramming of the hypothalamus. Such effects could be mediated by alterations of maternal behavior caused by exposure of the first generation to the EDC mixture.

About DES and the GENES

Current uses of BPA are safe – Not

Getting a Clear View : Lessons From The CLARITY-BPA Study, 2019

Listen to Dr. Laura Vandenberg, Associate Professor and Graduate Program Director in the Department of Environmental Health Sciences in the University of Massachusetts Amherst School of Public Health and Health Sciences, analyses The CLARITY-BPA study. Reference.

Bisphenol A (BPA) is produced in high volume and is still in use in a variety of products globally. Many independent, academic studies have demonstrated an association between exposure to BPA and multiple adverse health outcomes including endocrine-disrupting end-points. However, studies included in regulatory risk assessments have been cited as evidence that current uses of BPA are safe.

The U.S. National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), the National Toxicology Program (NTP), and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) sought to address these disparities in scientific findings and put together the Consortium Linking Academic and Regulatory Insights on BPA Toxicity, otherwise known as CLARITY-BPA.

Chemicals, pesticides, microplastics added to supermarket food

The Honest Supermarket – What’s Really in Our Food ?

Can we trust our supermarkets to tell us the truth about what we are buying and how it was produced ?

For every pound we spend on food shopping, 77p goes to the supermarkets, giving them a huge influence over what we eat. Do their profits come first ?

In an experiment to discover the hidden truths about our everyday foods, Horizon has built the first ever truly ‘honest supermarket’. Drawing on the latest scientific research and leading experts from across the UK, the team have built a supermarket where the products are labelled with the real story of how they are produced and their effect on us and the environment. We invite the British public to come in and discover the truth about their favourite foods. And in our on-site lab, new scientific discoveries reveal the food facts the supermarkets aren’t telling you.

Presented by Dr Hannah Fry and dietician Priya Tew, The Honest Supermarket takes a cold hard look at what’s really going on with the food we eat. From new research that reveals you’re likely to be ingesting plastic particles along with your bottled water to the lab tests that uncover the disturbing truth about just how old your ‘fresh’ supermarket fish really is…

You’ll never look at the food on your supermarket shelves in the same way again says BBC2 Horizon, Jul 2019.

Prenatal exposure to chemicals in personal care products linked to earlier puberty in girls

Association of phthalates, parabens and phenols found in personal care products with pubertal timing in girls and boys

Girls exposed to chemicals commonly found in toothpaste, makeup, soap and other personal care products before birth may hit puberty earlier, according to a new longitudinal study led by researchers at UC Berkeley (see press release).

2019 Study Abstract

STUDY QUESTION
Are in-utero or peripubertal exposures to phthalates, parabens and other phenols found in personal care products associated with timing of pubertal onset in boys and girls?

SUMMARY ANSWER
We found some associations of altered pubertal timing in girls, but little evidence in boys.

WHAT IS KNOWN ALREADY
Certain chemicals in personal care and consumer products, including low molecular weight phthalates, parabens and phenols, or their precursors, are associated with altered pubertal timing in animal studies.

STUDY DESIGN, SIZE, DURATION
Data were from the Center for the Health Assessment of Mothers and Children of Salinas (CHAMACOS) longitudinal cohort study which followed 338 children in the Salinas Valley, California, from before birth to adolescence.

PARTICIPANTS/MATERIALS, SETTING, METHODS
Pregnant women were enrolled in 1999–2000. Mothers were mostly Latina, living below the federal poverty threshold and without a high school diploma. We measured concentrations of three phthalate metabolites (monoethyl phthalate [MEP], mono-n-butyl phthalate and mono-isobutyl phthalate), methyl and propyl paraben and four other phenols (triclosan, benzophenone-3 and 2,4- and 2,5-dichlorophenol) in urine collected from mothers during pregnancy and from children at age 9. Pubertal timing was assessed among 179 girls and 159 boys every 9 months between ages 9 and 13 using clinical Tanner staging. Accelerated failure time models were used to obtain mean shifts of pubertal timing associated with concentrations of prenatal and peripubertal biomarkers.

MAIN RESULTS AND THE ROLE OF CHANCE
In girls, we observed earlier onset of pubic hair development with prenatal urinary MEP concentrations and earlier menarche with prenatal triclosan and 2,4-dichlorophenol concentrations. Regarding peripubertal biomarkers, we observed: earlier breast development, pubic hair development and menarche with methyl paraben; earlier menarche with propyl paraben; and later pubic hair development with 2,5-dichlorophenol. In boys, we observed no associations with prenatal urinary biomarker concentrations and only one association with peripubertal concentrations: earlier genital development with propyl paraben.

LIMITATIONS, REASONS FOR CAUTION
These chemicals are quickly metabolized and one to two urinary measurements per developmental point may not accurately reflect usual exposure. Associations of peripubertal measurements with parabens may reflect reverse causality: children going through puberty early may be more likely to use personal care products. The study population was limited to Latino children of low socioeconomic status living in a farmworker community and may not be widely generalizable.

WIDER IMPLICATIONS OF THE FINDINGS
This study contributes to a growing literature that suggests that exposure to certain endocrine disrupting chemicals may impact timing of puberty in children.

STUDY FUNDING/COMPETING INTEREST(S)
This study was funded by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences and the US Environmental Protection Agency. The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

TRIAL REGISTRATION NUMBER
N/A.

Overview of known plastic packaging-associated chemicals and their hazards

Which hazardous chemicals are associated with plastic packaging?

The use of plastic packaging is increasing globally, causing environmental and human health concerns. In 2015 annual plastic production was 380Mt, of which about 40 per cent was used in packaging, with the majority being used in food packaging.

The 906 substances which are most likely to be associated with plastic packaging have been published on the Data Commons websiteAt least 148 of the 906 chemicals most likely to be associated with plastic packaging were identified as particularly hazardous based on several harmonized hazard data sources, and 35 of the chemicals listed are regarded as endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs), CHEM Trust reports.

2018 Study Highlights

  • Database of Chemicals associated with Plastic Packaging (CPPdb) is presented.
  • CPPdb contains chemicals used in manufacturing and/or present in final articles.
  • 906 chemicals identified as likely, 3377 chemicals as possibly associated.
  • Hazard data: CLP classifications, EDC, PBT, vPvB identifications explored.
  • Data gaps concerning both the use and toxicity of numerous substances identified.

Abstract

Global plastics production has reached 380 million metric tons in 2015, with around 40% used for packaging. Plastic packaging is diverse and made of multiple polymers and numerous additives, along with other components, such as adhesives or coatings. Further, packaging can contain residues from substances used during manufacturing, such as solvents, along with non-intentionally added substances (NIAS), such as impurities, oligomers, or degradation products. To characterize risks from chemicals potentially released during manufacturing, use, disposal, and/or recycling of packaging, comprehensive information on all chemicals involved is needed. Here, we present a database of Chemicals associated with Plastic Packaging (CPPdb), which includes chemicals used during manufacturing and/or present in final packaging articles. The CPPdb lists 906 chemicals likely associated with plastic packaging and 3377 substances that are possibly associated. Of the 906 chemicals likely associated with plastic packaging, 63 rank highest for human health hazards and 68 for environmental hazards according to the harmonized hazard classifications assigned by the European Chemicals Agency within the Classification, Labeling and Packaging (CLP) regulation implementing the United Nations’ Globally Harmonized System (GHS). Further, 7 of the 906 substances are classified in the European Union as persistent, bioaccumulative, and toxic (PBT), or very persistent, very bioaccumulative (vPvB), and 15 as endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDC). Thirty-four of the 906 chemicals are also recognized as EDC or potential EDC in the recent EDC report by the United Nations Environment Programme. The identified hazardous chemicals are used in plastics as monomers, intermediates, solvents, surfactants, plasticizers, stabilizers, biocides, flame retardants, accelerators, and colorants, among other functions. Our work was challenged by a lack of transparency and incompleteness of publicly available information on both the use and toxicity of numerous substances. The most hazardous chemicals identified here should be assessed in detail as potential candidates for substitution.

Human Consumption of Microplastics

You could be swallowing a credit card’s weight in plastic every week

Globally, we are ingesting an average of 5 grams of plastic every week, the equivalent of a credit card, a new study suggests.

Abstract

Microplastics are ubiquitous across ecosystems, yet the exposure risk to humans is unresolved.
Focusing on the American diet, we evaluated the number of microplastic particles in commonly consumed foods in relation to their recommended daily intake.The potential for microplastic inhalation and how the source of drinking water may affect microplastic consumption were also explored.

Our analysis used 402 data points from 26 studies, which represents over 3600 processed samples.

Evaluating approximately 15% of Americans’ caloric intake, we estimate that annual microplastics consumption ranges from 39000 to 52000 particles depending on age and sex. These estimates increase to 74000 and 121000 when inhalation is considered. Additionally, individuals who meet their recommended water intake through only bottled sources may be ingesting an additional 90000 microplastics annually, compared to 4000 microplastics for those who consume only tap water.

These estimates are subject to large amounts of variation; however, given methodological and data limitations, these values are likely underestimates.

See also CNN press release.

60 MiNueTs Toxic

UCSF Program on Reproductive Health and the Environment, 2017

Video published on 18 Apr 2019 by the UCSF Program on Reproductive Health and the Environment.

The University of California San Francisco (UCSF) Program on Reproductive Health and the Environment (PRHE)’s mission is to create a healthier environment for human reproduction and development through advancing scientific inquiry, clinical care and health policies that prevent exposures to harmful chemicals in our environment.

More Information

Adult and Prenatal Chemical Exposures

Breast Cancer Prevention Partners, with Tracey Woodruff, Ph.D., Mar 2019

  • How am I exposed to chemicals?
  • What are prenatal exposures?
  • How can I reduce my own personal exposures?
  • What more can I do to help make a change?

Featuring BCPP Science Advisory Panel member Tracey Woodruff, Ph.D., Director of the Program on Reproductive Health and the Environment, University of California, San Francisco, Professor in the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Sciences and Philip R. Lee Institute for Health Policy Studies at UCSF