New generation flames retardants chemicals escaping into breathed air at alarming levels

Inhalation is an important route that should be taken into consideration in assessments of flame retardants

Researchers report inhalation is an important exposure route for new generation of flame retardant chemicals. Memory foam.

As Washington state decides on stronger toxics law, residents are breathing flame retardants, by Brian Bienkowski, on Environmental Health News, January 25, 2016.

A new generation of chemicals added to furniture, building insulation and baby products like car seats to slow the spread of flames are escaping into air at higher levels than previously thought, according to a new study out of Washington state.

The findings come as Washington lawmakers decide on bolstering flame retardant bans. The state was one of the first to ban an earlier generation of retardants, known as PBDEs.

The new research found flame retardant chemicals used to replace polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) also escape, are ubiquitous in indoor air and suggest inhalation is a major route of exposure for people.

The compounds, called chlorinated organophosphate flame retardants, found in the study have been linked to cancer and reproductive problems, and some can alter hormones essential for development.

“We’ve been underestimating what total exposure is”

said Erika Schreder, staff scientist at the Washington Toxics Coalition and lead author of the study published this month in the scientific journal Chemosphere.

Researchers gave 10 people from Washington state an air sampler that simulates breathing to wear during a normal day: office work, commuting, hanging out at home. They tested for a suite of the new generation of chlorinated flame retardants and found all 10 were breathing some amount of them throughout the day.

Exposure to one of the most prevalent compounds was up to 30 times greater than ingesting the chemicals via dust. The distinction is important: dust exposure occurs largely through the mouth, previously thought to be the major exposure route for banned PBDEs.

“With PBDEs, inhalation wasn’t considered as important,” Inhalation of PBDEs accounted for between 10 and 20 percent of exposure, “With the replacements, we see quite a different picture.”

said Amina Salamova, an environmental chemist and researcher at Indiana University Bloomington who studies toxic pollutants.

Chlorinated flame retardants are used mostly in polyurethane foam, often in building insulation and everyday products such as furniture, children’s car seats and baby strollers. The compounds are substitutes for PBDEs, which were widely used as flame retardants until scientists reported they were building up in people and wildlife and various bans took hold.

The American Chemistry Council, which represents chemical manufacturers, has long maintained flame retardant chemicals are necessary to prevent fires and protect people. In response to the recent study, Bryan Goodman, director of product communications for the council, said in an email that

exposure via ingestion and inhalation is “anticipated and regulators generally take this into account” when assessing the risk of chemicals.

However, Salamova, who was not involved in the recent study, said the inhalation concerns raised by Schreder’s study were especially alarming and novel because it was levels of really small particles that were quite high. She said:

“These really go all the way down your air tract and penetrate into the lung tissue,”

While chlorinated flame retardants have been around for decades, Salamova said scientists have recently started to understand them as, at first, it was thought they weren’t harmful or able to accumulate in people and wildlife. However there is evidence the replacement are following the same path as PBDEs: chlorinated flame retardants have been found in household dust, children’s products, drinking water, and mother-toddlers pairs.

Two chlorinated flame retardants have been flagged by the state of California as carcinogens, and animal research suggests they may hamper brain development as well.

Washington state legislators introduced bills in the state House and Senate to ban five flame retardants from furniture and children’s products, which would also set up a system to make sure new replacements are safe. The bill includes flame retardants found in the air in the recent study. The House bill will have a hearing this Wednesday.

Erika Schreder, study lead author, said:

The study doesn’t give us the final answer on exposure, but it does offer “a good indication of the range” that people are exposed to.

For questions or feedback about this piece, contact Brian Bienkowski.

High Exposure to Organophosphate Flame Retardants in Infants: Associations with Baby Products

Study finds flame retardant exposure higher in infants than adults

image of Flame-Retardants-in-Infants chart
A growing list of major retail stores have pledged to stop selling furniture containing flame retardants, which research suggests could cause developmental problems. Despite the trend, however, it could take years before widespread exposure declines. And now, a study in ACS’ journal Environmental Science & Technology has revealed more bad news: Infants could potentially be affected the most. The report also looks at potential exposure routes.

2015 Study Abstract

Infant products containing polyurethane foam are commonly treated with organophosphate flame retardants (PFRs), including tris(1,3-dichloro-2-propyl)phosphate (TDCIPP) and triphenyl phosphate (TPHP). Infants may have greater exposure due to greater contact with these products, yet little is known about levels of exposure or the factors contributing to higher exposure.

We recruited children age 2–18 months from North Carolina to investigate PFR exposure (n = 43; recruited 2014–2015). Parents provided information on potential sources and modifiers of exposure, and reported whether they owned common infant products.

We measured five PFR metabolites in urine samples collected from children. TDCIPP and TPHP metabolites (bis(1,3-dichloro-2-propyl) phosphate (BDCIPP) and diphenyl phosphate (DPHP)) were most commonly detected (>93% detect). Other metabolites were detected infrequently (<35% detect). Although we did not observe a clear age trend for infants, BDCIPP levels were substantially higher than those reported for adults (geometric mean = 7.3 ng/mL). The number of infant products owned was strongly associated with BDCIPP; children with >16 products had BDCIPP levels that were 6.8 times those with (<13). (p = 0.02). Infants attending daycare centers also had higher BDCIPP levels (3.7 times those of others; p = 0.07), suggesting time spent in this microenvironment contributes to higher exposure. In contrast, DPHP levels were not related to products owned, time in different microenvironments, or behavior.

Source and more information
  • Study finds flame retardant exposure higher in infants than adults, American Chemical Society, December 02, 2015.
  • High Exposure to Organophosphate Flame Retardants in Infants: Associations with Baby Products, American Chemical Society, DOI: 10.1021/acs.est.5b03577, November 9, 2015.


EDCs chemical exposure linked to rising diabetes, obesity risk

Exec. summary for new Scientific Statement on EDCs is available!

cash-register-receipt image
Known EDCs include BPA and BPS found in food can linings and cash register receipts, phthalates found in plastics and cosmetics, flame retardants and pesticides. The endocrine disruptor chemicals are so common that all of us have been exposed to many of them.

Endocrine Society – Hormone Science to Health – releases Scientific Statement on Endocrine-disrupting Chemicals

Washington, DC – Emerging evidence ties endocrine-disrupting chemical exposure to two of the biggest public health threats facing society – diabetes and obesity, according to the executive summary of an upcoming Scientific Statement issued today by the Endocrine Society.

The statement’s release comes as Society experts are addressing a global meeting, the International Conference on Chemicals Management (ICCM4), in Geneva, Switzerland, on the importance of using scientific approaches to limit health risks of EDC exposure.

The statement builds upon the Society’s groundbreaking 2009 report, which examined the state of scientific evidence on endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) and the risks posed to human health. In the ensuing years, additional research has found that exposure is associated with increased risk of developing diabetes and obesity. Mounting evidence also indicates EDC exposure is connected to infertility, hormone-related cancers, neurological issues and other disorders.

EDCs contribute to health problems by mimicking, blocking or otherwise interfering with the body’s natural hormones. By hijacking the body’s chemical messengers, EDCs can alter the way cells develop and grow.

Known EDCs include bisphenol A (BPA) found in food can linings and cash register receipts, phthalates found in plastics and cosmetics, flame retardants and pesticides. The chemicals are so common that nearly every person on Earth has been exposed to one or more. An economic analysis published in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism in March estimated that EDC exposure likely costs the European Union €157 billion ($209 billion) a year in actual health care expenses and lost earning potential.

“The evidence is more definitive than ever before – EDCs disrupt hormones in a manner that harms human health,”

said Andrea C. Gore, Professor and Vacek Chair of Pharmacology at the University of Texas at Austin and chair of the task force that developed the statement.

“Hundreds of studies are pointing to the same conclusion, whether they are long-term epidemiological studies in human, basic research in animals and cells, or research into groups of people with known occupational exposure to specific chemicals.”

The threat is particularly great when unborn children are exposed to EDCs. Animal studies found that exposure to even tiny amounts of EDCs during the prenatal period can trigger obesity later in life. Similarly, animal studies found that some EDCs directly target beta and alpha cells in the pancreas, fat cells, and liver cells. This can lead to insulin resistance and an overabundance of the hormone insulin in the body – risk factors for Type 2 diabetes.

Epidemiological studies of EDC exposure in humans also point to an association with obesity and diabetes, although the research design did not allow scientists to determine causality. The research offers insights into factors driving the rising rates of obesity and diabetes. About 35 percent of American adults are obese, and more than 29 million Americans have diabetes, according to the Society’s Endocrine Facts and Figures report.

The Scientific Statement also examines evidence linking EDCs to reproductive health problems, hormone-related cancers such as breast and ovarian cancer, prostate conditions, thyroid disorders and neurodevelopmental issues. Although many of these conditions were linked to EDCs by earlier research, the number of corroborating studies continues to mount.

“It is clear we need to take action to minimize further exposure,”

Gore said.

“With more chemicals being introduced into the marketplace all the time, better safety testing is needed to identify new EDCs and ensure they are kept out of household goods.”

In the statement, the Society calls for:

  • Additional research to more directly infer cause-and-effect relationships between EDC exposure and health conditions.
  • Regulation to ensure that chemicals are tested for endocrine activity, including at low doses, prior to being permitted for use.
  • Calling upon “green chemists” and other industrial partners to create products that test for and eliminate potential EDCs.
  • Education for the public and policymakers on ways to keep EDCs out of food, water and the air, as well as ways to protect unborn children from exposure.

The statement also addresses the need to recognize EDCs as an international problem. Society members are currently meeting in Geneva for the fourth session of the International Conference on Chemicals Management (ICCM4). Attending members, including Jean-Pierre Bourguignon, MD, PhD, Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Liège in Belgium, emphasize key principles of endocrinology that are confirmed by recent research need to be taken into account when developing policies for identifying and regulating endocrine-disrupting chemicals.

“Exposure to endocrine-disrupting chemicals during early development can have long-lasting, even permanent consequences,”

said Bourguignon.

“The science is clear and it’s time for policymakers to take this wealth of evidence into account as they develop legislation.”

Other authors of the Scientific Statement include: Vesna Chappell and Suzanne E. Fenton of the National Institutes of Health’s National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences in Research Triangle Park, NC; Jodi A. Flaws of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in Urbana, IL; Angel Nadal of the Institute of Bioengineering and CIBERDEM at Miguel Hernandez University of Elche in Elche, Alicante, Spain; Gail S. Prins of the University of Illinois at Chicago in Chicago, IL; Jorma Toppari of the University of Turku and Turku University Hospital in Turku, Finland; and R. Thomas Zoeller of the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, MA.

Executive Summary to EDC-2: The Endocrine Society’s Second Scientific Statement on Endocrine-disrupting Chemicals,” was published online in Endocrine Reviews, a journal of the Endocrine Society, at DOI:, September 28, 2015. Full PDF.

The Society will hold a Twitter chat on EDC exposure and associated health effects on Thursday, October 1 at 1 p.m. Eastern. Gore will serve as the expert and share information on the Scientific Statement. To follow the discussion moderated by @TheEndoSociety, use the hashtag #EndoChat.

Cryptorchidism and endocrine disrupting chemicals

DES exposure has been associated with increased risk of cryptorchidism

When evaluating associations between fetal exposure to estrogenic agents and cryptorchidism in humans, exposure to DES was associated with an increased risk of cryptorchidism. Image by Alon.

2011 Study Abstract

Prospective clinical studies have suggested that the rate of congenital cryptorchidism has increased since the 1950s. It has been hypothesized that this may be related to environmental factors. Testicular descent occurs in two phases controlled by Leydig cell-derived hormones insulin-like peptide 3 (INSL3) and testosterone. Disorders in fetal androgen production/action or suppression of Insl3 are mechanisms causing cryptorchidism in rodents. In humans, prenatal exposure to potent estrogen Diethylstilbestrol (DES) has been associated with increased risk of cryptorchidism. In addition, epidemiological studies have suggested that exposure to pesticides may also be associated with cryptorchidism. Some case–control studies analyzing environmental chemical levels in maternal breast milk samples have reported associations between cryptorchidism and chemical levels. Furthermore, it has been suggested that exposure levels of some chemicals may be associated with infant reproductive hormone levels.

  • Background
  • Testicular descent
  • Animal studies
  • Human studies
    1. Exposure to estrogens/estrogenic agents
    2. Pesticides
    3. PCBs
    4. Dioxins
    5. Flame retardants
    6. Phthalates

2011 Study Conclusion

Various xenobiotics have been found to disrupt the endocrine system in animals. Reduction in the dominance of androgens to estrogens, and interference with androgen or Insl3 production or action during fetal life, are apparent mechanisms causing cryptorchidism in animals. When evaluating associations between fetal exposure to estrogenic agents and cryptorchidism in humans, exposure to DES was associated with an increased risk of cryptorchidism. Studies evaluating pesticide use in a geographical area or parental possible occupational exposure to pesticides, have suggested that also exposure to them may be associated with an increased risk of cryptorchidism in boys. Some case–control studies evaluating maternal breast milk levels of chemicals have reported associations between congenital cryptorchidism and the levels of environmental chemicals with possible endocrine disrupting activities. No clear positive association was reported in studies evaluating levels of endocrine disrupting chemicals in placenta, cord serum or maternal serum. Maternal breast milk phthalate and PBDE levels have shown anti-androgen-like associations with infant reproductive hormone levels. More studies are needed to confirm the observed associations and to evaluate associations between cryptorchidism and combined exposures.

Sources and more information

  • Cryptorchidism and endocrine disrupting chemicals, sciencedirect pii/S0303720711006782, doi:10.1016/j.mce, 2011.11.
More DES DiEthylStilbestrol Resources

Say No to Recycling Toxic Chemicals into New Products

Toxic recycling contaminates our homes! STOP it now!

This post content is published by IPEN – a global network of public interest organizations working to eliminate toxic substances.

Toxic-recycling-POPs-in-new-and-recycled-products image
African countries expressed deep concern regarding the EU proposal to recycle products containing toxic flame retardants into new products such as children’s toys, food containers and soft furnishings.

Geneva, 8 May 2015: The EU has pushed dangerous cleanup standards for three toxic flame retardant chemicals widely used in building insulation, upholstery and electronics (HBCD, PentaBDE, and OctaBDE) at a UN meeting of chemicals treaties in Geneva, Switzerland. All three toxic chemicals are listed in the Stockholm Convention for global elimination. They are ubiquitous in the environment globally and can disrupt human hormone systems, creating potential adverse effects on the development of the nervous system and children’s IQ.

African countries expressed deep concern regarding the EU proposal to recycle products containing toxic flame retardants into new products such as children’s toys, food containers and soft furnishings.

We do not want toxic chemicals recycled into toys for African children and we do not think EU children should be playing with them either,” said Tadesse Amera, PAN Ethiopia. “The EU already sends us ewaste and now it seems they want to increase our toxic burden.”

The EU proposal will allow toxic recycled products to be used by EU consumers and, then exported to developing countries as waste, transferring the toxic burden from richer countries to poor countries where the capacity to deal with contaminated waste is limited and where they will potentially add to health problems and hamper poverty reduction.

Ironically, the waste cleanup limit for PCBs and other substances already listed in the treaty is 20 times safer than the current EU proposal for flame retardants, despite the fact that they are all similarly toxic. Expert advisors to the EU noted that under the EU proposal, none of the current PentaBDE wastes would qualify for cleanup. The EU appears to be designing a standard to avoid cleanup actions on the world’s most toxic chemicals.

Jindrich Petrlik from Arnika Association said, “As an EU-based public interest NGO we find it shameful to see the EU violating the integrity of the Stockholm Convention, and putting economic interests before human health and the environment. This is poisoning the circular economy.”

Groups petition federal agency to ban products containing certain flame-retardants

Some of the highest levels of flame-retardants are found in children…

Content on this post is produced by Brian Bienkowski on Environmental Health News

Global-Orphan-Project image
A diverse group of organizations petitions the Consumer Product Safety Commission to ban products containing a class of flame-retardants linked to cancer, hormone disruption and reproductive problems.
Image of kids unloading their new mattresses via The Global Orphan Project.

A group of firefighters, scientists, and health and consumer advocates are petitioning federal authorities to ban children’s products, furniture, mattresses and electronic casings if they contain a class of flame-retardants.

The petition, announced March 31, 2015 and put together by the Green Science Policy Institute and Earthjustice, calls on the Consumer Product Safety Commission to ban these products if they contain organohalogens flame-retardants, a class of chemicals that have been linked to cancer, hormone disruption, and reproductive, developmental and immune system problems, according to the petitioners.

By targeting an entire class of compounds, rather than a single chemical, the petition is a new approach to tackling the seemingly intractable problem of keeping up with harmful chemicals in our environment, said Arlene Blum, executive director of the Green Science Policy Institute.

There are more than 80,000 chemicals registered in the United States, most of which haven’t been fully studied for potential health impacts. The National Toxicology Program estimates 2,000 new chemicals are introduced every year.

Some flame-retardants, such as polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), have been largely banned or voluntarily phased out by manufacturers because they’re persistent in the environment and toxic. But the replacements often have similar properties to the banned compounds, something Blum referred to as “toxic whack-a-mole.”

Moving from a harmful substance to its chemical cousin,” she said.

Organohalogen flame-retardants are added to products such as mattresses, baby strollers, changing pads, the casings of computers and TVs, and building insulation to keep them from catching fire.

But because some of these compounds do not stay in products – but can migrate into dust – almost all people have these compounds in their bodies. Some of the highest levels of flame-retardants are found in children, mostly because of their hand-to-mouth habits.

U.S. National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences director Linda Birnbaum, a toxicologist who specializes in the health effects of environmental contaminants, said she understands the petition but thinks it may be a bit too ambitious.

Just banning things because they have a halogen atom in them could be problematic,” Birnbaum said. “There may be sub-classes that we could look at, or certain chemical structures that are known to be problematic, but I can’t say that banning an entire class is the way to go.”

Numerous animal studies have shown the compounds to impact development and reproduction and disrupt the endocrine system.

Several organohalogen flame-retardants, or their by-products, are banned by the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants, a global treaty of 150 countries. The first 12 compounds the Convention banned were organohalogen pesticides, such as DDT.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission doesn’t have a set timeline to deal with the petition, said Eve Gartner, a staff attorney at EarthJustice, who is working on this case.

If it meets criteria as a legit petition, it could possibly be open to public comment, as some petitions in the past have, Gartner said. Most petitions sent to the Commission have not dealt with chemicals, she said.

Clearly they [the Commision] have authority over toxic chemicals,” Gartner said, referring to the Federal Hazardous Substances Act. “They just haven’t used it much.”

A major issue with flame-retardants is whether they’re effective and necessary in products. The chemicals became widely used in the 1970s after a California law required furniture to be more resistant to flames.

However, an investigation three years ago by the Chicago Tribune found that since the California law, deceptive campaigns have promoted flame-retardant use and the chemicals don’t always work as promised. In 2013, California relaxed the 1970s law and now requires furniture made with flame-retardants to be labeled as such.

But that doesn’t necessarily mean that all flame-retardants aren’t needed, Birnbaum said.

Maybe we don’t need them in all of the mattresses, furniture, but I think we might need them in electronics,” she said. “Have electronics changed enough that they are no longer subject to sparking?”

The petition has a diverse backing and includes the American Academy of Pediatrics, the National Hispanic Medical Association, the International Association of Fire Fighters, the Learning Disabilities Association of America, Consumers Union, Consumer Federation of America, the League of United Latin American Citizens, Worksafe and Dr. Philip J. Landrigan of the Mount Sinai School of Medicine.

The children’s health organizations cited research that showed women with higher levels of flame retardants in their blood had babies with lower birth weights and, years later, the children had lower IQs.

Harold Schaitberger, general president of the International Association of Fire Fighters, said in a statement that flame-retardants create “a serious health risk for fire fighters.”

A 2013 study found elevated levels of flame-retardants and harmful byproducts in twelve San Francisco firefighters’ blood. Researchers suspect such exposure might be behind the elevated rates of cancer that firefighters suffer from, as reported by the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health last year.

While the petition seeks to address new products containing these chemicals, there’s also the “tens of millions of toxic couches and other products” that already contain them, Blum said.

This petition and process can start helping people change about how they think about chemicals,” she said. “One way we’ll get ahead is to think about classes when we’re talking about harmful compounds in everyday products.”

Sources and more information

  • Pediatricians, Scientists, Firefighters Petition Government to Ban Products With Harmful Flame Retardants, GREEN SCIENCE POLICY INSTITUTE.
  • Petition for Rulemaking, filed with the Consumer Product Safety Commission, earthjustice, March 31, 2015.
  • Groups petition federal agency to ban products containing certain flame-retardants, Environmental Health News, March 31, 2015.

Pesticide EDCs found in Samples of Women’s Hair

Nineteen endocrine disrupting pesticides found in samples of women’s hair

Hair samples analysis found an average of 21 EDCs per woman, including 19 pesticide EDCs.

The content on this post is produced by HEAL and Générations Futures.

To what extent are women in the child bearing age group exposed to endocrine disrupting pesticides? The fourth part of a study series by French NGO Générations Futures’ provides results of human biomonitoring for endocrine disruptors in samples of women’s hair.

Endocrine disruptors:
Endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) are chemicals that can affect the hormonal system of the body and produce adverse effects on the individual or his or her descendants. Unborn and young children are most at risk of being exposed to these substances. A recent study showed that the impact of these EDCs could have significant costs for society (between 1 and 2% of GDP in Europe!).

Act now:
To demonstrate the urgency of preventive action in the field of endocrine disruptors, Générations Futures decided to carry out a series of EXPPERT reports (French abbreviation for exposure to endocrine disruptors – EXPosition aux PERTurbateurs endocriniens), which show that the presence of EDCs in our environment leads to significant population exposure. Since young and unborn children are especially vulnerable, Générations Futures wanted to identify the extent to which vulnerable groups are exposed to EDCs, including in utero.

A novel and targeted survey:
The EXPPERT survey 4 puts the focus on the exposure of women of childbearing age who are living in urban areas in the region Ile de France (greater Paris area). The investigation was carried out by an independent research laboratory using samples of a strand of hair from 29 women. The samples were collected between March and October 2014. Only 28 samples were analysed as one of the hair samples was found to be inadequate. The laboratory work was carried out in early 2015 testing for 64 suspected endocrine disrupting chemicals, including 54 pesticides or pesticide metabolites, six brominated flame retardants and four PCBs.

The synthesis results confirmed our fears. An average of 21 EDCs were found per woman, including 19 pesticide EDCs. The number of EDCs found ranged from 32 to 12 per hair sample. In terms of weight, the lowest average amount of EDC residues per sample was 109.39 picogramme/milligram. The maximum amount per sample was 387.27 pg/mg (in comparison to 24.14 pg/mg for the lowest one). In other words, there was a 1:16 ratio between the less contaminated and most contaminated!

“These results show that all these women in childbearing age are contaminated. We are very concerned about the possible effects for the women’s children later in their lives. However, significant differences exist between individuals demonstrating that the environment and/or diet of these women play an important role in their level of exposure to EDCs. We must act on these factors to reduce to exposures to the maximum extent.”

“We have taken note of the progress of the French National Strategy on EDCs (SNPE) in taking into account the need to reduce the EDCs exposure of citizens. It is now time for the European Commission to finally publish a protective definition of EDCs, which will enable the EU Regulations on pesticides and biocides to be fully implemented.”

says François Veillerette, spokesperson for Générations Futures.

Prenatal Exposure to EDCs and Obesity

By the Collaborative on Health and the Environment

The incidence of childhood obesity has reached epidemic proportions globally and there is an urgent need to better understand the impact of early life exposure to chemical obesogens on the development of obesity.

The incidence of childhood obesity has reached epidemic proportions globally and there is an urgent need to better understand the impact of early life exposure to chemical obesogens on the development of obesity. The European OBELIX (Obesogenic endocrine disrupting chemicals: linking prenatal exposure to the development of obesity later in life) project examined the hypothesis that prenatal exposure to endocrine disrupting compounds (EDCs) plays a role in the development of obesity later in life using a multidisciplinary approach that combined various approaches, including epidemiology and toxicology.

The project focused on assessing prenatal exposure to major classes of EDCs including dioxins and dioxin-like polychlorinated biphenyls, non-dioxin-like PCBs, brominated flame retardants, organochlorine pesticides, phthalates, and perfluorinated alkyl acids. Toxicological studies in OBELIX demonstrated that perinatal dietary exposure to representatives of these EDC classes resulted in metabolic changes that persisted into adulthood, long after termination of exposure at weaning, and that effects were compound- and sex-specific. The observed effects were not consistently towards an obese phenotype; a lean phenotype was also observed in animal studies for some compounds. Epidemiological studies in birth cohorts throughout Europe indicated associations between pre- and postnatal exposure to EDCs and early growth trajectories and body mass index in children up to 7 years.

This call reviewed the main findings of the largest project up to now to examine the obesogen hypothesis.


Additional resources of interest:
  • The OBELIX project website.
  • The OBELIX project: early life exposure to endocrine disruptors and obesity, PDF, 2011 May 4.
  • An Integrated Approach to Assess the Role of Chemical Exposure in ObesityPDF, 26 JUL 2013.
  • Birth Weight and Prenatal Exposure to Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs) and Dichlorodiphenyldichloroethylene (DDE): A Meta-analysis within 12 European Birth Cohorts, PDF, Oct 13, 2011.
  • Transcriptional and epigenetic mechanisms underlying enhanced in vitro adipocyte differentiation by the brominated flame retardant BDE-47, PDF2014 Apr 1.
  • Programming of metabolic effects in C57BL/6JxFVB mice by exposure to bisphenol A during gestation and lactation, PDF, 3 July 2014.

Legally Poisoned by Chemical Compounds

How the Law Puts Us at Risk from Toxicants

Legally-Poisoned-book image
Watch @DES_Journal diaporama and health books album on Flickr. Legally Poisoned by Chemical Compounds, how the law puts us at risk from toxicants.

Take a random walk through your life and you’ll find it is awash in industrial, often toxic, chemicals. Sip water from a plastic bottle and ingest bisphenol A. Prepare dinner in a non-stick frying pan or wear a layer of Gore-Tex only to be exposed to perfluorinated compounds. Hang curtains, clip your baby into a car seat, watch television—all are manufactured with brominated flame-retardants.

Cosmetic ingredients, industrial chemicals, pesticides, and other compounds enter our bodies and remain briefly or permanently. Far too many suspected toxic hazards are unleashed every day that affect the development and function of our brain, immune system, reproductive organs, or hormones. But no public health law requires product testing of most chemical compounds before they enter the market. If products are deemed dangerous, toxicants must be forcibly reduced or removed—but only after harm has been done.

In this scientifically rigorous legal analysis, Carl F. Cranor argues that just as pharmaceuticals and pesticides cannot be sold without pre-market testing, other chemical products should be subject to the same safety measures. The author shows, in terrifying detail, what risks we run, and that it is entirely possible to design a less dangerous commercial world.

Sources and more information
On Flickr®

Breast Cancer Prevention : Time to take Responsibility

An Urgent Mandate for Breast Cancer Prevention

Enough Already! An Urgent Mandate for Breast Cancer Prevention” 29 percent of all cancers in women start in the breast… ”

” These are not just statistics, data points filling up graphs and tables. These are our mothers, sisters, friends and neighbors — women in the prime of their lives with so much at stake and so much more to give: children, spouses and partners, promising careers, civic service, etc… ”

” We’re now exposed to vast and widespread use of hormonally active chemicals that didn’t exist a hundred years ago: pesticides, flame retardants, plasticizers (like bisphenol A), antibiotics in livestock feed, hormones in the beef and dairy cattle industry, and pharmaceutical hormones for women, as just a few examples. What comes around goes around … ”

Read Enough Already! An Urgent Mandate for Breast Cancer Prevention by Marisa Weiss, M.D., 03/04/2013.