POPs in the news

03/08/2017 -

Increased exposure among pregnant women to a class of flame-retardant chemicals found in older furniture and other everyday consumer products is linked to lower IQs in their children. Examining data from nearly 3,000 mother-child pairs from previous studies done around the world, researchers concluded that every tenfold increase in women’s exposure during pregnancy to chemicals known as polybrominated diphenyl ethers, or PBDEs, was associated with a 3.7-point decrease in their children’s IQ. More:

Flame retardants linked to lower child IQ–SFgate

Developmental PBDE Exposure and IQ/ADHD in Childhood: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis (Research article)


Flame retardants linked to lower child IQ

Increased exposure among pregnant women to a class of flame-retardant chemicals found in older furniture and other everyday consumer products is linked to lower IQs in their children. Examining data from nearly 3,000 mother-child pairs from previous studies done around the world, researchers concluded that every tenfold increase in women’s exposure during pregnancy to chemicals known as polybrominated diphenyl ethers, or PBDEs, was associated with a 3.7-point decrease in their children’s IQ. More:

Flame retardants linked to lower child IQ–SFgate

Developmental PBDE Exposure and IQ/ADHD in Childhood: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis (Research article)

01/08/2017 -

Many of the products we use every day contain chemicals of concern that may be harming our health. Many of these substances can be grouped into “Six Classes”, each containing similar chemicals. The Six Classes approach allows us to better understand these chemicals, their functions, where they are used, and how they can be avoided. It can prevent a cycle of “regrettable substitution,” whereby a phased out harmful chemical is replaced with a closely related chemical which may cause similar harm. More:


The Six Classes Approach to Reducing Chemical Harm

Many of the products we use every day contain chemicals of concern that may be harming our health. Many of these substances can be grouped into “Six Classes”, each containing similar chemicals. The Six Classes approach allows us to better understand these chemicals, their functions, where they are used, and how they can be avoided. It can prevent a cycle of “regrettable substitution,” whereby a phased out harmful chemical is replaced with a closely related chemical which may cause similar harm. More:

25/07/2017 -

FOUNTAIN — Water providers and residents south of Colorado Springs chafed as the U.S. Air Force on Tuesday unveiled a nine-month study verifying that firefighting foam used at Peterson Air Force Base contaminated water and soil with toxic perfluorinated chemicals at levels more than 1,000 times higher than a national health advisory limit. More:


Air Force admits firefighting foam that was spilled on base contaminated water and soil; people south of Colorado Springs left in lurch

FOUNTAIN — Water providers and residents south of Colorado Springs chafed as the U.S. Air Force on Tuesday unveiled a nine-month study verifying that firefighting foam used at Peterson Air Force Base contaminated water and soil with toxic perfluorinated chemicals at levels more than 1,000 times higher than a national health advisory limit. More:

18/07/2017 -

Making the chemical used in many nonstick frying pans, stain-resistant carpets and fire-fighting foams can pollute drinking water. Known as PFOA, this chemical can persist unchanged in the environment for years — perhaps for centuries or longer. And that can be troubling because studies have suggested that PFOA can harm the health of people and animals. But a new lab-made chemical can now remove PFOA from water. More:


New ‘magnet’ pulls pesky nonstick pollutants from drinking water

Making the chemical used in many nonstick frying pans, stain-resistant carpets and fire-fighting foams can pollute drinking water. Known as PFOA, this chemical can persist unchanged in the environment for years — perhaps for centuries or longer. And that can be troubling because studies have suggested that PFOA can harm the health of people and animals. But a new lab-made chemical can now remove PFOA from water. More:

06/07/2017 -

The EPA encouraged companies beginning in 2006 to phase out PFOA and related chemicals. The industry replaced them with GenX (perfluoro-2-propoxypropanoic acid) and other new-generation agents known as perfluorinated compounds, or PFAS. According to the industry, the new class is eliminated faster from the body, making them safer. However, several scientists have expressed concerns, citing their persistence in the environment including plant life, as well as a dearth of studies. More:


On U.S. Rivers, Teflon’s Old Cancer Ties Are Stoking New Fears

The EPA encouraged companies beginning in 2006 to phase out PFOA and related chemicals. The industry replaced them with GenX (perfluoro-2-propoxypropanoic acid) and other new-generation agents known as perfluorinated compounds, or PFAS. According to the industry, the new class is eliminated faster from the body, making them safer. However, several scientists have expressed concerns, citing their persistence in the environment including plant life, as well as a dearth of studies. More:

26/06/2017 -

Fish are a source of persistent organic pollutants (POPs) in the human diet. Although species, trophic level, and means of production are typically considered in predicting fish pollutant load, and thus recommendations of consumption, capture location is usually not accounted for. Capture location is an important consideration when assessing the level and risk of human exposure to POPs through ingestion of wild fish. More:


Geographic Differences in Persistent Organic Pollutant Levels of Yellowfin Tuna

Fish are a source of persistent organic pollutants (POPs) in the human diet. Although species, trophic level, and means of production are typically considered in predicting fish pollutant load, and thus recommendations of consumption, capture location is usually not accounted for. Capture location is an important consideration when assessing the level and risk of human exposure to POPs through ingestion of wild fish. More:

23/06/2017 -

In a warming world new opportunities open up for disease-bearing mosquitoes, spreading Ethiopia’s malaria zone to higher altitudes. For the malaria parasite, things are looking up. As climates change, and mountain regions warm, conditions become favourable not just for the parasite but for the mosquito that carries it. New research suggests that Ethiopia’s malaria zone could soon include the highlands, for centuries free of the disease’s ravages. More:


High-flying insects expand Ethiopia’s malaria zone

In a warming world new opportunities open up for disease-bearing mosquitoes, spreading Ethiopia’s malaria zone to higher altitudes. For the malaria parasite, things are looking up. As climates change, and mountain regions warm, conditions become favourable not just for the parasite but for the mosquito that carries it. New research suggests that Ethiopia’s malaria zone could soon include the highlands, for centuries free of the disease’s ravages. More:

08/06/2017 -

The known extent of the contamination of U.S. communities with PFCs – highly fluorinated toxic chemicals, also known as PFASs,[*] that have been linked to cancer, thyroid disease, weakened immunity and other health problems – continues to expand with no end in sight. New research from EWG and Northeastern University in Boston details PFC pollution in tap water supplies for 15 million Americans in 27 states and from more than four dozen industrial and military sources from Maine to California. More:


Mapping a contamination crisis - PFCs Pollute Tap Water for 15 Million People

The known extent of the contamination of U.S. communities with PFCs – highly fluorinated toxic chemicals, also known as PFASs,[*] that have been linked to cancer, thyroid disease, weakened immunity and other health problems – continues to expand with no end in sight. New research from EWG and Northeastern University in Boston details PFC pollution in tap water supplies for 15 million Americans in 27 states and from more than four dozen industrial and military sources from Maine to California. More:

05/06/2017 -

A study of the toxic perfluorinated chemicals found in water near U.S. military airports has measured drinking-water contamination at an undisclosed site at levels more than 100 times higher than a federal health advisory limit. Colorado School of Mines researchers also found that the carbon filters being installed by hard-hit communities — including Fountain and Widefield, south of Peterson Air Force Base — fail to fully remove the chemicals. More:


Toxic firefighting chemicals can’t be removed from water using standard filters, Mines research shows

A study of the toxic perfluorinated chemicals found in water near U.S. military airports has measured drinking-water contamination at an undisclosed site at levels more than 100 times higher than a federal health advisory limit. Colorado School of Mines researchers also found that the carbon filters being installed by hard-hit communities — including Fountain and Widefield, south of Peterson Air Force Base — fail to fully remove the chemicals. More:

01/06/2017 -

Some chemicals can mimic hormones, and in doing so wrongly turn on or off important bodily processes. Hormones are like the managers of the body’s organs and other tissues. These chemicals order cells to switch on or off some particular activity. Sometimes industrial chemicals and pollutants can mimic these managers. When such imposters enter the body, they can alter when or how an organism develops, what it looks like — even whether it gets some disease. More:


Explainer: What are endocrine disruptors?

Some chemicals can mimic hormones, and in doing so wrongly turn on or off important bodily processes. Hormones are like the managers of the body’s organs and other tissues. These chemicals order cells to switch on or off some particular activity. Sometimes industrial chemicals and pollutants can mimic these managers. When such imposters enter the body, they can alter when or how an organism develops, what it looks like — even whether it gets some disease. More:

31/05/2017 -

A research team at the University of California San Diego (UCSD) discovered that a common marine sponge hosts bacteria that produce toxic compounds that are nearly identical to man-made flame retardants. More:


Bacteria in marine sponges produce flame retardant-like compounds

A research team at the University of California San Diego (UCSD) discovered that a common marine sponge hosts bacteria that produce toxic compounds that are nearly identical to man-made flame retardants. More:

30/05/2017 -

Last year, one of Britain’s last surviving killer whales was found dead on the shores of a Scottish island. The whale, known as Lulu, had died after becoming entangled in fishing lines, but subsequent tests revealed that her body contained one of the highest levels ever recorded of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB), a toxic chemical that many countries have banned since the 1970s. More:


Tackling a toxic legacy

Last year, one of Britain’s last surviving killer whales was found dead on the shores of a Scottish island. The whale, known as Lulu, had died after becoming entangled in fishing lines, but subsequent tests revealed that her body contained one of the highest levels ever recorded of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB), a toxic chemical that many countries have banned since the 1970s. More:

19/05/2017 -

Our modern lives are drenched in chemicals, some of which can mimic hormones in our body's endocrine system. Obesity, type 2 diabetes, and some cancer rates are on the rise in humans, while sperm count and fertility are on a downward slide in some populations. What if chemical exposure was partly responsible for these trends?. More:


Endocrine disrupting chemicals: Is your home making you sick?

Our modern lives are drenched in chemicals, some of which can mimic hormones in our body's endocrine system. Obesity, type 2 diabetes, and some cancer rates are on the rise in humans, while sperm count and fertility are on a downward slide in some populations. What if chemical exposure was partly responsible for these trends?. More:

16/05/2017 -

Forty years ago, feline hyperthyroidism was virtually nonexistent. Now it’s an epidemic — and some scientists think a class of everyday chemicals might be to blame. More:


The Mystery of the Wasting House-Cats

Forty years ago, feline hyperthyroidism was virtually nonexistent. Now it’s an epidemic — and some scientists think a class of everyday chemicals might be to blame. More:

14/05/2017 -

The animal, called Lulu, was found dead on the Isle of Tiree in Scotland last year after becoming entangled in fishing lines. But tests now reveal her body contained among the highest levels of polychlorinated biphenyls, or PCBs, ever recorded. The levels of PCB contamination in Lulu were incredibly high, surprisingly so. They were 20 times higher than the safe level that we would expect for cetaceans to be able to manage. More:


'Shocking' levels of PCB chemicals in UK killer whale Lulu

The animal, called Lulu, was found dead on the Isle of Tiree in Scotland last year after becoming entangled in fishing lines. But tests now reveal her body contained among the highest levels of polychlorinated biphenyls, or PCBs, ever recorded. The levels of PCB contamination in Lulu were incredibly high, surprisingly so. They were 20 times higher than the safe level that we would expect for cetaceans to be able to manage. More:

03/05/2017 -

When you plunk an adult zebrafish into an unfamiliar tank, it will behave predictably: the small, striped, freshwater minnow freezes for up to a minute, slowly begins to explore the tank, and then, when it’s good and ready, swims around as if it’s been there the whole time. Yet adult zebrafish that were born in water contaminated by a common class of toxicants—polychlorinated biphenyls, or PCBs—have a much more hesitant reaction. More:


Toxicant-Triggered Anxiety: Juvenile fish exposed to a common environmental toxicant show signs of anxiety

When you plunk an adult zebrafish into an unfamiliar tank, it will behave predictably: the small, striped, freshwater minnow freezes for up to a minute, slowly begins to explore the tank, and then, when it’s good and ready, swims around as if it’s been there the whole time. Yet adult zebrafish that were born in water contaminated by a common class of toxicants—polychlorinated biphenyls, or PCBs—have a much more hesitant reaction. More:

19/04/2017 -

A new global survey finds that recycling plastics containing toxic flame retardant chemicals found in electronic waste results in contamination of the world’s best-selling toy along with other children’s products. More:


Recycling Contaminates Plastic Children’s Toys with Toxic Chemicals from Electronic Waste

A new global survey finds that recycling plastics containing toxic flame retardant chemicals found in electronic waste results in contamination of the world’s best-selling toy along with other children’s products. More:

04/04/2017 -

Certain man-made chemicals -- believed to be in the bloodstream of nearly every person on Earth thanks to heavy use in consumer manufactured products -- also build up in the brains, hearts, livers, bones and skin of mice according to a study published last week by researchers at the UAB School of Medicine and the University of Notre Dame. More:


Cancer-linked chemicals build up in 'every organ' in mice, UAB researchers find

Certain man-made chemicals -- believed to be in the bloodstream of nearly every person on Earth thanks to heavy use in consumer manufactured products -- also build up in the brains, hearts, livers, bones and skin of mice according to a study published last week by researchers at the UAB School of Medicine and the University of Notre Dame. More:

04/04/2017 -

Organophosphate ester flame retardants travel long distances, one of the properties that led to the phase-out of their PBDE predecessors. For the first time, researchers have measured a new class of fire retardants in Arctic Ocean sediments, far from the compounds’ intended end uses in couch cushions and television sets. The findings add to growing evidence that organophosphate ester flame retardants (OPEs) might have many of the same properties that led to the phase-out of their predecessors, brominated flame retardants. More:


Flame retardant replacements migrate to arctic sediment

Organophosphate ester flame retardants travel long distances, one of the properties that led to the phase-out of their PBDE predecessors. For the first time, researchers have measured a new class of fire retardants in Arctic Ocean sediments, far from the compounds’ intended end uses in couch cushions and television sets. The findings add to growing evidence that organophosphate ester flame retardants (OPEs) might have many of the same properties that led to the phase-out of their predecessors, brominated flame retardants. More:

29/03/2017 -

One attraction of fast foods is that they’re, well, convenient. They’re ready minutes after you hit the burger joint, taco stand or fried-chicken emporium. But another aspect of their convenience is less obvious: The paper or cardboard in which they’re wrapped tends to resist absorbing liquids, including fat. So the oils used to turn chicken wings and French fries golden brown don’t bleed through onto your hands or lap. What makes this possible, in many cases, is a class of potentially toxic, long-lived chemicals. More:


Did your burger come with a side of non-degrading pollutants?

One attraction of fast foods is that they’re, well, convenient. They’re ready minutes after you hit the burger joint, taco stand or fried-chicken emporium. But another aspect of their convenience is less obvious: The paper or cardboard in which they’re wrapped tends to resist absorbing liquids, including fat. So the oils used to turn chicken wings and French fries golden brown don’t bleed through onto your hands or lap. What makes this possible, in many cases, is a class of potentially toxic, long-lived chemicals. More:

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