POPs in the news

30/03/2016 -

Where do you stand on the role of academia in training the next generation of chemists: should we favour ‘applied chemistry’ or ‘science for the sake of science’? Both sides have valid points; public funding should not be subsidising private industry, but students should receive practical training to help them get jobs after graduation. Navigating the complex issues around toxicity and waste can be a significant impediment to commercial success of any new technology. More:
Chemistry World


Toxicity is a hazardous waste

Where do you stand on the role of academia in training the next generation of chemists: should we favour ‘applied chemistry’ or ‘science for the sake of science’? Both sides have valid points; public funding should not be subsidising private industry, but students should receive practical training to help them get jobs after graduation. Navigating the complex issues around toxicity and waste can be a significant impediment to commercial success of any new technology. More:
Chemistry World

17/03/2016 -

Research has found evidence for recent contamination of Lake Como, northern Italy, with chemicals banned in the EU since the 1970s. Levels of DDT and PCBs in sediment, aquatic microorganisms and fish were examined. The results suggest glacial meltwater as a source for renewed DDT contamination and show recent contamination of fish above safe levels. The findings demonstrate the need for continued monitoring of persistent organic pollutants in European waters. More:


Lake Como contaminated with chemicals banned in the 1970s

Research has found evidence for recent contamination of Lake Como, northern Italy, with chemicals banned in the EU since the 1970s. Levels of DDT and PCBs in sediment, aquatic microorganisms and fish were examined. The results suggest glacial meltwater as a source for renewed DDT contamination and show recent contamination of fish above safe levels. The findings demonstrate the need for continued monitoring of persistent organic pollutants in European waters. More:

04/03/2016 -

Since California banned flame retardant polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) in 2006, levels of these chemicals in the breast milk of San Francisco Bay area women has fallen by nearly 40%. The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has deemed PBDEs a concern for children’s health, linking them to behavioural problems following postnatal exposure. More: 


California Bay area sees 39% drop in PBDEs in breast milk

Since California banned flame retardant polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) in 2006, levels of these chemicals in the breast milk of San Francisco Bay area women has fallen by nearly 40%. The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has deemed PBDEs a concern for children’s health, linking them to behavioural problems following postnatal exposure. More: 

01/03/2016 -

Alternatives assessment involves comparing the advantages and disadvantages of potential substitutes for toxic chemicals. To determine the factors common to a high-quality alternatives assessment framework, researchers identified 20 frameworks and evaluated six core areas: hazard assessment, exposure characterization, life cycle impacts, technical feasibility assessment, economic feasibility assessment, and decision-making processes for reaching conclusions about alternatives. More:


The Right Tools for the Job: Evaluating Frameworks for Chemical Alternatives Assessment

Alternatives assessment involves comparing the advantages and disadvantages of potential substitutes for toxic chemicals. To determine the factors common to a high-quality alternatives assessment framework, researchers identified 20 frameworks and evaluated six core areas: hazard assessment, exposure characterization, life cycle impacts, technical feasibility assessment, economic feasibility assessment, and decision-making processes for reaching conclusions about alternatives. More:

24/02/2016 -

A new state study suggests the amount of flame retardants found in the breast milk of Northern California women declined significantly over about a decade, possibly as a result of a 2003 state ban on the toxic chemicals. More:
Flame retardant levels drop in breast milk of California women, study finds - The Sacramento Bee
Flame Retardant Levels in California Breast Milk Decreasing - California Department of Toxic Substances Control
PBDE levels in breast milk are decreasing in California (Research article)


Flame retardant levels drop in breast milk of California women, study finds

A new state study suggests the amount of flame retardants found in the breast milk of Northern California women declined significantly over about a decade, possibly as a result of a 2003 state ban on the toxic chemicals. More:
Flame retardant levels drop in breast milk of California women, study finds - The Sacramento Bee
Flame Retardant Levels in California Breast Milk Decreasing - California Department of Toxic Substances Control
PBDE levels in breast milk are decreasing in California (Research article)

22/02/2016 -

The World Health Organization (WHO) has sparked a global scare over a tropical virus outbreak that officials say is worse than last year’s Ebola epidemic. They predict the Zika virus could infect as many as four million people by the end of 2016. More:  Zika Prompts Pleas for DDT - The New American

See also other articles related to Zika:


Zika Prompts Pleas for DDT

The World Health Organization (WHO) has sparked a global scare over a tropical virus outbreak that officials say is worse than last year’s Ebola epidemic. They predict the Zika virus could infect as many as four million people by the end of 2016. More:  Zika Prompts Pleas for DDT - The New American

See also other articles related to Zika:

13/02/2016 -

Ever since our early ancestors left the fertile sauna of Africa and headed North, we humans have been searching for ways to fend off sleet and snow and rain and cold. The Inuit once relied on seal and whale intestines to get the job done. Nowadays, we rely on waterproof synthetics. More:
Mother Jones


The Horrible Chemicals That Make Your Winter Gear Waterproof

Ever since our early ancestors left the fertile sauna of Africa and headed North, we humans have been searching for ways to fend off sleet and snow and rain and cold. The Inuit once relied on seal and whale intestines to get the job done. Nowadays, we rely on waterproof synthetics. More:
Mother Jones

11/02/2016 -

Regulatory toxicology has begun to embrace new hazard characterisation approaches which could be integrated into regulatory safety assessments. The vision is to fundamentally change the way we assess the safety of chemicals, by superseding traditional animal experiments with a predictive toxicology that is based on a comprehensive understanding of how chemicals can cause adverse effects in humans. More:
European Food Safety Authority (EFSA)


Beyond animal testing – reinventing chemical assessment

Regulatory toxicology has begun to embrace new hazard characterisation approaches which could be integrated into regulatory safety assessments. The vision is to fundamentally change the way we assess the safety of chemicals, by superseding traditional animal experiments with a predictive toxicology that is based on a comprehensive understanding of how chemicals can cause adverse effects in humans. More:
European Food Safety Authority (EFSA)

03/02/2016 -

97 % d’aliments contenant des résidus de pesticides ; les enfants exposés à près de 130 polluants chimiques chaque jour ; une industrie partagée entre six multinationales. More:
Le Monde


Pesticides : des substances toxiques, invisibles et omniprésentes

97 % d’aliments contenant des résidus de pesticides ; les enfants exposés à près de 130 polluants chimiques chaque jour ; une industrie partagée entre six multinationales. More:
Le Monde

30/01/2016 -

Fish in today’s oceans contain far lower levels of mercury, DDT and other toxins than at any time in the past four decades, according to a major review by scientists at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in La Jolla. More:
The San Diego Union Tribune


Fish toxins at lowest levels in decades

Fish in today’s oceans contain far lower levels of mercury, DDT and other toxins than at any time in the past four decades, according to a major review by scientists at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in La Jolla. More:
The San Diego Union Tribune

25/01/2016 -

Polyfluorinated chemicals (PFCs) are hazardous to the environment and human health and ‘widely present’ in a range of leading outdoor brands tested by Greenpeace. More:
The Guardian
Leaving Traces - The hidden hazardous chemicals in outdoor gear (Greenpeace product test 2016 report)


Toxic chemicals found in most outdoor gear

Polyfluorinated chemicals (PFCs) are hazardous to the environment and human health and ‘widely present’ in a range of leading outdoor brands tested by Greenpeace. More:
The Guardian
Leaving Traces - The hidden hazardous chemicals in outdoor gear (Greenpeace product test 2016 report)

21/01/2016 -

Pioneers in green chemistry are warning that the development of new environmentally friendly, non-toxic chemicals is being hampered by a lack of training in toxicology and environmental mechanisms. Chemists are taught to synthesise molecules without considering their impacts on human health or the environment. More:
Chemistry World


Green chemistry hindered by lack of toxicology training

Pioneers in green chemistry are warning that the development of new environmentally friendly, non-toxic chemicals is being hampered by a lack of training in toxicology and environmental mechanisms. Chemists are taught to synthesise molecules without considering their impacts on human health or the environment. More:
Chemistry World

21/01/2016 -

Perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS) and its derivatives have been found in levels exceeding EU thresholds in some outdoor textiles, leather goods and ski waxes, according to a recent analysis of everyday consumer items. Better quality control in the processing and manufacture of goods coated with the substances is among the recommendations to reduce human exposure to these toxic chemicals. More:
Science for Environment Policy


Common consumer products contain high levels of perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances

Perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS) and its derivatives have been found in levels exceeding EU thresholds in some outdoor textiles, leather goods and ski waxes, according to a recent analysis of everyday consumer items. Better quality control in the processing and manufacture of goods coated with the substances is among the recommendations to reduce human exposure to these toxic chemicals. More:
Science for Environment Policy

21/01/2016 -

The River Po is Italy’s longest river. Some areas of the Po basin are densely populated and the river has suffered pollution from municipal wastewater discharges, stormwater runoff, sewer overflows, agricultural runoff and industrial waste discharges. More:
Science for Environment Policy


High levels of endocrine-disrupting chemicals found in sediments and fish from the Italian River Po and its Lambro tributary

The River Po is Italy’s longest river. Some areas of the Po basin are densely populated and the river has suffered pollution from municipal wastewater discharges, stormwater runoff, sewer overflows, agricultural runoff and industrial waste discharges. More:
Science for Environment Policy

14/01/2016 -

PCBs were once used in electrical gear, paints and flame retardants, but were banned from the 1970s because of their toxic effect in humans and animals. However the manmade chemicals have persisted in the environment, and are accumulating in top predators. The study finds Europe's cetaceans have levels of PCBs that are among the highest found in on the oceans. More:
BBC
PCB pollution continues to impact populations of orcas and other dolphins in European waters (Scientific report)


PCB chemical threat to Europe's killer whales and dolphins

PCBs were once used in electrical gear, paints and flame retardants, but were banned from the 1970s because of their toxic effect in humans and animals. However the manmade chemicals have persisted in the environment, and are accumulating in top predators. The study finds Europe's cetaceans have levels of PCBs that are among the highest found in on the oceans. More:
BBC
PCB pollution continues to impact populations of orcas and other dolphins in European waters (Scientific report)

07/01/2016 -

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has banned the use of three perfluorinated compounds (PFCs) in food packaging. The chemicals in question are used as grease-proofing agents for pizza boxes, microwave popcorn bags and other food containers. More:
Chemistry World
Indirect Food Additives: Paper and Paperboard Components (US FDA rule)


US bans three food packaging chemicals

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has banned the use of three perfluorinated compounds (PFCs) in food packaging. The chemicals in question are used as grease-proofing agents for pizza boxes, microwave popcorn bags and other food containers. More:
Chemistry World
Indirect Food Additives: Paper and Paperboard Components (US FDA rule)

01/01/2016 -

New research supported in part by NIEHS indicates that exposure to common environmental pollutants that persist in the environment, such as DDT and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), may diminish infants’ immune response to the tuberculosis (TB) vaccine known as bacillus Calmette–Guerin (BCG). More: 


Persistent pollutants linked to poor vaccine response

New research supported in part by NIEHS indicates that exposure to common environmental pollutants that persist in the environment, such as DDT and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), may diminish infants’ immune response to the tuberculosis (TB) vaccine known as bacillus Calmette–Guerin (BCG). More: 

28/12/2015 -

Santa’s reindeer have come and gone in their annual Christmas journey over the North, but reindeer — and many other Arctic animals and people — may face health impacts from toxic flame retardants that are banned, but still present, in Canada. More:
Nunatsiaq Online
Arctic Reindeer Poo Acts as Flame Retardant
Characterizing the distribution of selected PBDEs in soil, moss and reindeer dung at Ny-Ålesund of the Arctic (Research article)


Toxic flame retardants turn up in Arctic reindeer poop

Santa’s reindeer have come and gone in their annual Christmas journey over the North, but reindeer — and many other Arctic animals and people — may face health impacts from toxic flame retardants that are banned, but still present, in Canada. More:
Nunatsiaq Online
Arctic Reindeer Poo Acts as Flame Retardant
Characterizing the distribution of selected PBDEs in soil, moss and reindeer dung at Ny-Ålesund of the Arctic (Research article)

12/12/2015 -

Dr. Joseph Braun, assistant professor of epidemiology at Brown University, conducted an observational study that found that some children born in the Cincinnati area downstream from an industrial dumping site have more fat as young children if their mothers had high levels of the chemical perfluorooctanoic acid in their blood during pregnancy. More:
Public Radio International
Prenatal perfluoroalkyl substance exposure and child adiposity at 8 years of age (Research article)


Is there a connection between in utero chemical exposure and obesity?

Dr. Joseph Braun, assistant professor of epidemiology at Brown University, conducted an observational study that found that some children born in the Cincinnati area downstream from an industrial dumping site have more fat as young children if their mothers had high levels of the chemical perfluorooctanoic acid in their blood during pregnancy. More:
Public Radio International
Prenatal perfluoroalkyl substance exposure and child adiposity at 8 years of age (Research article)

09/12/2015 -

A pineapple pesticide that made its way into milk in Hawaii also made its way into men's brains, and those men were more likely to develop Parkinson's disease, a study finds. It's the latest in a very long series of studies linking various pesticides to Parkinson's, which is caused by the loss of certain brain cells. More:
NBC News
Midlife milk consumption and substantia nigra neuron density at death (Research article)


Pineapple Pesticide Linked to Parkinson's Disease

A pineapple pesticide that made its way into milk in Hawaii also made its way into men's brains, and those men were more likely to develop Parkinson's disease, a study finds. It's the latest in a very long series of studies linking various pesticides to Parkinson's, which is caused by the loss of certain brain cells. More:
NBC News
Midlife milk consumption and substantia nigra neuron density at death (Research article)

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