POPs in the news

06/12/2017 -

Evaluating the level of danger to human health from exposure to multiple chemicals in contaminated sites is a complex task. To address this difficulty, researchers have developed a new screening tool that can be incorporated into public health risk assessment, which may include polluted former industrial plants, waste dumps, or even land where pesticides have been used. This ‘hazard index’ approach indicates when risk to health is high, which organs are most affected, and where further evaluation should be conducted in the context of environmental or occupational exposure at such sites.


New hazard index tool to aid risk assessment of exposure to multiple chemicals

Evaluating the level of danger to human health from exposure to multiple chemicals in contaminated sites is a complex task. To address this difficulty, researchers have developed a new screening tool that can be incorporated into public health risk assessment, which may include polluted former industrial plants, waste dumps, or even land where pesticides have been used. This ‘hazard index’ approach indicates when risk to health is high, which organs are most affected, and where further evaluation should be conducted in the context of environmental or occupational exposure at such sites.

16/11/2017 -

Augmentative biological control (ABC) involves the mass production of natural enemies of pests and diseases in the form of predators, parasites or microorganisms, which are then released to control crop pests (including diseases and weeds). These living pesticides are collectively called ‘biological control agents’. As it offers an environmentally and economically sound alternative to chemical control, ABC is not just of interest to commercial growers, but to retailers, consumers and policymakers. More:


Natural enemies of crop pests will feature in the future of environmentally friendly farming

Augmentative biological control (ABC) involves the mass production of natural enemies of pests and diseases in the form of predators, parasites or microorganisms, which are then released to control crop pests (including diseases and weeds). These living pesticides are collectively called ‘biological control agents’. As it offers an environmentally and economically sound alternative to chemical control, ABC is not just of interest to commercial growers, but to retailers, consumers and policymakers. More:

15/11/2017 -

The impacts of racism and segregation continue to reverberate in the health of communities of color—and one of the starkest disparities is in diabetes rates. Strikingly, a growing body of research suggests that toxics may be partly to blame. Diabetes is a global health crisis—more than 30 million individuals suffer from the disease in the U.S., and it is projected to afflict 642 million individuals worldwide by the year 2040. More:


Analysis: The metabolic legacy of environmental injustice

The impacts of racism and segregation continue to reverberate in the health of communities of color—and one of the starkest disparities is in diabetes rates. Strikingly, a growing body of research suggests that toxics may be partly to blame. Diabetes is a global health crisis—more than 30 million individuals suffer from the disease in the U.S., and it is projected to afflict 642 million individuals worldwide by the year 2040. More:

14/11/2017 -

Letter sent to US House and Senate committees calls for "coordinated research" to protect communities from toxic stain repellant and firefighting chemicals. Highly fluorinated chemicals are contaminating the water of millions of people in the U.S. and it's time for the federal government and researchers to coordinate research and education efforts to protect communities from the toxics, according to a letter sent to U.S. House and Senate committees today. More:


Millions are plagued with highly fluorinated chemicals in water. US Feds need to act, say scientists

Letter sent to US House and Senate committees calls for "coordinated research" to protect communities from toxic stain repellant and firefighting chemicals. Highly fluorinated chemicals are contaminating the water of millions of people in the U.S. and it's time for the federal government and researchers to coordinate research and education efforts to protect communities from the toxics, according to a letter sent to U.S. House and Senate committees today. More:

07/11/2017 -

Besides lead, no contaminant in drinking water has provoked as loud a public outcry in the last two years in the United States as a class of chemicals known as perfluorinated compounds. New Jersey regulators are taking the strongest action to date on the man-made chemicals that are used in scores of household and industrial products. The state will be the first to require utilities to test for two compounds and remove them from drinking water. More:


New Jersey Sets First Binding State Limits for Perfluorinated Chemicals in Drinking Water

Besides lead, no contaminant in drinking water has provoked as loud a public outcry in the last two years in the United States as a class of chemicals known as perfluorinated compounds. New Jersey regulators are taking the strongest action to date on the man-made chemicals that are used in scores of household and industrial products. The state will be the first to require utilities to test for two compounds and remove them from drinking water. More:

26/10/2017 -

The US Department of Defense (DOD) is checking for firefighting foam contamination at nearly 400 bases, as well as in all 515 of its water supplies. So far, it’s found drinking water contamination at dozens of bases. Firefighting foams used ubiquitously by the military between 1970 and 2015 contained toxic perfluorinated compounds such as PFOS and PFOA, which are now being found at a growing number of bases. More:


Firefighting foam contamination now at 45 US military bases

The US Department of Defense (DOD) is checking for firefighting foam contamination at nearly 400 bases, as well as in all 515 of its water supplies. So far, it’s found drinking water contamination at dozens of bases. Firefighting foams used ubiquitously by the military between 1970 and 2015 contained toxic perfluorinated compounds such as PFOS and PFOA, which are now being found at a growing number of bases. More:

20/10/2017 -

Some risks are difficult to deal with because they are not precisely calculable in advance. Where there is scientific uncertainty about the full extent of possible harms but 'doing nothing' is also risky, decision-makers may use the precautionary principle. A Future Brief explores the role of the precautionary principle in EU law and policy, and examines key points of discussion drawn from the evidence. More:


The precautionary principle: decision-making under uncertainty

Some risks are difficult to deal with because they are not precisely calculable in advance. Where there is scientific uncertainty about the full extent of possible harms but 'doing nothing' is also risky, decision-makers may use the precautionary principle. A Future Brief explores the role of the precautionary principle in EU law and policy, and examines key points of discussion drawn from the evidence. More:

12/10/2017 -

Even long-banned persistent organic pollutants (POPs) still linger in the environment; others are still in use and are being directly emitted; and new POPs may be identified for which we have limited information. This Future Brief from Science for Environment Policy presents recent research into POPs’ potential impacts, the levels and future outlook for POPs in the environment and humans, and how we can reduce our use of POPs.


Persistent organic pollutants: towards a POPs-free future

Even long-banned persistent organic pollutants (POPs) still linger in the environment; others are still in use and are being directly emitted; and new POPs may be identified for which we have limited information. This Future Brief from Science for Environment Policy presents recent research into POPs’ potential impacts, the levels and future outlook for POPs in the environment and humans, and how we can reduce our use of POPs.

04/10/2017 -

Exposure to Agent Orange sprayed during the Vietnam War has been linked to increased levels of certain hormones in women and their breastfeeding children decades later, potentially putting them at higher risk of health problems, according to a new study in Science of the Total Environment. More:


Agent Orange still linked to hormone imbalances in babies in Vietnam

Exposure to Agent Orange sprayed during the Vietnam War has been linked to increased levels of certain hormones in women and their breastfeeding children decades later, potentially putting them at higher risk of health problems, according to a new study in Science of the Total Environment. More:

03/10/2017 -

A new study provides disturbing evidence that children’s exposure to household insecticides is linked to higher risks of childhood leukemia and lymphoma, the most common cancers in children. The analysis also found an association between use of outdoor herbicides to lawns and gardens and higher risks of leukemia. More:


Study Links Childhood Cancer and In-Home Pesticide Use

A new study provides disturbing evidence that children’s exposure to household insecticides is linked to higher risks of childhood leukemia and lymphoma, the most common cancers in children. The analysis also found an association between use of outdoor herbicides to lawns and gardens and higher risks of leukemia. More:

02/10/2017 -

Perfluorooctanoic acid, widely used for decades in the making of nonstick coatings like Teflon and a variety of other consumer products, is considered toxic even in tiny amounts. PFOA has been linked to cancer, birth defects and immune system dysfunction. In 2006, eight major chemical companies, including 3M and DuPont, entered into a “voluntary stewardship agreement” to phase out the production and use of PFOA by 2015. In its place, the industry switched to other chemicals in the same family that were deemed less hazardous. But lately experts have begun to believe that these new chemicals also pose grave threats to human health. More:


Trading old hazards for new? Mystery shrouds chemicals that replaced PFOA

Perfluorooctanoic acid, widely used for decades in the making of nonstick coatings like Teflon and a variety of other consumer products, is considered toxic even in tiny amounts. PFOA has been linked to cancer, birth defects and immune system dysfunction. In 2006, eight major chemical companies, including 3M and DuPont, entered into a “voluntary stewardship agreement” to phase out the production and use of PFOA by 2015. In its place, the industry switched to other chemicals in the same family that were deemed less hazardous. But lately experts have begun to believe that these new chemicals also pose grave threats to human health. More:

01/10/2017 -

In the 1960s, Wolverine used the 76-acre undeveloped land as a dump site for hazardous sludge waste generated by its former tannery in Rockford, where the company treated pigskin with Scotchgard, a fabric protector that repels water and stains. 3M developed Scotchgard in 1956 and two years later, Wolverine used it to develop a pigskin nubuck leather for Hush Puppies. Six decades later, that innovation's toxic legacy has surfaced in local drinking water. More:


Cancer, thyroid problems plague Wolverine dump neighbors

In the 1960s, Wolverine used the 76-acre undeveloped land as a dump site for hazardous sludge waste generated by its former tannery in Rockford, where the company treated pigskin with Scotchgard, a fabric protector that repels water and stains. 3M developed Scotchgard in 1956 and two years later, Wolverine used it to develop a pigskin nubuck leather for Hush Puppies. Six decades later, that innovation's toxic legacy has surfaced in local drinking water. More:

29/09/2017 -

U.S. Federal regulators urged manufacturers to stop using hazardous flame retardants that are known to cause health problems. The technical name of the chemical additives is Non-Polymeric Organohalogen Flame Retardants. More:


CPSC to manufacturers: Toxic flame retardants ill advised in mattresses, TVs, furniture

U.S. Federal regulators urged manufacturers to stop using hazardous flame retardants that are known to cause health problems. The technical name of the chemical additives is Non-Polymeric Organohalogen Flame Retardants. More:

18/09/2017 -

A systematic literature review and meta-analysis on the association between exposure to the pesticide DDT and its metabolites and obesity reach to the conclusion that p,p′-DDT and p,p′-DDE can be classified as “presumed” to be obesogenic for humans, based on a moderate level of primary human evidence, a moderate level of primary in vivo evidence, and a moderate level of supporting evidence from in vivo and in vitro studies. More:


Association between Exposure to DDT and Its Metabolite DDE with Obesity: Integrated Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

A systematic literature review and meta-analysis on the association between exposure to the pesticide DDT and its metabolites and obesity reach to the conclusion that p,p′-DDT and p,p′-DDE can be classified as “presumed” to be obesogenic for humans, based on a moderate level of primary human evidence, a moderate level of primary in vivo evidence, and a moderate level of supporting evidence from in vivo and in vitro studies. More:

09/09/2017 -

The U.S. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry tasked with protecting Americans from health threats is facing growing pressure to perform a nationwide health study on perfluorinated compounds — unregulated chemicals being found in drinking water supplies across the country, including locally. More:


Pressure growing on feds to do PFC health study

The U.S. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry tasked with protecting Americans from health threats is facing growing pressure to perform a nationwide health study on perfluorinated compounds — unregulated chemicals being found in drinking water supplies across the country, including locally. More:

23/08/2017 -

Combined exposures to polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) may exceed acceptable levels in breastfeeding infants and in small children even for moderate (vs. high) exposure scenarios, according to a study. The study also suggests that acceptable levels of combined PBDEs may be exceeded in adults whose diets are high in fish and corroborates reports from several epidemiological studies of associations between PBDE exposures and neurobehavioral outcomes. More:


A Human Mixture Risk Assessment for Neurodevelopmental Toxicity Associated with Polybrominated Diphenyl Ethers Used as Flame Retardants

Combined exposures to polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) may exceed acceptable levels in breastfeeding infants and in small children even for moderate (vs. high) exposure scenarios, according to a study. The study also suggests that acceptable levels of combined PBDEs may be exceeded in adults whose diets are high in fish and corroborates reports from several epidemiological studies of associations between PBDE exposures and neurobehavioral outcomes. More:

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

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:

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:

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