POPs in the news

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:

21/03/2017 -

Researchers sampled sediment from lakes Michigan, Ontario and Superior to track organophosphate esters, a group of chemicals that are used as flame retardants. All three locations showed that the concentration of one of them—TCPP—has increased rapidly since 2000. More:


New flame retardant threat documented in Great Lakes

Researchers sampled sediment from lakes Michigan, Ontario and Superior to track organophosphate esters, a group of chemicals that are used as flame retardants. All three locations showed that the concentration of one of them—TCPP—has increased rapidly since 2000. More:

16/03/2017 -

Today’s homes and offices are jam-packed with plastics, electronics, and furniture covered in flame-retardants. When they combust, they are extremely toxic. That means the smoke firefighters are exposed to is often loaded with a litany of septic chemicals—formaldehyde, vinyl chloride, chlorophenols, dioxins, trichloroethylene,  polychlorinated biphenyls, to name a few. Alone, any one of these may be harmful; mixed together they can make a potent cocktail of carcinogens. More:


Why Cancer Is Killing Boston’s Firefighters

Today’s homes and offices are jam-packed with plastics, electronics, and furniture covered in flame-retardants. When they combust, they are extremely toxic. That means the smoke firefighters are exposed to is often loaded with a litany of septic chemicals—formaldehyde, vinyl chloride, chlorophenols, dioxins, trichloroethylene,  polychlorinated biphenyls, to name a few. Alone, any one of these may be harmful; mixed together they can make a potent cocktail of carcinogens. More:

15/03/2017 -

March 2017 is particularly eventful with Geneva hosting many discussions aiming for a human rights-based approach towards better protection of the environment and of human health, which are also the common objectives of the BRS Conventions. Among these events, the United Nations (UN) Human Rights Council (HRC) has opened its 34th session. More:


‘Detoxifying’ the future from hazardous chemicals and wastes: a child’s fundamental (human) right

March 2017 is particularly eventful with Geneva hosting many discussions aiming for a human rights-based approach towards better protection of the environment and of human health, which are also the common objectives of the BRS Conventions. Among these events, the United Nations (UN) Human Rights Council (HRC) has opened its 34th session. More:

10/03/2017 -

Researchers have found a significant relationship between social behaviors among young children and their exposure to widely used flame retardants. The finding, contained in a pilot study, points to some chemicals in furniture, electronics and other goods to help prevent fires. As these chemicals, which are found throughout the built environment in furniture, mattresses, carpeting, electronics, vehicles and more, are added to the products and are not bound in the material, they are often released into indoor environments. More:


Study links flame retardants to social behavior among young children

Researchers have found a significant relationship between social behaviors among young children and their exposure to widely used flame retardants. The finding, contained in a pilot study, points to some chemicals in furniture, electronics and other goods to help prevent fires. As these chemicals, which are found throughout the built environment in furniture, mattresses, carpeting, electronics, vehicles and more, are added to the products and are not bound in the material, they are often released into indoor environments. More:

09/03/2017 -

A trend towards using plastic parts in electrical and electronic goods is causing a headache for the recycling industry. Brominated flame-retarding chemicals have been associated with lower mental, psychomotor and IQ development, poorer attention spans and decreases in memory and processing speed, according to the peer-reviewed study by the campaign group CHEM Trust. More:


Warnings over children's health as recycled e-waste comes back as plastic toys

A trend towards using plastic parts in electrical and electronic goods is causing a headache for the recycling industry. Brominated flame-retarding chemicals have been associated with lower mental, psychomotor and IQ development, poorer attention spans and decreases in memory and processing speed, according to the peer-reviewed study by the campaign group CHEM Trust. More:

05/03/2017 -

Exposure to polluted environments is associated with more than one in four deaths among children younger than 5, according to two World Health Organization reports. Worldwide, 1.7 million children's deaths are attributable to environmental hazards, such as exposure to contaminated water, indoor and outdoor pollution, and other unsanitary conditions, the reports found. Weaker immune systems make children's health more vulnerable to harmful effects of polluted environments. More:


Exposure to pollution kills millions of children, WHO reports find

Exposure to polluted environments is associated with more than one in four deaths among children younger than 5, according to two World Health Organization reports. Worldwide, 1.7 million children's deaths are attributable to environmental hazards, such as exposure to contaminated water, indoor and outdoor pollution, and other unsanitary conditions, the reports found. Weaker immune systems make children's health more vulnerable to harmful effects of polluted environments. More:

22/02/2017 -

A pair of long-lasting, man-made chemicals called PFOA and PFOS have generated controversy and lawsuits in recent years, worldwide and in Alabama, but a new peer-reviewed paper warns there are more than 3,000 replacement chemicals with similar chemical makeup used to make consumer products whose toxicology and potential health impacts are unknown. More:


Substitute chemicals for cancer-linked PFCs may also be harmful, researchers warn

A pair of long-lasting, man-made chemicals called PFOA and PFOS have generated controversy and lawsuits in recent years, worldwide and in Alabama, but a new peer-reviewed paper warns there are more than 3,000 replacement chemicals with similar chemical makeup used to make consumer products whose toxicology and potential health impacts are unknown. More:

20/02/2017 -

BELIZE CITY, Mon. Feb. 20, 2017–Although Belize discontinued widespread use of Dichloro-diphenyl-trichloroethylene (DDT) for mosquito eradication two decades ago, it is believed to still be in the environment, as well as in the bodies of people who had been exposed over the years. More:


24 tons of deleterious DDT stockpiled by Belize headed to France for destruction

BELIZE CITY, Mon. Feb. 20, 2017–Although Belize discontinued widespread use of Dichloro-diphenyl-trichloroethylene (DDT) for mosquito eradication two decades ago, it is believed to still be in the environment, as well as in the bodies of people who had been exposed over the years. More:

13/02/2017 -

Scientists have discovered “extraordinary” levels of toxic pollution in the most remote and inaccessible place on the planet – the 10km deep Mariana trench in the Pacific Ocean. Small crustaceans that live in the pitch-black waters of the trench, captured by a robotic submarine, were contaminated with 50 times more toxic chemicals than crabs that survive in heavily polluted rivers in China. More:


Extraordinary' levels of pollutants found in 10km deep Mariana trench

Scientists have discovered “extraordinary” levels of toxic pollution in the most remote and inaccessible place on the planet – the 10km deep Mariana trench in the Pacific Ocean. Small crustaceans that live in the pitch-black waters of the trench, captured by a robotic submarine, were contaminated with 50 times more toxic chemicals than crabs that survive in heavily polluted rivers in China. More:

07/02/2017 -

Researchers are finding an ever-growing list of chemicals in dust and are trying to understand what the compounds mean for our health. As sure as the sun rises, houses collect dust. It gathers on our knickknacks and dirties the carpets. More than just dirt, house dust is a mix of sloughed-off skin cells, hair, clothing fibers, bacteria, dust mites, bits of dead bugs, soil particles, pollen, and microscopic specks of plastic. It’s our detritus and, it turns out, has a lot to reveal about our lifestyle. More:


Tracing the chemistry of household dust

Researchers are finding an ever-growing list of chemicals in dust and are trying to understand what the compounds mean for our health. As sure as the sun rises, houses collect dust. It gathers on our knickknacks and dirties the carpets. More than just dirt, house dust is a mix of sloughed-off skin cells, hair, clothing fibers, bacteria, dust mites, bits of dead bugs, soil particles, pollen, and microscopic specks of plastic. It’s our detritus and, it turns out, has a lot to reveal about our lifestyle. More:

06/02/2017 -

Researchers tested more than 400 samples of packaging materials, including hamburger and sandwich wrappers, pastry bags, beverage cups and French fry containers, and found evidence of fluorinated compounds called per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs). Of the materials tested, these chemicals were found in 56 percent of dessert and bread wrappers, 38 percent of sandwich and burger wrappers and 20 percent of paperboard. More:


Extensive use of fluorinated chemicals in fast food wrappers: Chemicals can leach into food

Researchers tested more than 400 samples of packaging materials, including hamburger and sandwich wrappers, pastry bags, beverage cups and French fry containers, and found evidence of fluorinated compounds called per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs). Of the materials tested, these chemicals were found in 56 percent of dessert and bread wrappers, 38 percent of sandwich and burger wrappers and 20 percent of paperboard. More:

26/01/2017 -

Long-chain perfluoroalkyl acids (PFAAs) are persistent chemicals with proven toxic effects. A study estimated the emissions and concentrations of two such chemicals, perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), in 11 of Europe's most populated river catchments. Estimated emissions were lowest in the Thames and highest in the Rhine, while the EU environmental quality standard for PFOS was exceeded in all rivers. More:


Europe's rivers ‘highly contaminated’ with long-chain perfluoroalkyl acids

Long-chain perfluoroalkyl acids (PFAAs) are persistent chemicals with proven toxic effects. A study estimated the emissions and concentrations of two such chemicals, perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), in 11 of Europe's most populated river catchments. Estimated emissions were lowest in the Thames and highest in the Rhine, while the EU environmental quality standard for PFOS was exceeded in all rivers. More:

23/01/2017 -

Researchers at the Columbia University have discovered high and potentially harmful levels of flame retardant on the hands of toddlers in New York City. The study, from the Columbia Center for Children's Environmental Health, or CCCEH, in the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University, examined 25 mother-child participant pairs from the CCCEH Sibling-Hermanos birth cohort. More:


NYC toddlers exposed to high levels of flame retardants: Study

Researchers at the Columbia University have discovered high and potentially harmful levels of flame retardant on the hands of toddlers in New York City. The study, from the Columbia Center for Children's Environmental Health, or CCCEH, in the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University, examined 25 mother-child participant pairs from the CCCEH Sibling-Hermanos birth cohort. More:

23/01/2017 -

Polar bears are facing trouble inside and out. The animals are losing habitat as global warming melts sea ice. Now a study shows bears’ bodies hold toxic chemicals originally made in distant factories, substances that threaten adult bears’ health at a level 100 times greater than the acceptable threshold of risk for humans. For cubs, the risk is more than 1,000 times that threshold. More:


Polar Bear Cubs at High Risk from Toxic Industrial Chemicals, Despite Bans

Polar bears are facing trouble inside and out. The animals are losing habitat as global warming melts sea ice. Now a study shows bears’ bodies hold toxic chemicals originally made in distant factories, substances that threaten adult bears’ health at a level 100 times greater than the acceptable threshold of risk for humans. For cubs, the risk is more than 1,000 times that threshold. More:

18/01/2017 -

A new National Academy of Sciences' risk assessment could accelerate public health protection from pesticides. More:


Will Better Science Help Protect Us from Chemical Exposures?

A new National Academy of Sciences' risk assessment could accelerate public health protection from pesticides. More:

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