Primodos EWG Report : Jason Farrell Reveals

Report of the Commission on Human Medicines’ Expert Working Group on Hormone Pregnancy Tests

An Expert Working Group (EWG) of the UK’s Commission on Human Medicines (CHM) has published their report on the use of hormone pregnancy tests (HPTs) and adverse effects relating to pregnancy including possible birth defects.

Sky’s Jason Farrell shares some thoughts.

Commission on Human Medicines

  • Report of the Commission on Human Medicines’ Expert Working Group on Hormone Pregnancy Tests,
  • Referral letter for genetic testing,
  • Press coverage,

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60 MiNueTs : Toxic Chemicals

UCSF Program on Reproductive Health and the Environment, 2017

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.

PRHE is housed within the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences, in the UCSF School of Medicine, one of the nation’s most prestigious medical schools. The Department is renowned for promoting cutting-edge reproductive science research, extending the frontiers of multidisciplinary women’s health care and professional education, advocating for women’s health at local, state and national levels, and engaging community involvement.

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Flame retardant toxic chemicals are showing up in more people

Dramatic Rise in Flame Retardant Levels in Kids and Adults

Levels of a cancer-causing flame retardant are increasing dramatically in the bodies of American adults and children, according to a new studyTemporal Trends in Exposure to Organophosphate Flame Retardants in the United States – led by Duke University scientists, in collaboration with researchers at EWG and other universities.

2017 Study Abstract

During the past decade, use of organophosphate compounds as flame retardants and plasticizers has increased. Numerous studies investigating biomarkers (i.e., urinary metabolites) demonstrate ubiquitous human exposure and suggest that human exposure may be increasing.

To formally assess temporal trends, we combined data from 14 U.S. epidemiologic studies for which our laboratory group previously assessed exposure to two commonly used organophosphate compounds, tris (1,3-dichloro-2-propyl) phosphate (TDCIPP) and triphenyl phosphate (TPHP). Using individual-level data and samples collected between 2002 and 2015, we assessed temporal and seasonal trends in urinary bis (1,3-dichloro-2-propyl) phosphate (BDCIPP) and diphenyl phosphate (DPHP), the metabolites of TDCIPP and TPHP, respectively.

  • Data suggest that BDCIPP concentrations have increased dramatically since 2002. Samples collected in 2014 and 2015 had BDCIPP concentrations that were more than 15 times higher than those collected in 2002 and 2003 (10β = 16.5; 95% confidence interval from 9.64 to 28.3).
  • Our results also demonstrate significant increases in DPHP levels; however, increases were much smaller than for BDCIPP.
  • Additionally, results suggest that exposure varies seasonally, with significantly higher levels of exposure in summer for both TDCIPP and TPHP.

Given these increases, more research is needed to determine whether the levels of exposure experienced by the general population are related to adverse health outcomes.

Study and Press Releases

  • Temporal Trends in Exposure to Organophosphate Flame Retardants in the United States, American Chemical Society, DOI: 10.1021/acs.estlett.6b00475, February 8, 2017.
  • Dramatic Rise in Flame Retardant Levels in Kids and Adults, ewg News Releases, FEBRUARY 8, 2017.
  • Flame Retardant Chemicals Found in More People, consumer reports, February 13, 2017.

EWG’s Healthy Living App

Healthy shopping got much easier

EWG’s ratings for more than 120,000 food and personal care products, now at your finger tips.


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More than 75 brands use cans lined with BPA-laden epoxy for all their products

BPA in canned food, behind the brand curtain 2014 survey

big-can image
More than 75 brands use cans lined with BPA-laden epoxy for all their products. Take action today to demand that these companies stop using this dangerous chemical. Image by Chris.

EWG’s survey of 252 brands produced by 119 companies between January and August 2014 found that:

  • 78 brands, or 31 percent, used Bisphenol A BPA-lined cans for all products. About 46 percent of the brands in this group did not say whether they were working with can suppliers or packaging manufacturers to shift to BPA-free cans or to test substitutes.
  • 31 brands – 12 percent of the brands in our sample – used BPA-free cans for all canned products.
  • 34 brands, or 14 percent, used BPA-free cans for one or more of their canned products.
  • 43 percent of all brands gave ambiguous or incomplete answers to questions about their use of BPA and/or did not respond to EWG’s queries.
    Companies that said they had eliminated BPA or were in the process of doing so did not disclose the substitutes they were using, an omission that had the effect of slowing scientific study of the possible hazards of these substitute materials. Only 13 brands volunteered even a vague description of the alternative can coatings they use.
  • In the absence of a clear national standard, companies can define “BPA-free” as they wish. As a result, some products labeled BPA-free may have some amount of the chemical in can linings.

Take action today to demand that these companies stop using this dangerous chemical.

Sources and more information
  • BPA IN CANNED FOOD Behind the Brand Curtain, ewg, JUNE 3, 2015. Full survey PDF.
  • BPA still a favorite among canned good brands, environmentalhealthnews, June 3, 2015.

Women in the U.S. apply an average of 168 chemicals to their faces and bodies every day

Not Too Pretty. Phthalates, beauty products, and the FDA

This post content is published by EWG – a non-profit and non-partisan organization with mission to empower people to live healthier lives in a healthier environment.

Between cosmetics, perfumes, personal care products and feminine hygiene products, women in the US apply an average of 168 chemicals to their faces and bodies every day, according to new research. What’s the impact on their health?

A personal care product use survey of more than 2,300 people, conducted by EWG and a coalition of public interest and environmental health organizations, shows that the average adult uses 9 personal care products each day, with 126 unique chemical ingredients. More than a quarter of all women and one of every 100 men use at least 15 products daily. Among the findings of this survey are the following:

  • 12.2 million adults – one of every 13 women and one of every 23 men – are exposed to ingredients that are known or probable human carcinogens every day through their use of personal care products.
  • One of every 24 women, 4.3 million women altogether, are exposed daily to personal care product ingredients that are known or probable reproductive and developmental toxins, linked to impaired fertility or developmental harm for a baby in the womb or a child. These statistics do not account for exposures to phthalates that testing shows appear in an estimated three quarters of all personal care products but that, as components of fragrance, are not listed on product ingredient labels (EWG et al. 2002).
  • One of every five adults are potentially exposed every day to all of the top seven carcinogenic impurities common to personal care product ingredients — hydroquinone, ethylene dioxide, 1,4-dioxane, formaldehyde, nitrosamines, PAHs, and acrylamide. The top most common impurity ranked by number of people exposed is hydroquinone, which is a potential contaminant in products used daily by 94 percent of all women and 69 percent of all men.
  • Women use more products than men, and are exposed to more unique ingredients daily, but men use a surprisingly high number of products as well. The average woman uses 12 products containing 168 unique ingredients every day. Men, on the other hand, use 6 products daily with 85 unique ingredients, on average.
  • The personal care product industry’s self-policing safety panel, the Cosmetic Ingredient Review, approaches each safety assessment as if consumers are exposed to just one chemical at a time, and as if personal care products are the only source of exposure for each chemical considered. The panel is often wrong on both counts.

The results of this survey in combination with other studies show that people are exposed to hundreds of chemicals over the course of a day (CDC 2003, Thornton et al. 2002, EWG 2003), and that people face multiple sources of exposure from multiple consumer products for some of the common industrial chemicals used as cosmetic ingredients. Exposures can add up. The industry’s panel does not consider the reality of patterns of human exposures — additive effects of exposures to multiple chemicals linked to common health harms — in declaring chemicals “safe as used” in cosmetics.

By considering the human body to be a “clean slate” free of background contamination, free of related chemicals linked to common health harms, and free of exposures from other kinds of consumer products, the industry’s panel will every time underestimate the potential for a particular personal care product ingredient to harm human health.

Survey methodology

Personal care product use survey data collection
Between January and May 2004, six public interest and environmental health organizations conducted an in-depth survey on personal care product use, compiling information from more than 2,000 survey respondents. The groups involved in this effort included The Breast Cancer Fund, Women’s Voices for the Earth, Health Care Without Harm, the Massachusetts Breast Cancer Coalition, Clean Water Action, and the Environmental Working Group.

These groups and some of their affiliated organizations distributed surveys in both paper and electronic form, through membership mailings and organizational newsletters, and by canvassing college campuses, community forums, and high volume retail areas. Surveys were entered electronically; results were stored in a database housed at Environmental Working Group. The vast majority of surveys were collected in hard copy and entered electronically by the groups mentioned above. Some individual respondents chose to complete the survey online instead of on paper, in which case their responses were recorded directly into the database.

Personal care product use survey data analysis
Using Monte Carlo modeling techniques, EWG analyzed product use rates and ingredient exposure profiles from 2,335 valid survey responses (those for which all requested information essential to the analysis was completed). The model generated one million usage profiles from sequential, random selections of survey responses from among valid surveys. Using the frequency of use, product type, and brand of product, we selected products from our product database to match the survey response. When our product database did not contain the brand identified by the survey respondent, we randomly assigned the person a product of that type. From the one million generated usage profiles, we generated statistics on the ingredients contained in the products these usage profiles indicated, as well as statistics on the toxicity profiles of those ingredients.

EWG References
More press releases
  • Research lags on the health risks of women’s exposure to chemicals, theguardian, 5 May 2015.
  • Not so pretty: women apply an average of 168 chemicals every day, theguardian, 30 April 2015.

California OEHHA to include BPA on the state’s Prop 65 list of toxic chemicals

BPA Designation Is A Huge Victory For Californians

This post content is published by EWG – a non-profit and non-partisan organization with mission to empower people to live healthier lives in a healthier environment.

bpa-and-oehha image
The DART ID Committee has voted unanimously to add bisphenol-A (BPA) to the Proposition 65 list for female reproductive toxicity. @OEHHA

OAKLAND – The decision of a scientific advisory committee to add Bisphenol A  (BPA), to California’s Proposition 65 list of toxic chemicals is a huge victory in the fight to protect people from this harmful hormone disruptor, Environmental Working Group said today.

The Developmental and Reproductive Toxicant Identification Committee of the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment voted unanimously (7-0) yesterday to include BPA on the state’s Prop 65 list. Panelists cited the strong body of evidence that the chemical is toxic to the female reproductive system in both humans and laboratory animals.

This important victory will pave the way for greater protection for California residents who are currently exposed to BPA in everyday items such as canned food and receipts,” said Renée Sharp, EWG’s director of research. “The panel affirmed what hundreds of scientists and a massive amount of evidence has consistently shown – that BPA harms the female reproductive system.”

Sharp, along with EWG’s Bill Allayaud and Tasha Stoiber, made the case before the committee to add BPA to the Prop 65 list, which is required by law and must be updated at least once a year. It has grown to include 800 chemicals known to cause cancer, birth defects or other reproductive harm, according to the state agency’s website.

BPA is often found in the epoxy that lines most canned food containers sold in the U.S. The chemical readily leaches into food, as testing by EWG’s demonstrated in 2007. BPA is also commonly found on store receipts, as additional testing by EWG showed in 2010. EWG led a four-year effort to ban BPA in baby bottles and sippy cups in California, which finally succeeded in 2011.

Today, BPA is no longer used in baby bottles or in infant formula containers, but it is still widely used in food cans and other plastic products. California’s scientific advisory board noted yesterday that essentially all Americans have BPA in their bodies and are continuously being exposed to more of the chemical. In 2009, EWG documented the presence of BPA in umbilical cord blood.

EWG has long fought for stronger policies in California and at the national level to help reduce Americans’ exposure to BPA. The federal Food and Drug Administration has repeatedly ignored the evidence that BPA is harmful.

Sharp said the Prop 65 listing could trigger manufacturers to remove BPA from their products. The state will eventually set a guideline for warning labels on items that contain the chemical.

The ongoing question is whether the chemicals used in place of BPA in products are any safer,” added Sharp. “It is one of many reasons that we need a stronger federal chemical safety law on the books.”

EWG is at the forefront of the debate in Washington to ensure that chemicals on the market are in fact safe and to protect the right of California and other states to continue safeguarding their own citizens from dangerous substances.

In the meantime, EWG recommends limiting exposure to BPA by avoiding canned foods when possible and opting for electronic receipts at the checkout line. See EWG’s Guide to BPA for more information and tips.

Note Bene: great news indeed following California’s April 2013 episode

Excess Vitamins and Minerals in Food can harm Children and Pregnant Women’s Health

Find out more in EWG’s latest investigative report: How Much is Too Much?

How Much is Too Much image
Getting sufficient amounts of key nutrients is important for a healthy diet, but many Americans don’t realize that consuming excessive amounts of some nutrients can be harmful.

We need enough of vitamins and minerals in food for good health, but consuming too much can be harmful – especially to young children, the elderly and pregnant women.

Manufacturers have been using nutrient fortification as a marketing tool to appeal to parents who want healthier foods for their families. Up to half of young children get too much vitamin A, niacin and zinc.

The Environmental Working Group studied 1,556 breakfast cereals and 1,025 snack bars and found that many contained substantially higher amounts of those three nutrients – vitamin A, niacin and zinc – than is considered safe by the Institute of Medicine.

Sources and More Information

12 Hormone-Altering Chemicals and how to avoid them…

The Dirty Dozen, by EWG

12 Hormone-Altering Chemicals and how to avoid them... #EDCs by @ewg on Flickr
The Dirty Dozen list of EDCs

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Sources: EWG Press release and PDF booklet

12 Hormone-Altering Chemicals and How to Avoid Them
EWG, 28 Oct 2013

12 hormone-disrupting chemicals (and how to avoid them)
MNN, 28 Oct 2013

Our tags BPA – Endocrine Disruptors – Pesticides – Phthalates

The Dirty Dozen List of Endocrine Disruptors

Twelve Hormone-Altering Chemicals and How to Avoid Them

The Environmental Working Group and the Keep A Breast Foundation released a guide to educate consumers about some of the most problematic hormone-altering chemicals that people are routinely exposed to. EWG, known for creating the popular and widely used list of the most pesticide-contaminated fresh produce, partnered with KAB to develop the Dirty Dozen list of endocrine disruptors to highlight the prevalence of these toxic chemicals, how they affect our health and simple ways to avoid them.


12 Hormone-Altering Chemicals and How to Avoid Them
Twelve Hormone-Altering Chemicals and How to Avoid Them
  1. Bisphenol-A (BPA)
  2. Dioxin
  3. Atrazine
  4. Phthalates
  5. Perchlorate
  6. Fire retardants
  7. Lead
  8. Arsenic
  9. Mercury
  10. Perfluorinated chemicals
  11. Organophosphate pesticides
  12. Glycol ethers

More information and how to avoid them: