Exposure to minuscule amounts of bisphenol-A can cause a multitude of health problems, including effects on the developing brain, heart, and ovaries, according to a paper published on Thursday that integrates data from several animal studies.
It's an uncomfortable, often embarrassing problem—having to pee a lot, but not getting relief when you go.
Susceptibility to metabolic disorders could increase as a result, results suggest.
Products we use every day are full of harmful chemicals. Can green chemistry lead to safer alternatives?
Organization and consumer demand for products that don't harm people or pollute the environment are moving forward-thinking brands toward safer ingredients.
What affects how likely you are to die from the novel coronavirus?
A global public health threat<p>A huge body of research into a family of chemicals that alter hormone action, called endocrine-disrupting chemicals, has increasingly established them as significant contributors to the risk of these very diseases: diabetes, obesity, heart disease, high blood pressure, reduced immunity, and more.</p> <p>There is always uncertainty in science, but the evidence has become strong enough that the Endocrine Society, the world's largest professional association of medical and research endocrinologists, considers reducing endocrine-disrupting chemicals' impacts to be one of their highest public health goals. Endocrinologists are the go-to health professionals for these diseases, both for figuring how to treat them and understanding how they cause effects. </p> <p>In 2012, the World Health Organization and the United Nations Environment Program released a report concluding that endocrine-disrupting chemicals are a global public health threat. </p> <p>The science has only grown stronger since then.</p> <p>Thousands of scientific papers have been published in the last 20 years linking endocrine-disrupting chemical exposure to the very comorbidities that increase the risk of dying from COVID-19. </p> <p>Some of the chemicals highlighted in this research are bisphenols like BPA, phthalates (plasticizers), perfluorinated (forever) chemicals, flame retardants, PCBs and a variety of new and old pesticides. </p> <p>One of the most disturbing studies found that vaccines don't work as well in children who had high levels of perfluorinated chemicals, PFOS and PFOA, in them as infants </p> <p>In 2020 each of us carries a collection of these chemicals in our bodies, including in our blood, tissues and organs. </p> <p>There is much more in us now than there was even 30 years ago. No one is uncontaminated, including unborn babies. </p> <p>Given what the research tells us, it's not surprising that with higher levels of endocrine-disrupting chemical exposure, the endocrine-related adverse health effects noted above have surged as public health threats. </p> <p>Nor is it surprising that the effects are being seen in younger and younger adults, and now even in teenagers.</p>
Hitting the “trifecta” of health, money, and fewer deaths<p>What will that take to weather the next pandemic, and the next?</p><p>First, regulatory agencies like the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the Environmental Protection Agency need to use modern science to establish what is safe and what is not. Their approaches today do not reflect modern endocrinological science. They are mired in science from a previous century. </p><p>Second, we need the next generation of materials used in consumer products to be inherently safer than what we have today, because many of those products contain, and emit, endocrine-disrupting chemicals. </p><p>The good news is that endocrine-disrupting chemical science has advanced so substantially over these past two decades that chemists can use it to design safer materials. </p><p>And they can make money in the process, because, increasingly, consumers want to be confident that what they are bringing into their homes and their bodies is safe.</p><p>This is a clear path forward. Chemical inventors and chemical companies make money. People are healthier. Fewer people die in the next pandemic. Sounds like we can hit the trifecta.</p>
Pesticides, ingredients from sunscreen, an artificial sweetener and the plasticizer bisphenol-A,were among the chemicals found.
Greenpeace is trying to trace plastics back to the polluters.
A fight is brewing over just how polluted our bodies are by BPA, the plastic additive found in everything from canned food to thermal paper receipts and water bottles.
Bisphenol A and its substitute chemicals—pervasive in food and beverage containers, canned goods and store receipts—are showing up in mothers' wombs at "unexpectedly high levels," according to a new study published in the journal Environmental Science and Technology.
Market expands, leaving children at highest risk<p>BPA still made up the highest concentrations detected in the new research. Despite thousands of studies that highlight its health effects, the global BPA market continues to increase at about 3 percent per year and is projected to top <a href="https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/global-bisphenol-a-market-report-2018-analysis-2013-2017--forecasts-2018-2023-300757673.html" target="_blank">seven million tons</a> by the end of 2023.</p><p>"They are still expanding BPA into every imaginable product," said Collins. "BPA should not be produced. Period."</p><p>Meanwhile, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration maintains that the chemical poses no harm at levels to which people are exposed.</p><p>In November 2019, <a href="https://www.ehn.org/is-bpa-dangerous-for-health-2641153205.html" target="_blank">EHN published a year-long investigation of the FDA's handling of BPA science</a>. It found that U.S. regulators have stacked the deck against findings from independent scientists that BPA, as well as many BPA substitutes, can harm people at very low doses. </p><p>Cheryl Rosenfeld, a biologist at the University of Missouri, published a study of mice in February that found both BPA and BPS exposure lowered serotonin production in the placenta, the primary source of the critical neurotransmitter for developing offspring. The effect could have "dramatic consequences" on brain development, Rosenfeld told EHN.</p><p>The bisphenol concentrations that the <a href="https://www.pnas.org/content/117/9/4642" target="_blank">researchers</a> found in the placenta and cord blood are both troubling, she said, as impacts may come through the placenta or by directly affecting the brain itself. "Yes, it can cross the placenta and that's important because it tells you that whatever mom is exposed to can reach the developing fetus," said Rosenfeld. "But we're even seeing effects before it gets there."</p><p>Still, not all bisphenols necessarily behave the same way. For example, BPAF crossed the placenta more readily than other bisphenols highlighted in the new study. "We can't assume that what we know about BPA will translate to the other bisphenols," said Hunt.</p>
Searching for a safe replacement<img lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMjg4MDczOC9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTY2MTQxNzQ3N30.OCiOGbnBWtVlfYx6iY0rXmBX64o0MRywY27vF7vPiVE/img.jpg?width=980" id="40b8f" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="3aa73247b405e0840eab915aa608c398" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" alt="BPA replacements" />
Valspar cans. (Credit Lynne Peeples)<p>One newly developed bisphenol might prove a welcome change from its chemical cousins. Valspar, recently acquired by Sherwin-Williams, has created a <a href="https://www.ehn.org/bpa-substitutions-solutions-2641150667.html" target="_blank">replacement for food and beverage can linings historically made with BPA</a>.</p><p>Rather than just slightly tweaking the chemical structure of BPA, they assessed safety alongside functionality throughout the process. They enlisted academic scientists to test the compound, tetramethyl bisphenol F (TMBPF), for a range of endocrine disruptive activities. "The evidence is very encouraging," said Collins. </p><p>"Endocrine disruptors are having a dreadful impact on civilization," he added. "We need to give Valspar its due. But we also need to know more."</p>
The chemical BPA, an endocrine disruptor, is widely used in food packaging. Environmental Health News published a reported series showing that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has stacked the deck against findings from independent scientists that link BPA to harmful human health effects, ranging from birth defects to cancer. Science journalist Lynne Peeples joins Host Steve Curwood to discuss this investigation and why even BPA alternatives may also not be safe.
Sometimes plastic recycling is so much worse than just letting trash be trash.
1. The plastic itself<p>Some toxics come from the plastic itself: The basic building block that is the core of a plastic molecule is sometimes demonstrably toxic. Bad for babies. Bad for adults. Bad for libido. Bad for fertility, brain function and a lot of other adverse effects people care about. For example, BPA is widely used as the "monomer" that is connected in a chemical chain to make a polymer, the very definition of plastic. So are BPS and many other "BPA-free" alternatives. The monomer BPA (and BPS etc.) is a <a href="http://bit.ly/BPA-CLARITY-CMU" target="_blank">notorious endocrine disrupting chemical.</a></p>
2. The additives<p>Some of the sources are additives (like phthalates that chemical engineers ooze into the plastic to force the plastic to attain specific characteristics, like softness or resistance to UV light or microbes). These additives aren't bound to the polymer so they ooze out of phthalate-softened <a href="http://bit.ly/RubberDuckDeath" target="_blank">PVC based Rubber Duckies</a>. Just right for infants to suck on if your goal is to <a href="http://bit.ly/2y2MvVX" target="_blank">suppress sperm count</a> once they become adults.</p>
3. The unintended ingredients<p>Then there is a complicated morass called "<a href="http://bit.ly/FPFonNIAS" target="_blank">nonintentionally added substances (NIAS)</a>." Some of these have been identified. Others we know are there but we don't know what they are. These usually are byproducts of reactions that take place as plastic is made. One problem is that to make plastic out of a feedstock that is absolutely 100% pure would be wildly expensive. So in the real world there are impurities. And these impurities react during the making of plastic to form NIAS. But other chemical processes produce NIAS even with pure feedstock. We know some NIAS are toxic, like formaldehyde and acetaldehyde in PET plastic. But for most we are ignorant. They could be safe, or they could be toxic.</p>
4. The environment<p>Lastly, <a href="http://bit.ly/2A04st4" target="_blank">plastic materials absorb toxic substances from the environment</a>, for example from ocean water. Some of these are notorious, like PCBs, DDT (still), dioxins, and others.</p>
Ignorance about toxicity<img lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMjgwNjU5OC9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTY0Mzk2NjI1OX0.6siWGzgMgZuyAPMZuJihLU9L3ddn9AR8urICgaij_cU/img.jpg?width=1245&coordinates=0%2C260%2C0%2C260&height=700" id="7f9e0" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="a6a2ea5719d1b68b06ce03856ec416ec" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" />
An epidemic of hormonally related diseases<img lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMjgwNjkxMi9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYxMjg3MDE2Mn0.luIUq3kxPLkYqx4zdtcoym5marNmBqfufiwYEPOx4mY/img.jpg?width=1200&coordinates=0%2C110%2C0%2C110&height=600" id="92caa" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="7e57011e76f723ee514431f03067a026" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" />
Not safe for food?<p>That means programs like Lidl's bring you food packaging that is unavoidably toxic.</p><p>Unless they have tested each batch. In which case, Lidl, show us the data.</p><p><a href="http://bit.ly/EHNJPMplastic" target="_blank">Many of the plans to gather plastic from the ocean and make something out of it fall victim to this basic truth</a>. Recycling possibly safe and toxic plastics together winds up with unquestionably toxic materials. We don't want that in our food supply because stuff in packaging migrates into the food we eat. Plastic recycling solutions that don't address the toxicity of the recycled product are part of future problems. Any entrepreneur or reporter who pretends otherwise is creating a serious problem for tomorrow.</p>
A serious problem<p>And this is why it's such a serious problem. The toxics in plastics are associated with declines in sperm counts so precipitous that the developed world may wind up with <a href="https://www.gmo.com/americas/research-library/chemical-toxicity-and-the-baby-bust/" target="_blank">4 out of 5 men infertile by 2040</a> or 1 out of 2 boys autistic by 2042.</p><p>This is a problem we have to take seriously, despite the feel-good sense we get from short-term solutions. Lidl investors should beware of the financial exposure this creates for the company. As we begin to understand the long-term consequences of plastic exposures, Lidl on its current path will not be on the right side of science, or history.</p>
COVID-19 has all of us cleaning more—but the products designed to kill viruses and bacteria can have dangerous health impacts. Here's how to scrub safely.
Researchers say that more microplastics pollution is getting into farm soil than oceans—and these tiny bits are showing up in our fruits, veggies, and bodies.