POPs in the news

12/01/2017 -

The first stage in this policy making process is identifying problems – what they are, how severe their impacts are, who they affect and whether there is a need for policy intervention. This requires collecting scientific knowledge and is described as impact assessment. Evidence-based impact assessment allows policymakers to maximise benefits and mitigate unwanted consequences and is becoming increasingly important in decision making. However, current impact assessment methods are expensive and time consuming; often, by the time evidence has been provided, the policy context has changed. More:


QUICKScan: a quick, participatory method for exploring environmental policy problems

The first stage in this policy making process is identifying problems – what they are, how severe their impacts are, who they affect and whether there is a need for policy intervention. This requires collecting scientific knowledge and is described as impact assessment. Evidence-based impact assessment allows policymakers to maximise benefits and mitigate unwanted consequences and is becoming increasingly important in decision making. However, current impact assessment methods are expensive and time consuming; often, by the time evidence has been provided, the policy context has changed. More:

04/01/2017 -

Endocrine-disrupting chemicals have been an area of growing concern, making many headlines in 2016. This article examines further developments concerning EDCs through the year. More:


Endocrinology: Concern Over EDCs Continues to Grow

Endocrine-disrupting chemicals have been an area of growing concern, making many headlines in 2016. This article examines further developments concerning EDCs through the year. More:

03/01/2017 -

The global industrial food system is emerging as a significant pathway through which people are exposed to potentially hazardous chemicals,1 but no method exists to assess the full extent to which chemicals are transported through food. More:


Exploring Chemical Transport through Food: A Proposal for a Comprehensive Approach to Predict Exposures

The global industrial food system is emerging as a significant pathway through which people are exposed to potentially hazardous chemicals,1 but no method exists to assess the full extent to which chemicals are transported through food. More:

02/01/2017 -

New mothers who quit breastfeeding earlier than they had wanted often chalk it up to not being able to produce enough milk. But a handful of researchers are exploring whether certain environmental exposures may affect some women’s ability to lactate. More:


Mother’s Milk and the Environment: Might Chemical Exposures Impair Lactation?

New mothers who quit breastfeeding earlier than they had wanted often chalk it up to not being able to produce enough milk. But a handful of researchers are exploring whether certain environmental exposures may affect some women’s ability to lactate. More:

26/12/2016 -

Research results further elucidate the already suggested different sensitivity of genders towards HBCD exposure on the protein level, and confirm the need for undertaking toxicological animal experiments in both genders. More:

Gender specific differences in the liver proteome of rats exposed to short term and low-concentration hexabromocyclododecane (HBCD) (Research article)


Gender specific differences in the liver proteome of rats exposed to short term and low-concentration hexabromocyclododecane (HBCD)

Research results further elucidate the already suggested different sensitivity of genders towards HBCD exposure on the protein level, and confirm the need for undertaking toxicological animal experiments in both genders. More:

Gender specific differences in the liver proteome of rats exposed to short term and low-concentration hexabromocyclododecane (HBCD) (Research article)

24/12/2016 -

Nearly everything people do, eat or come into contact with can change them in little ways — sometimes with big consequences. Exposure to some chemicals can damage DNA, leading to cancer and other problems. Other molecular changes—chemical tags added to DNA or to proteins called histones — may affect health without injuring DNA. More:


Epigenetic marks may help assess toxic exposure risk — someday

Nearly everything people do, eat or come into contact with can change them in little ways — sometimes with big consequences. Exposure to some chemicals can damage DNA, leading to cancer and other problems. Other molecular changes—chemical tags added to DNA or to proteins called histones — may affect health without injuring DNA. More:

13/12/2016 -

Flame retardants are considered carcinogens, hormone disruptors and developmental toxics. Infants and children are especially vulnerable to the effects of flame retardants in chemical laden dust and toxic fumes since their systems are still developing, and most spend many hours in car seats. More:


Flame retardants and car seats? Still a thing

Flame retardants are considered carcinogens, hormone disruptors and developmental toxics. Infants and children are especially vulnerable to the effects of flame retardants in chemical laden dust and toxic fumes since their systems are still developing, and most spend many hours in car seats. More:

12/12/2016 -

Washington has become the first U.S. state to sue the agrochemical giant Monsanto over pervasive pollution from PCBs, the toxic industrial chemicals that have accumulated in plants, fish and people around the globe for decades. The company said the case "lacks merit." More:


Washington State Suing Agrochemical Giant Over PCB Pollution

Washington has become the first U.S. state to sue the agrochemical giant Monsanto over pervasive pollution from PCBs, the toxic industrial chemicals that have accumulated in plants, fish and people around the globe for decades. The company said the case "lacks merit." More:

02/12/2016 -

The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) Monographs Programme, which has evaluated nearly 1,000 agents for their carcinogenic potential since 1971, selects agents for hazard identification on the basis of public nominations, expert advice, published data on carcinogenicity, and public health importance. A complementary approach, accounting for chemical similarity and overlaying multiple data sources, can be used to systematize, inform and increase efficiency in selecting and prioritizing agents for hazard identification, risk assessment and regulation or further investigation. More:


Prioritizing Chemicals for Risk Assessment Using Chemoinformatics: Examples from the IARC Monographs on Pesticides

The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) Monographs Programme, which has evaluated nearly 1,000 agents for their carcinogenic potential since 1971, selects agents for hazard identification on the basis of public nominations, expert advice, published data on carcinogenicity, and public health importance. A complementary approach, accounting for chemical similarity and overlaying multiple data sources, can be used to systematize, inform and increase efficiency in selecting and prioritizing agents for hazard identification, risk assessment and regulation or further investigation. More:

02/12/2016 -

Between climate change, human conflict and habitat loss, polar bears have more than enough to worry about. But it turns out these vulnerable conservation icons also face a more unlikely threat: industrial chemicals that were banned almost 40 years ago. More:


Decades-Old Chemicals May Be Threatening Polar Bear Fertility, As If They Didn’t Have Enough to Worry About

Between climate change, human conflict and habitat loss, polar bears have more than enough to worry about. But it turns out these vulnerable conservation icons also face a more unlikely threat: industrial chemicals that were banned almost 40 years ago. More:

01/12/2016 -

Persistent organic pollutants (POPs) are endocrine disruptors and have been suggested as possible risk factors for diabetes. This study examined the relationship between the serum concentration of POPs and glucose metabolism to investigate this association among children. More:


Serum Levels of Persistent Organic Pollutants and Insulin Secretion among Children Age 7–9 Years: A Prospective Cohort Study

Persistent organic pollutants (POPs) are endocrine disruptors and have been suggested as possible risk factors for diabetes. This study examined the relationship between the serum concentration of POPs and glucose metabolism to investigate this association among children. More:

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: 

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