POPs in the news

28/11/2016 -

Commentary – It is important to know how industry arrives at their conclusions regarding hazard and risk of their substances, especially since risk assessments are known to be dependent on expert judgement and may be biased. Transparency is particularly important under REACH (registration, evaluation, authorisation and restriction of chemicals) since the information that industry registers with the European Chemicals Agency is used for identifying potentially hazardous substances that need to be regulated further. More:


Transparency on chemical risks under REACH needs to be improved

Commentary – It is important to know how industry arrives at their conclusions regarding hazard and risk of their substances, especially since risk assessments are known to be dependent on expert judgement and may be biased. Transparency is particularly important under REACH (registration, evaluation, authorisation and restriction of chemicals) since the information that industry registers with the European Chemicals Agency is used for identifying potentially hazardous substances that need to be regulated further. More:

25/11/2016 -

The EU would not be breaking World Trade Organization (WTO) rules if it chose to extend REACH’s authorisation scheme on substances of very high concern (SVHC) to products imported to Europe, a recent legal analysis concludes. At present, the scheme — which is effectively a ban on SVHC, with some exceptions — applies only to products made within the European Economic Area (EEA).


Legal analysis finds REACH authorisation rules on imported substances of ‘very high concern’ would not violate WTO law

The EU would not be breaking World Trade Organization (WTO) rules if it chose to extend REACH’s authorisation scheme on substances of very high concern (SVHC) to products imported to Europe, a recent legal analysis concludes. At present, the scheme — which is effectively a ban on SVHC, with some exceptions — applies only to products made within the European Economic Area (EEA).

11/11/2016 -

The health hazards of brominated flame retardants lurking in household dust have made the news for years because of the ease with which humans can be exposed to the endocrine-disrupting compounds. Now, researchers show that flame retardants in dust are dwarfed by another class of brominated compounds, azo dyes, that are known mutagens and commonly used to color clothing and furniture. More: 


Bromine-containing dyes dwarf flame retardants in house dust

The health hazards of brominated flame retardants lurking in household dust have made the news for years because of the ease with which humans can be exposed to the endocrine-disrupting compounds. Now, researchers show that flame retardants in dust are dwarfed by another class of brominated compounds, azo dyes, that are known mutagens and commonly used to color clothing and furniture. More: 

07/11/2016 -

Typically, scientists don't air their grievances against one another publicly. They stick to the facts and let the peer review process ferret out the truth. But the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection's Drinking Water Quality Institute bucked that tradition on its recently proposed PFOA drinking water limit. The institute recommended a drinking water limit of 14 ppt for PFOA, just one-fifth of the EPA's. But even that may not be totally protective, according to the institute. More:


Determining safe PFOA level an uncertain science

Typically, scientists don't air their grievances against one another publicly. They stick to the facts and let the peer review process ferret out the truth. But the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection's Drinking Water Quality Institute bucked that tradition on its recently proposed PFOA drinking water limit. The institute recommended a drinking water limit of 14 ppt for PFOA, just one-fifth of the EPA's. But even that may not be totally protective, according to the institute. More:

01/11/2016 -

Low-income and Latina pregnant women who seek care at Zuckerberg San Francisco General have widespread exposure to environmental pollutants, many of which show up in higher levels in newborns than the mothers, according to a new study from UC Berkeley, UC San Francisco and Biomonitoring California. The study is the first in the United States to measure exposure to 59 toxic chemicals in pregnant women and their newborns. More:


Study finds wide exposure to environmental toxics in cohort of pregnant women

Low-income and Latina pregnant women who seek care at Zuckerberg San Francisco General have widespread exposure to environmental pollutants, many of which show up in higher levels in newborns than the mothers, according to a new study from UC Berkeley, UC San Francisco and Biomonitoring California. The study is the first in the United States to measure exposure to 59 toxic chemicals in pregnant women and their newborns. More:

01/11/2016 -

It started in Long Island, New York. An apparent cluster of breast cancer cases had been discovered in Nassau and Suffolk counties, and some residents worried that pesticide applications on former farmland could be to blame. The U.S. Congress asked the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) and the National Cancer Institute (NCI) to research the potential role of environmental exposures in these cases. More:


Identifying Environmental Factors in Breast Cancer

It started in Long Island, New York. An apparent cluster of breast cancer cases had been discovered in Nassau and Suffolk counties, and some residents worried that pesticide applications on former farmland could be to blame. The U.S. Congress asked the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) and the National Cancer Institute (NCI) to research the potential role of environmental exposures in these cases. More:

01/11/2016 -

The Next Generation (NexGen) of Risk Assessment effort is a multi-year collaboration among several organizations evaluating new, potentially more efficient molecular, computational, and systems biology approaches to risk assessment. The following article summarizes their findings, suggests applications to risk assessment, and identifies strategic research directions. More:


The Next Generation of Risk Assessment Multi-Year Study—Highlights of Findings, Applications to Risk Assessment, and Future Directions

The Next Generation (NexGen) of Risk Assessment effort is a multi-year collaboration among several organizations evaluating new, potentially more efficient molecular, computational, and systems biology approaches to risk assessment. The following article summarizes their findings, suggests applications to risk assessment, and identifies strategic research directions. More:

26/10/2016 -

Common household chemicals found in a wide range of products from carpets to cleaning products can alter hormones and contribute to type-2 diabetes—likely costing Europeans billions of dollars annually. Scientists looked at data from seniors in the Swedish city of Uppsala on how exposure to chemicals known to disrupt the endocrine system, like phthalates, PCBs, pesticides and perfluoroalkyls, contributes to obesity and diabetes. More:


These Common Chemicals Are Linked to Type-2 Diabetes: Study

Common household chemicals found in a wide range of products from carpets to cleaning products can alter hormones and contribute to type-2 diabetes—likely costing Europeans billions of dollars annually. Scientists looked at data from seniors in the Swedish city of Uppsala on how exposure to chemicals known to disrupt the endocrine system, like phthalates, PCBs, pesticides and perfluoroalkyls, contributes to obesity and diabetes. More:

21/10/2016 -

For more than half a century along the Ohio River, the chemical company DuPont provided jobs for thousands of people. One chemical they produced is PFOA, commonly known as C8. It was a remarkably useful compound, used in “Teflon” non-stick cookware, stain-resistant fabrics, and even in some food wrappers. Over time, researchers have found that C8 is also toxic. DuPont and other companies phased out U.S. production a few years ago. More: 


Toxic Legacy: “Teflon” Chemical Sticks Around In Water Supplies

For more than half a century along the Ohio River, the chemical company DuPont provided jobs for thousands of people. One chemical they produced is PFOA, commonly known as C8. It was a remarkably useful compound, used in “Teflon” non-stick cookware, stain-resistant fabrics, and even in some food wrappers. Over time, researchers have found that C8 is also toxic. DuPont and other companies phased out U.S. production a few years ago. More: 

20/10/2016 -

Bringing a new chemical to the market under the new TSCA will be a very different process to that which manufacturers have grown accustomed to. As amended by the Chemical Safety Act, TSCA now requires an "affirmative finding" of safety for pre-manufacture notices (PMNs). If the agency decides a substance poses an unreasonable risk, it must issue an order to prohibit or restrict it. More:


Chemical notification process ‘very different’ under new US TSCA

Bringing a new chemical to the market under the new TSCA will be a very different process to that which manufacturers have grown accustomed to. As amended by the Chemical Safety Act, TSCA now requires an "affirmative finding" of safety for pre-manufacture notices (PMNs). If the agency decides a substance poses an unreasonable risk, it must issue an order to prohibit or restrict it. More:

17/10/2016 -

Researchers estimate the United States economy takes a $340 billion hit annually as endocrine-disrupting compounds lower IQs, increase behavior problems and exacerbate health woes like obesity and diabetes. More:


Toxic economy: Common chemicals cost US billions every year

Researchers estimate the United States economy takes a $340 billion hit annually as endocrine-disrupting compounds lower IQs, increase behavior problems and exacerbate health woes like obesity and diabetes. More:

13/10/2016 -

Every year, small-scale Kenyan farmers produce thousands of tonnes of mangoes only to watch them rot on orchard floors. Despite its prevalence, the mango industry barely contributes to rural incomes because of the fruit fly problem. Some producers are starting to reduce their reliance on chemicals and develop alternative controls for fruit fly, in the hope of reaching the quality standards required for western export markets. A small Kenyan biopesticide company has developed a pioneering fruit fly control based on a common insect-killing fungus that occurs naturally in the soil. More:
Kenya’s mango farmers ditch chemicals to boost exports - The Guardian


Kenya’s mango farmers ditch chemicals to boost exports

Every year, small-scale Kenyan farmers produce thousands of tonnes of mangoes only to watch them rot on orchard floors. Despite its prevalence, the mango industry barely contributes to rural incomes because of the fruit fly problem. Some producers are starting to reduce their reliance on chemicals and develop alternative controls for fruit fly, in the hope of reaching the quality standards required for western export markets. A small Kenyan biopesticide company has developed a pioneering fruit fly control based on a common insect-killing fungus that occurs naturally in the soil. More:
Kenya’s mango farmers ditch chemicals to boost exports - The Guardian

05/10/2016 -

PCBs are industrial chemicals so toxic that were banned 40 years ago. Research has shown that they can cause a range of health concerns, including cancer and neurological problems such as decreased IQ. And yet, because they were commonly used in building materials for decades, they continue to contaminate classrooms in between 13,000 and 26,000 schools nationwide. More:
The Washington Post


Activists warn that PCBs — toxic industrial chemicals — contaminate thousands of U.S. schools

PCBs are industrial chemicals so toxic that were banned 40 years ago. Research has shown that they can cause a range of health concerns, including cancer and neurological problems such as decreased IQ. And yet, because they were commonly used in building materials for decades, they continue to contaminate classrooms in between 13,000 and 26,000 schools nationwide. More:
The Washington Post

16/09/2016 -

Under the EU chemicals legislation REACH, all chemicals manufactured or imported above 10 tonnes per year must be assessed for persistent, bioaccumulative and toxic (PBT) properties. For persistence assessment of chemicals a software system was developed combining multiple computational models to predict persistence in several environmental compartments (e.g. water, soil). More:


New computer modelling tool to identify persistent chemicals

Under the EU chemicals legislation REACH, all chemicals manufactured or imported above 10 tonnes per year must be assessed for persistent, bioaccumulative and toxic (PBT) properties. For persistence assessment of chemicals a software system was developed combining multiple computational models to predict persistence in several environmental compartments (e.g. water, soil). More:

15/09/2016 -

When the U.S. phased out PFOA, long used to make Teflon, China's production and use of the toxic chemical soared. More:


The Teflon Toxin goes to China

When the U.S. phased out PFOA, long used to make Teflon, China's production and use of the toxic chemical soared. More:

09/09/2016 -

The pesticide drove bald eagles, ospreys, and other wildlife toward extinction and should only be used as a very last resort. More:


Zika Is No Excuse to Bring Back DDT

The pesticide drove bald eagles, ospreys, and other wildlife toward extinction and should only be used as a very last resort. More:

06/09/2016 -

Researchers are continuing to discover associations between environmental contaminants and autism spectrum disorder, which now affects 1 in 68 children in the United States. In particular, children born to mothers with higher blood levels of PCBs during the second trimester of pregnancy had roughly an 80 percent higher risk of being diagnosed with autism than children of mothers with the lowest blood levels of the chemicals. More: 


Study adds PCBs to list of chemicals linked to autism

Researchers are continuing to discover associations between environmental contaminants and autism spectrum disorder, which now affects 1 in 68 children in the United States. In particular, children born to mothers with higher blood levels of PCBs during the second trimester of pregnancy had roughly an 80 percent higher risk of being diagnosed with autism than children of mothers with the lowest blood levels of the chemicals. More: 

02/09/2016 -

In order to enable sound management of chemicals, with the aim of reducing the risks associated with their use, their effects in the environment should be known and their occurrence should be monitored. However, it is not feasible to do this for the millions of chemicals in use. It is, therefore, important to prioritise the chemicals of highest concern — a major challenge currently facing regulatory bodies. More:


Chemicals risk assessment: Baltic study recommends more monitoring of emerging pollutants

In order to enable sound management of chemicals, with the aim of reducing the risks associated with their use, their effects in the environment should be known and their occurrence should be monitored. However, it is not feasible to do this for the millions of chemicals in use. It is, therefore, important to prioritise the chemicals of highest concern — a major challenge currently facing regulatory bodies. More:

02/09/2016 -

Pesticide exposure can have negative impacts on many species and is a major threat to biodiversity. A new study is one of few to assess the risks specifically for European reptiles. The results suggest that at least one third of European reptile species are at high risk of exposure, with lizards showing the highest sensitivity to pesticides. More:


One third of all reptile species in EU at high risk of pesticide exposure

Pesticide exposure can have negative impacts on many species and is a major threat to biodiversity. A new study is one of few to assess the risks specifically for European reptiles. The results suggest that at least one third of European reptile species are at high risk of exposure, with lizards showing the highest sensitivity to pesticides. More:

09/08/2016 -

Drinking water contamination with poly- and perfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) poses risks to the developmental, immune, metabolic, and endocrine health of consumers. The number of industrial sites that manufacture or use these compounds, the number of military fire training areas, and the number of wastewater treatment plants are all significant predictors of PFAS detection frequencies and concentrations in public water supplies. More:


Detection of Poly- and Perfluoroalkyl Substances (PFASs) in U.S. Drinking Water Linked to Industrial Sites, Military Fire Training Areas, and Wastewater Treatment Plants

Drinking water contamination with poly- and perfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) poses risks to the developmental, immune, metabolic, and endocrine health of consumers. The number of industrial sites that manufacture or use these compounds, the number of military fire training areas, and the number of wastewater treatment plants are all significant predictors of PFAS detection frequencies and concentrations in public water supplies. More:

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