BPA lined containers raise blood pressure fast

BPA lined containers raise blood pressure fast
*
– Urinary BPA concentration increased by up to 1,600 percent after consuming canned beverages compared to after consuming the glass-bottled beverages.
– “A 5 mm Hg increase in systolic blood pressure by drinking two canned beverages may cause clinically significant problems, particularly in patients with heart disease or hypertension,”
* Exposure to Bisphenol A From Drinking Canned Beverage Increases Blood Pressure Randomized Crossover Trial HYPERTENSIONAHA.114.04261 Continue reading “BPA lined containers raise blood pressure fast”

BPA increases risk of cancer in human prostate tissue

PUBLIC RELEASE DATE:
7-Jan-2014

– Our research provides the first direct evidence that exposure to BPA during development, at the levels we see in our day-to-day lives, increases the risk for prostate cancer in human prostate tissue

 – “We believe that BPA actually reprograms the stem cells to be more sensitive to estrogen throughout life, leading to a life-long increased susceptibility to diseases including cancer,”

Fetal exposure to a commonly used plasticizer found in products such as water bottles, soup can liners and paper receipts, can increase the risk for prostate cancer later in life, according to a study from the University of Illinois at Chicago published Jan. 7 online in the journal Endocrinology. Continue reading “BPA increases risk of cancer in human prostate tissue”

WSU researchers link DDT and obesity / Effects seen across generations

Contact: Michael Skinner skinner@wsu.edu 509-335-1524 Washington State University

PULLMAN, Wash.—Washington State University researchers say ancestral exposures to environmental compounds like the insecticide DDT may be a factor in high rates of obesity. The finding comes as DDT is getting a second look as a tool against malaria.

“What your great-grandmother was exposed to during pregnancy, like DDT, may promote a dramatic increase in your susceptibility to obesity, and you will pass this on to your grandchildren in the absence of any continued exposures,” says Michael Skinner, WSU professor and founder of its Center for Reproductive Biology. He and his colleagues document their finding in the current issue of the journal BMC Medicine.

When Skinner and his colleagues exposed gestating rats to DDT, they saw no altered rates of obesity in the parent or first generation of offspring. But the disease developed in more than half the third-generation males and females. The researchers say the insecticide may be affecting how genes are turned on and off in the offspring of an exposed animal, even though its DNA sequences remain unchanged.

This is called transgenerational epigenetic inheritance. In recent years, the Skinner lab has documented epigenetic effects from a host of environmental toxicants, including plastics, pesticides, fungicides, dioxins, hydrocarbons and the plasticizer bisphenol-A or BPA.

However, says Skinner, the frequency of DDT effects on obesity are far greater than other toxicants his lab has reviewed.

He notes that more than 50 years have passed since Rachel Carson’s book “Silent Spring” documented many of DDT’s effects on the environment. Its use has since been banned in the U.S. However, says Skinner, “the third generation of people exposed in the 1950s is now of adult age and has a dramatic increase in diseases such as obesity.”

Meanwhile, he says, groups like the U.S. Agency for International Development and the World Health Organization are backing the use of DDT to control malaria in developing countries.

“The potential transgenerational actions of DDT need to be considered in the risk-benefit analysis of its use,” says Skinner.

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Hormone disruptors are regenerating themselves in darkness / casting doubt on environmental risk assessments

Hormone disruptors rise from the dead

Broken-down pollutants reform in the dark, casting doubt on environmental risk assessments.

26 September 2013
The vast amounts of steroids that are fed to cattle in some countries end up in farm run-off and may affect the environment even after they are broken down by sunlight.

Melanie Blanding/Alamy

Hormone-disrupting chemicals may be far more prevalent in lakes and rivers than previously thought. Environmental scientists have discovered that although these compounds are often broken down by sunlight, they can regenerate at night, returning to life like zombies.

“The assumption is that if it’s gone, we don’t have to worry about it,” says environmental engineer Edward Kolodziej of the University of Nevada in Reno, joint leader of the study. “But we’re under-predicting their environmental persistence.”

“Risk assessments have been built on the basis that light exposure is enough to break down these products,” adds Laura Vandenberg, an endocrinologist at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst who was not involved in the study. “This work undermines that idea completely.”

Endocrine disruptors — pollutants that unbalance hormone systems — are known to harm fish, and there is growing evidence linking them to health problems in humans, including infertility and various cancers1. But pinpointing specific culprits from the vast array of trace chemicals in the environment has proved difficult. Indeed, concentrations of known endocrine disruptors in rivers often seem to be too low to explain harmful effects in aquatic wildlife, says Kolodziej.

Beefed up

He and his colleague David Cwiertny, an environmental engineer at the University of Iowa in Iowa City, decided to find out whether the breakdown products of endocrine disruptors could be boosting their environmental impact. Their team focused on trenbolone acetate, a synthetic anabolic steroid used as a growth promoter in more than 20 million cattle in the United States each year (this practice is banned in the European Union).

Cattle metabolize the steroid into compounds such as 17α-trenbolone, a potent endocrine disrupter commonly found in agricultural run-off water. In laboratory tests, just a few tens of nanograms of these compounds per litre can skew sex ratios and decrease fertility in fish2, 3. Some manufacturers have argued that these metabolites pose little risk in rivers, however, because sunlight breaks them down rapidly.

Kolodziej and his team put solutions of 17α-trenbolone and related compounds through several cycles of light and dark in the laboratory. Although concentrations fell during the simulated daytime, the scientists were surprised to see that levels rebounded during the dark periods. At neutral pH and 25 ºC, it took about five days to regenerate 60% of a sample of 17α-trenbolone from its breakdown products. Higher temperatures or slightly acidic or alkaline conditions accelerated this process.

“I’ve never seen anything like it,” says Vandenberg. Field biologists usually collect water samples during the day, she says, and nocturnal regeneration “would certainly have the potential to impact those results.” Moreover, field studies have rarely reported the pH and temperature of water samples, which could have a big effect on true concentrations of contaminants. “I don’t think that anyone had conceived it could be so important,” she says.

The team found the same regeneration process occurring in water samples taken from the Iowa River, and from a test pond seeded with manure from cattle that had been treated with trenbolone acetate. They also note that other steroids with similar chemical structures can regenerate in the same way, including dienogest, an oral contraceptive, and dienedione, an illicit anabolic steroid. The results are published in Science4.

Hiding in plain sight

Kolodziej says that the work casts considerable uncertainty over sampling results for steroid endocrine disruptors, and suggests that a survey of their breakdown compounds in the environment is now urgently needed.

It also highlights a serious drawback in relying on studies that look for single environmental contaminants, rather than a spectrum of their derivatives, he adds. Chemical studies should be complemented with bioassays that use living cells to detect endocrine disruptors, Vandenberg adds.

Last year, a bioassay of this kind found androgens in 35% of freshwater samples tested, far more than chemical assays would suggest5. “What you really want to know is if there’s anything in there that can cause biological activity,” says molecular biologist Gordon Hager, at the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, Maryland, who developed the assay. Yet current environmental monitoring procedures still rely on checking “a list of chemicals, and they only know how to look for one thing at a time”, he says. “It’s a fool’s errand.”

Journal name:
Nature
DOI: doi:10.1038/nature.2013.13831

High BPA levels in children associated with higher risk of obesity and abnormal waist circumference

Contact: Mary F. Masson mfmasson@umich.edu 734-764-2220 University of Michigan Health System

Effects of chemical used in products for kids like baby bottles, plastic toys examined in study published in Pediatrics

Ann Arbor, Mich. — Children who have higher levels of Bisphenol A (BPA), a chemical previously used in many products for kids, like baby bottle and plastic toys, had a higher odds of obesity and adverse levels of body fat, according to a new study from University of Michigan researchers.

The U-M team studied the levels of BPA found in children’s urine and then measured body fat, waist circumference, and cardiovascular and diabetes risk factors, in a study published today in Pediatrics.

BPA was previously widely used in the manufacturing of polycarbonate and epoxy resins used in a variety of products for children, including baby bottles, protective coatings on metal food containers, plastic toys, and dental sealants.

“Studies in adults had shown an association between high BPA levels and obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease, but little was known about its effects in children,” says Donna Eng, M.D., lead author of the study and recent graduate of the Pediatric Endocrinology Fellowship at C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital.

The study found that higher odds of obesity, defined as a BMI above the 95th percentile on Centers for Disease Control and Prevention growth curves, was associated with higher levels of urinary BPA. Researchers also found that children with higher BPA levels also were more likely to have an abnormal waist circumference-to-height ratio.

The study did not find significant associations of BPA with any other chronic disease factors, including abnormal levels of cholesterol, insulin or glucose levels.

“Our study suggests a possible link between BPA exposure and childhood obesity.  We therefore need more longitudinal studies to determine if there is a causal link between BPA and excess body fat.” says Eng.

Manufacturers have been voluntarily recalling BPA products due to suspicion about the toxic effects on children and other vulnerable populations. Many countries, including Canada and members of the European Union, as well as several U.S. states, have banned BPA use in products frequently used by infants and young children.

In July 2012, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced that baby bottles and children’s drinking cups could no longer contain BPA; however, this restriction does not apply to other BPA containing products.

“We were surprised that our study did not find an association between BPA and measures of cardiovascular and diabetes risk, which has been established among adults,” says Joyce Lee, M.D., M.P.H, associate professor of Pediatrics at C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital.

“Based on these results, BPA may not have adverse effects on cardiovascular and diabetes risk, but it’s certainly possible that the adverse effects of BPA could compound over time, with health effects that only later manifest in adulthood,” says Lee, an investigator in U-M’s Child Health Evaluation and Research Unit and assistant professor of Environmental Health Sciences in the U-M School of Public Health.

Investigators hope the study will prompt more research into BPA’s effects that can inform future policy regulating children’s consumer products.

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Additional authors: All of the University of Michigan.  Of the School of Public Health: John D. Meeker, ScD, Karen Peterson, DSc, and of the Medical School: Achamyeleh Gebremariam, M.S., Vasantha Padmanabhan, Ph.D.

Journal reference: doi:10.1542/peds.2013-0106

Funding: This work was supported by the Department of Pediatrics and the Office of the Vice President of Research, University of Michigan, by training grant support to

Dr. Eng ( DK071212-07 National Institutes of Health/National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases), and by grants from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (ES018171) and US Environmental Protection Agency (RD834800). Funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

About C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital:

Since 1903, the University of Michigan has led the way in providing comprehensive, specialized health care for children. From leading-edge heart surgery that’s performed in the womb to complete emergency care that’s there when you need it, families from all over come to the University of Michigan C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital for our pediatric expertise. More information is available at http://www.mottchildren.org

About CHEAR:

The Child Health Evaluation and Research unit is a multi-disciplinary health services research unit, based in the Division of General Pediatrics that brings together faculty from multiple pediatric subspecialty disciplines, other departments from the Medical School and multiple schools and institutes at the University of Michigan. Through interdisciplinary collaboration, the CHEAR unit addresses the most pressing child health issues of the day.

More information is available at http://www.chear.org.

BPA linked to obesity risk in puberty-age girls

Contact: Catherine Hylas Saunders csaunders@golinharris.com 202-585-2603 Kaiser Permanente

OAKLAND, Calif., June 12 —Girls between 9 and 12 years of age with higher-than-average levels of bisphenol-A (BPA) in their urine had double the risk of being obese than girls with lower levels of BPA, according to a Kaiser Permanente study published today in the journal PLOS ONE.

“This study provides evidence from a human population that confirms the findings from animal studies — that high BPA exposure levels could increase the risk of overweight or obesity,” said De-Kun Li, MD, PhD, principal investigator of the study and a reproductive and perinatal epidemiologist at the Kaiser Permanente Division of Research in Oakland, Calif.

BPA is used to make plastics and other materials, such as cash register receipts. It is a known endocrine disruptor with estrogenic properties. In children and adolescents, BPA is likely to enter the body primarily through the ingestion of foods and liquids that have come into contact with BPA-containing materials, Dr. Li said.

“Girls in the midst of puberty may be more sensitive to the impacts of BPA on their energy balance and fat metabolism,” Dr. Li said.  While BPA is still being examined, he said it has been shown to interfere with a body’s process of relating fat content and distribution.

The study — the first specifically designed to examine the relationship between BPA and obesity in school-age children — was conducted in Shanghai as part of a larger national study of puberty and adolescent health.

Dr. Li and colleagues studied 1,326 male and female children in grades 4 to 12 at three Shanghai schools (one elementary, one middle and one high school). In addition to urine samples collected with BPA-free materials, they obtained information on other risk factors for childhood obesity, such as dietary patterns, physical activity, mental health and family history.

The researchers found that in girls between 9 and 12 years old, a higher-than-average level of BPA in urine (2 micrograms per liter or greater) was associated with twice the risk of having a body weight in the top 10th percentile for girls of their age in the same population.

The impact was particularly pronounced among 9- to 12-year-old girls with extremely high levels of BPA in their urine (more than 10 micrograms per liter): their risk of being overweight (in the top 10th percentile) was five times greater.

The researchers did not identify significant BPA effects in any other groups studied, including girls over 12 years of age and boys of all ages.

Among all the 9- to 12-year-old girls studied, 36 percent of those with a higher-than-average level of BPA in their urine were overweight or obese compared with 21 percent of those with a lower-than-average level of BPA.

“Our study suggests that BPA could be a potential new environmental obesogen, a chemical compound that can disrupt the normal development and balance of lipid metabolism, which can lead to obesity,” Dr. Li and co-authors wrote in PLOS ONE. “Worldwide exposure to BPA in the human population may be contributing to the worldwide obesity epidemic.”

The PLOS ONE study is the latest in a series published by Dr. Li and his colleagues examining the effects of BPA in humans:

  • A 2009 study in Human Reproduction found that exposure to high levels of BPA in the workplace increased the risk of sexual dysfunction in men. 

     

  • A 2010 study in the Journal of Andrology found that increasing BPA levels in urine were associated with worsening male sexual function. 

     

  • A 2011 study in the journal Fertility and Sterility showed that increasing urine BPA levels were significantly associated with decreased sperm concentration, decreased total sperm count, decreased sperm vitality and decreased sperm motility. 

     

  • A 2011 study in the Journal of Reproductive Toxicology showed that parental exposure to BPA during pregnancy was associated with decreased birth weight in offspring. 

     

  • A 2011 study in Birth Defects Research (Part A) found that in-utero exposure to BPA was related to anogenital distance (the physical distance between the anus and the genitalia) in male offspring. 

     

  • A 2013 study in Fertility and Sterility showed that male workers exposed to BPA in a chemical plant for 6 months or more had lower testosterone levels in their blood than with those who were not exposed to BPA in workplace. 

Kaiser Permanente is committed to researching and sourcing safer alternatives to products that may contain potentially harmful chemicals such as BPA. To that end, Kaiser Permanente’s Sustainability Scorecard for Medical Products requires suppliers and manufacturers to disclose the presence of BPA in products. Most recently, the organization was able to eliminate BPA from packaging of supplemental nutrition and infant formula products.

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In addition to Dr. Li, co-authors of the study were: Maohua Miao, MD, PhD, Xiaoqin Liu, MD, Siqui Wang, PhD, Department of Epidemiology and Social Science on Reproductive Health, Shanghai Institute of Planned Parenthood Research and WHO Collaborating Center for Occupational Health, Shanghai; ZhiJun Zhou, MD, PhD, Chunhua Wu, PhD, School of Public Health, Key Lab for Public Health and Safety and WHO Collaborating Center for Occupational Health, Fudan University, Shanghai; Huijing Shi, PhD, Department of Child and Adolescent Health, Fudan University, Shanghai; and Wei Yuan, MD, PhD, National Population and Family Planning Key Laboratory of Contraceptive Drugs and Devices, Shanghai.

The study was funded in part by National Natural Science Foundation of China (#81172684).

About the Kaiser Permanente Division of Research

The Kaiser Permanente Division of Research conducts, publishes and disseminates epidemiologic and health services research to improve the health and medical care of Kaiser Permanente members and society at large. It seeks to understand the determinants of illness and well-being, and to improve the quality and cost-effectiveness of health care. Currently, DOR’s 550-plus staff is working on more than 250 epidemiological and health services research projects. For more information, visit http://www.dor.kaiser.org.

About Kaiser Permanente

Kaiser Permanente is committed to helping shape the future of health care. We are recognized as one of America’s leading health care providers and not-for-profit health plans. Founded in 1945, our mission is to provide high-quality, affordable health care services and to improve the health of our members and the communities we serve. We currently serve more than 9.1 million members in nine states and the District of Columbia. Care for members and patients is focused on their total health and guided by their personal physicians, specialists and team of caregivers. Our expert and caring medical teams are empowered and supported by industry-leading technology advances and tools for health promotion, disease prevention, state-of-the-art care delivery and world-class chronic disease management. Kaiser Permanente is dedicated to care innovations, clinical research, health education and the support of community health. For more information, go to: kp.org/newscenter.

Early exposure to bisphenol A might damage the enamel of teeth.

10.06.2013 –  Video releases

Circulation, metabolism, nutrition

Are teeth the latest victims of bisphenol A? Yes, according to the conclusions of work carried out by the research team led by Ariane Berdal of the Université Paris-Diderot and Sylvie Babajko, Research Director at Inserm Unit 872 “Centre des Cordeliers”. The researchers have shown that the teeth of rats treated with low daily doses of BPA could be damaged by this. Analysis of the damage shows numerous characteristics that are common with a recently identified pathology of tooth enamel that affects roughly 18% of children between the ages of 6 and 8.

These results have been published in the American Journal of Pathology

Bisphenol A (BPA) is a chemical compound used in the composition of plastics and resins. It is used for example to manufacture food containers such as bottles or babies’ bottles. It is also used for the protective films inside drinks cans and food tins, or as developers on sales receipts. Significant amounts of BPA have also been found in human blood, urine, amniotic liquid and placentas. Recent studies have shown that this industrial compound has adverse effects on the reproduction, development and metabolism of laboratory animals. It is strongly suspected of having the same effects on humans.

As a precautionary measure, the manufacture and commercialisation of babies’ bottles containing bisphenol A were prohibited in Europe in January 2011. The prohibition will be extended to all food containers in France as from July 2015.

So this study shows that teeth are the latest in an already long list of victims of BPA.

The Inserm researchers have shown that the incisors of rats treated with low daily doses of BPA (5 microgrammes/kg/day) could be damaged by this.

This effect has also been observed within a development window of no more than 30 days post-birth in rats, thus demonstrating a range of sensitivity to exposure.

 

Analysis of these teeth showed numerous characteristics that are common with a tooth enamel pathology known as MIH (Molar Incisor Hypomineralisation) that selectively affects first molars and permanent incisors. This enamel pathology is found in roughly 18% of children between the ages of 6 and 8. Children affected by this pathology present with teeth that are hypersensitive to pain and liable to cavities. It is interesting to note that the period during which these teeth are formed (the first years of life) correspond to the period during which humans are most sensitive to bisphenol A.

Amongst the earliest observations made was the appearance of “white marks” on the incisors of rats treated with endocrine disruptors, one of which was bisphenol A (BPA). The researchers decided to define the characteristics of incisors of rats treated with low doses of BPA and to compare these with the characteristics of teeth in humans suffering from MIH

Macroscopic observation of marks on both series of teeth showed similarities, in particular fragile and brittle enamel.

Microscope observation of the enamel showed a significant reduction of the Ca/P and the Ca/C ratios in affected teeth.  This leads to mineral depletion, making the teeth more fragile and more liable to cavities.

Finally, analysis of the proteins present in the tooth matrix of rats showed an increased quantity of enamelin, a key protein for enamel formation, and a buildup of albumin leading to hypomineralisation. Analysis of the expression of key enamel genes highlighted two BPA target genes: enamelin and kallicrein 4.

According to Sylvie Babajko, the latest author of this article, “Insofar as BPA has the same mechanism of action in rats as in men, it could also be a causal agent of MIH. Therefore, teeth could be used as early markers of exposure to endocrine disruptors acting in the same way as BPA and so could help in early detection of serious pathologies that would otherwise have occurred several years later”.

BPA raises risk for childhood asthma

Contact: Timothy S. Paul tp2111@columbia.edu 212-305-2676 Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health

Children exposed to the plastics chemical bisphenol A had an elevated risk for asthma

Researchers at the Columbia Center for Children’s Environmental Health at the Mailman School of Public Health are the first to report an association between early childhood exposure to the chemical bisphenol A (BPA) and an elevated risk for asthma in young children. BPA is a component of some plastics and is found in food can liners and store receipts.

Results appear in the March edition of the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.

“Asthma prevalence has increased dramatically over the past 30 years, which suggests that some as-yet-undiscovered environmental exposures may be implicated. Our study indicates that one such exposure may be BPA,” says lead author Kathleen Donohue, MD, an assistant professor of Medicine at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons and an investigator at the Center for Children’s Environmental Health.

Dr. Donohue and her co-investigators followed 568 women enrolled in the Mothers & Newborns study of environmental exposures. BPA exposure was determined by measuring levels of a BPA metabolite in urine samples taken during the third trimester of pregnancy and in the children at ages 3, 5, and 7. Physicians diagnosed asthma at ages 5 to 12 based on asthma symptoms, a pulmonary function test, and medical history. A validated questionnaire was used to evaluate wheeze.

After adjusting for secondhand smoke and other factors known to be associated with asthma, the researchers found that post-natal exposure to BPA was associated with increased risk of wheeze and asthma. BPA exposure during the third trimester of pregnancy was inversely associated with risk of wheeze at age 5. This unexpected finding is in contrast to the results of a previous study, which found that BPA exposure during the second trimester, a critical period for the development of airways and the immune system, was positively linked with risk for asthma.

Increased risk for wheeze and asthma was seen at “fairly routine, low doses of exposure to BPA,” says Dr. Donohue. “Like most other scientists studying BPA, we do not see a straightforward linear dose-response relationship.”

At all three time points, more than 90% of the children in the study had detectable levels of BPA metabolite in their bodies, a finding that is in line with previous research. This does not mean that they will all develop asthma, cautions Dr. Donohue. “Just as smoking increases the risk of lung cancer but not everyone who smokes gets lung cancer, not every child exposed to BPA will develop asthma.”

The biological mechanism behind the BPA-asthma connection is unclear. The current study found no evidence that exposure to BPA increased the risk that the immune system would develop more antibodies to common airborne allergens. “Other possible pathways may include changes to the innate immune system, but this remains an open question,” says Dr. Donohue.

The new study builds on existing evidence linking BPA exposure to respiratory symptoms, as well as to obesity, impaired glucose tolerance, and behavioral issues, among a range of health problems. In July, the Food and Drug Administration banned BPA in baby bottles and sippy cups.

“It is very important to have solid epidemiologic research like ours to give the regulators the best possible information on which to base their decisions about the safety of BPA,” says senior author Robin Whyatt, DrPH, professor of Environmental Health Sciences and deputy director of the Columbia Center for Children’s Environmental Health.

To reduce exposure to BPA, the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) recommends avoiding plastic containers numbers 3 and 7, eating less canned food, and, when possible, choosing glass, porcelain, or stainless steel containers, especially for hot food and liquids.

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The study was supported by grants from the NIEHS (RC2ES018784, R01ES014393, P30ES009089, R01ES08977, and PO1ES09600), U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (R827027, RD832141, and RD834509), and private foundations.

Additional authors include Rachel L. Miller, Matthew S. Perzanowski, Allan C. Just, Lori A. Hoepner, Srikesh Arunajadai, Stephen Canfield, David Resnick, Antonia M. Calafat, and Frederica P. Perera.

BPA may affect the developing brain by disrupting gene regulation

Contact: Rachel Harrison rachel.harrison@duke.edu 919-419-5069 Duke University Medical Center

             IMAGE:   Exposure to BPA may disrupt development of the central nervous system by slowing down the removal of chloride from neurons. As an organism matures and the brain develops, chloride levels…

Click here for more information.     

DURHAM, N.C. — Environmental exposure to bisphenol A (BPA), a widespread chemical found in plastics and resins, may suppress a gene vital to nerve cell function and to the development of the central nervous system, according to a study led by researchers at Duke Medicine.

The researchers published their findings – which were observed in cortical neurons of mice, rats and humans – in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences on Feb. 25, 2013.

“Our study found that BPA may impair the development of the central nervous system, and raises the question as to whether exposure could predispose animals and humans to neurodevelopmental disorders,” said lead author Wolfgang Liedtke, M.D., PhD, associate professor of medicine/neurology and neurobiology at Duke.

BPA, a molecule that mimics estrogen and interferes with the body’s endocrine system, can be found in a wide variety of manufactured products, including thermal printer paper, some plastic water bottles and the lining of metal cans. The chemical can be ingested if it seeps into the contents of food and beverage containers.

Research in animals has raised concerns that exposure to BPA may cause health problems such as behavioral issues, endocrine and reproductive disorders, obesity, cancer and immune system disorders. Some studies suggest that infants and young children may be the most vulnerable to the effects of BPA, which led the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to ban the use of the chemical in baby bottles and cups in July 2012.

While BPA has been shown to affect the developing nervous system, little is understood as to how this occurs. The research team developed a series of experiments in rodent and human nerve cells to learn how BPA induces changes that disrupt gene regulation.

During early development of neurons, high levels of chloride are present in the cells. These levels drop as neurons mature, thanks to a chloride transporter protein called KCC2, which churns chloride ions out of the cells. If the level of chloride within neurons remains elevated, it can damage neural circuits and compromise a developing nerve cell’s ability to migrate to its proper position in the brain.

Exposing neurons to minute amounts of BPA alters the chloride levels inside the cells by somehow shutting down the Kcc2 gene, which makes the KCC2 protein, thereby delaying the removal of chloride from neurons.

MECP2, another protein important for normal brain function, was found to be a possible culprit behind this change. When exposed to BPA, MECP2 is more abundant and binds to the Kcc2 gene at a higher rate, which might help to shut it down. This could contribute to problems in the developing brain due to a delay in chloride being removed.

These findings raise the question of whether BPA could contribute to neurodevelopmental disorders such as Rett syndrome, a severe autism spectrum disorder that is only found in girls and is characterized by mutations in the gene that produces MECP2.

While both male and female neurons were affected by BPA in the studies, female neurons were more susceptible to the chemical’s toxicity. Further research will dig deeper into the sex-specific effects of BPA exposure and whether certain sex hormone receptors are involved in BPA’s effect on KCC2.

“Our findings improve our understanding of how environmental exposure to BPA can affect the regulation of the Kcc2 gene. However, we expect future studies to focus on what targets aside from Kcc2 are affected by BPA,” Liedtke said. “This is a chapter in an ongoing story.”

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In addition to Liedtke, study authors include Michele Yeo and Ken Berglund of the Liedtke Lab in the Division of Neurology at Duke Medicine; Michael Hanna, Maria D. Torres and Jorge Busciglio of the University of California, Irvine; Junjie U. Guo and Yuan Gao of the Lieber Institute for Brain Development and Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Md.; and Jaya Kittur, Joel Abramowitz and Lutz Birnbaumer of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences in Research Triangle Park, N.C.

The research received funding from Duke University, the Klingenstein Fund, the National Institutes of Health (R21NS066307, HD38466 and AG16573), and intramural funds from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences

Contaminated Diet Contributes to Exposure to Endocrine-Disrupting Chemicals: Phthalates and BPA * 183mg per Kg of bodyweight per Day!!! *

Phthalates and bisphenol A are synthetic endocrine-disrupting chemicals. Previous studies have linked prenatal exposure to phthalates to male reproductive system abnormalities. Fetal exposure to BPA is linked to hyperactivity, anxiety, and depression in girls. People may exposed to these chemicals in their diets, even if their food is organic and not prepared in plastic containers, according to a new study. (Credit: © Art Allianz / Fotolia)

Feb. 27, 2013 — While water bottles may tout BPA-free labels and personal care products declare phthalates not among their ingredients, these assurances may not be enough.

According to a study published February 27 in the Nature Journal of Exposure Science and Environmental Epidemiology, we may be exposed to these chemicals in our diet, even if our diet is organic and we prepare, cook, and store foods in non-plastic containers. Children may be most vulnerable.

“Current information we give families may not be enough to reduce exposures,” said Dr. Sheela Sathyanarayana, lead author on the study and an environmental health pediatrician in the UW School of Public Health and at Seattle Children’s Research Institute. She is a physician at Harborview Medical Center’s Pediatric Environmental Health Specialty Unit, and a UW assistant professor of pediatrics.

Phthalates and bisphenol A, better known as BPA, are synthetic endocrine-disrupting chemicals. Previous studies have linked prenatal exposure to phthalates to abnormalities in the male reproductive system. Associations have also been shown between fetal exposure to BPA and hyperactivity, anxiety, and depression in girls.

The researchers compared the chemical exposures of 10 families, half of whom were given written instructions on how to reduce phthalate and BPA exposures. They received handouts prepared by the national Pediatric Environmental Health Specialty Units, a network of experts on environmentally related health effects in children. The other families received a five-day catered diet of local, fresh, organic food that was not prepared, cooked or stored in plastic containers.

When the researchers tested the participants’ urinary concentrations of metabolites for phthalates and BPA, they got surprising results. The researchers expected the levels of the metabolities to decrease in those adults and children eating the catered diet.

Instead, the opposite happened. The urinary concentration for phthalates were 100-fold higher than the those levels found in the majority of the general population. The comparison comes from a study conducted by the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. This is a program of studies managed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and designed to assess the health and nutritional status of adults and children in the United States.

The concentrations were also much higher for children as compared to the adults. The researchers then tested the phthalate concentrations in the food ingredients used in the dietary intervention. Dairy products — butter, cream, milk, and cheese — had concentrations above 440 nanograms/gram. Ground cinnamon and cayenne pepper had concentrations above 700 ng/g, and ground coriander had concentrations of 21,400 ng/g.

“We were extremely surprised to see these results. We expected the concentrations to decrease significantly for the kids and parents in the catered diet group. Chemical contamination of foods can lead to concentrations higher than deemed safe by the US EPA,” said Dr. Sheela Sathyanarayana.

Using the study results, the researchers estimated that the average child aged three to six years old was exposed to 183 milligrams per kilogram of their body weight per day. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s recommended limit is 20 mg/kg/day.

“It’s difficult to control your exposure to these chemicals, even when you try,” said Sathyanarayana. “We have very little control over what’s in our food, including contaminants. Families can focus on buying fresh fruits and vegetables, foods that are not canned and are low in fat, but it may take new federal regulations to reduce exposures to these chemicals.”

The other researchers in the study included Garry Alcedo (Seattle Children’s Research Institute), Brian E. Saelens and Chuan Zhou (UW Department of Pediatrics, Seattle Children’s Research Institute), Russell L. Dills and Jianbo Yu (UW Department of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences) and Bruce Lanphear (BC Children’s Hospital and Simon Fraser University).

Their paper is titled, “Unexpected results in a randomized dietary trial to reduce phthalate and bisphenol A exposure.”

The study was supported through by the Center for Ecogenetics and Environmental Health in the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences in the UW School of Public Health. A grant from the National Institute of Environmental Health provides major support for the center.

Plastic packaging containing chemical BPA ‘harming brain and nerve cell growth in babies’

 

Steve Connor

Monday, 25 February 2013

A chemical widely used in plastic packaging and food containers may be toxic to the central nervous system by interfering with a key gene involved in the development of nerve cells, a study suggests.

Scientists have found that bisphenol A (BPA), which is used in a variety of consumer products ranging from fizzy-drink cans to food mixers, affects the function of a gene called Kcc2 which is involved in the growth of neurons, or nerve cells, in the brain and spinal cord.

The study, based on rats and human neurons grown in the laboratory, found female nerve cells more susceptible to BPA than male neurons. This might explain why certain neurodevelopmental disorders in humans are more common in females, such as Rett syndrome, a severe form of autism found only in girls, the scientists said.

“Our study found that BPA may impair the development of the central nervous system, and raises the question as to whether exposure could predispose animals and humans to neurodevelopmental disorders,” said Wolfgang Liedtke of Duke University Medical Centre in Durham, North Carolina.

“Our findings improve our understanding of how environmental exposure to BPA can affect the regulation of the Kcc2 gene. However, we expect future studies to focus on what targets aside from Kcc2 are affected by BPA,” said Professor Liedtke, who led the study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Other scientists have, however, criticised the study for exposing neurons to relatively high doses of BPA that would not normally be encountered by the human body. They believe that suggestions of a link between BPA and human disorders are not supported by the evidence when it comes to realistic exposure levels.

“Interesting though the effects are from a mechanistic point of view, they have no relevance to human health because the concentration of bisphenol A used exceeds human exposure by about 100,000 times – and this is probably a conservative estimate,” said Professor Richard Sharpe of Edinburgh University.

“This study is reminiscent of many similar studies with bisphenol A in vitro or in animal studies. Many show convincing effects on various biological processes relevant to human health, but they always involve doses that are in a different ballpark to human exposure,” he said.

Despite many scientists’ claims that there is no evidence that BPA is toxic at low doses, the European Commission banned the chemical in baby bottles in 2011 and the US Food and Drug Adminstration followed suit last year.

BPA is known to mimic oestrogen, the female sex hormone, but fertility experts such as Professor Sharpe have dismissed suggestions that it could explain the rise in male infertility, along with many other disorders, because it is quickly broken down in the body.

“Although we are all exposed to BPA, the rapid inactivation of BPA in the gut and liver means that exposure elsewhere in the body is so low as to be immeasurable. So although it appears we’re exposed, effectively we are not,” Professor Sharpe said.

Professor Andrew Bartholomaeus of the University of Canberra in Australia, said that any BPA consumed in food or drink is completely metabolised before it enters the blood stream, which means that cells within the body are not exposed to “free” BPA.

Bisphenol A what it’s used in

Food and drink containers

Many food and drink cans are lined with a BPA resin, some glass jars include the chemical inside their lids, and many plastic bottles use the substance too.

Electronics

BPA is in the casings of many products including CDs and DVDs, telephones, televisions, laptops and personal computers, printers, cameras, shavers, hairdryers, irons, food mixers, microwaves and kettles.

Sports equipment

Sports helmets, ski goggles, binocular housings and equipment used  for golf and tennis can all  contain BPA.

Till  receipts

BPA is used to make ink visible on thermal till receipts. Some people have  raised concerns about  shoppers handling the paper  and then touching their mouths  or their food.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/plastic-packaging-containing-chemical-bpa-harming-brain-and-nerve-cell-growth-in-babies-8510638.html#

 

Man-made chemicals cited in health scourges -UN report : “a global threat that needs to be resolved,”

Tue, 19 Feb 2013 13:59 GMT

Reuters

* Childhood cancers, male sperm count cited

* Action said needed to avert global threat

* Product labels may not identify components

By Robert Evans

GENEVA, Feb 19 (Reuters) – Man-made chemicals in everyday products are likely to be at least the partial cause of a global surge in birth deformities, hormonal cancers and psychiatric diseases, a U.N.-sponsored  research team reported on Tuesday.

These substances, dubbed EDCs, could also be linked to a decline in the human male sperm count and female fertility, to an increase in once-rare childhood cancers and to the disappearance of some animal species, they said.

“It is clear that some of these chemical pollutants can affect the endocrinal (hormonal) system and ….may also interfere with the development processes of humans and wildlife species,” the report declared.

The international group, academic experts working under the umbrella of the United Nations environmental and health agencies UNEP and WHO, issued their findings in a paper updating a 2002 study on the potential dangers of synthetic chemicals.

Declaring “a global threat that needs to be resolved,” the team said humans and animals across the planet were probably exposed to hundreds of these often little-studied or understood compounds at any one time.

“We live in a world in which man-made chemicals have become part of everyday life,” said their 28-page report, “State of the Science of Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals, 2012,” issued as a policy guide for governments.

EDCs include phthalates long used in making plastics soft and flexible. Products made from them include toys, children’s dummies, perfumes and pharmaceuticals, as well as cosmetics like deodorants that are absorbed into the body.

Another is Bisphenol A, or BPA, which is used to harden plastics and is found in food and beverage containers, including some babies’ bottles and the coating of food cans.

A few countries – including the United States, Canada and some European Union members – have already banned the use of some of them in certain products, especially those destined for the use of children.

But, the report said, “many hundreds of thousands” are in use around the world and only a small fraction had been assessed for their potential to spark disease by upsetting the endocrinal, or hormonal, systems of humans and animals.

Experts believe that in general, such chemicals can be absorbed into drinks and food from the containers they come in.

COMPONENTS NOT IDENTIFIED

The team, created by a 17-year-old chemical management body called the IOMC working with a range of U.N. agencies, said a key problem was that manufacturers of consumer products did not identify many of their chemical components.

Consequently, the researchers said, they had only been able to look at “the tip of the iceberg”. Disease risk from the use of EDCs – or what could be even more dangerous a combination of them – “may be significantly underestimated.”

Using studies of the effect of the chemicals on humans and animals, the team added, a link to EDCs could be suspected in breast and prostate cancer, diabetes, infertility, asthma, obesity, strokes, and Alzheimer and Parkinson’s diseases.

Babies exposed to EDCs in the womb or in puberty, these studies suggested, were especially vulnerable to developing these diseases in later life as well as behavioral and learning problems like dyslexia as children.

In many countries, these disorders affected 5-10 percent of babies born, while autism was now recorded at a rate of one percent. Childhood leukemia and brain cancer is also on the rise, according to the report.

“All of these complex non-communicable diseases have both a genetic and an environmental component,” it said.

“Since the increases in incidence and prevalence cannot be due solely to genetics, it is important to focus on understanding the contribution of the environment to these chronic disease trends in humans.”

The researchers said their report had been based largely on studies in the developed world. But the size of the problem in developing countries had yet to be adequately assessed due to a lack of data from Africa, Asia and Latin America.  (Reported by Robert Evans; Editing by Mark Heinrich)

 

http://www.trust.org/alertnet/news/man-made-chemicals-cited-in-health-scourges–un-report/

BPA, chemical used to make plastics, found to leach from polycarbonate drinking bottles into humans

2009 study posted for filing

Contact: Todd Datz
tdatz@hsph.harvard.edu
617-432-3952
Harvard School of Public Health

Exposure to BPA may have harmful health effects

Boston, MA — A new study from Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) researchers found that participants who drank for a week from polycarbonate bottles, the popular, hard-plastic drinking bottles and baby bottles, showed a two-thirds increase in their urine of the chemical. Exposure to BPA, used in the manufacture of polycarbonate and other plastics, has been shown to interfere with reproductive development in animals and has been linked with cardiovascular disease and diabetes in humans. The study is the first to show that drinking from polycarbonate bottles increased the level of urinary BPA, and thus suggests that drinking containers made with BPA release the chemical into the liquid that people drink in sufficient amounts to increase the level of BPA excreted in human urine.

The study appears on the website of the journal Environmental Health Perspectives and is freely available at http://www.ehponline.org/members/2009/0900604/0900604.pdf.

In addition to polycarbonate bottles, which are refillable and a popular container among students, campers and others and are also used as baby bottles, BPA is also found in dentistry composites and sealants and in the lining of aluminum food and beverage cans. (In bottles, polycarbonate can be identified by the recycling number 7.) Numerous studies have shown that it acts as an endocrine-disruptor in animals, including early onset of sexual maturation, altered development and tissue organization of the mammary gland and decreased sperm production in offspring. It may be most harmful in the stages of early development.

“We found that drinking cold liquids from polycarbonate bottles for just one week increased urinary BPA levels by more than two-thirds. If you heat those bottles, as is the case with baby bottles, we would expect the levels to be considerably higher. This would be of concern since infants may be particularly susceptible to BPA’s endocrine-disrupting potential,” said Karin B. Michels, associate professor of epidemiology at HSPH and Harvard Medical School and senior author of the study.

The researchers, led by first author Jenny Carwile, a doctoral student in the department of epidemiology at HSPH, and Michels, recruited Harvard College students for the study in April 2008. The 77 participants began the study with a seven-day “washout” phase in which they drank all cold beverages from stainless steel bottles in order to minimize BPA exposure. Participants provided urine samples during the washout period. They were then given two polycarbonate bottles and asked to drink all cold beverages from the bottles during the next week; urine samples were also provided during that time.

The results showed that the participants’ urinary BPA concentrations increased 69% after drinking from the polycarbonate bottles. (The study authors noted that BPA concentrations in the college population were similar to those reported for the U.S. general population.) Previous studies had found that BPA could leach from polycarbonate bottles into their contents; this study is the first to show a corresponding increase in urinary BPA concentrations in humans.

One of the study’s strengths, the authors note, is that the students drank from the bottles in a normal use setting. Additionally, the students did not wash their bottles in dishwashers nor put hot liquids in them; heating has been shown to increase the leaching of BPA from polycarbonate, so BPA levels might have been higher had students drunk hot liquids from the bottles.

Canada banned the use of BPA in polycarbonate baby bottles in 2008 and some polycarbonate bottle manufacturers have voluntarily eliminated BPA from their products. With increasing evidence of the potential harmful effects of BPA in humans, the authors believe further research is needed on the effect of BPA on infants and on reproductive disorders and on breast cancer in adults.

“This study is coming at an important time because many states are deciding whether to ban the use of BPA in baby bottles and sippy cups. While previous studies have demonstrated that BPA is linked to adverse health effects, this study fills in a missing piece of the puzzle—whether or not polycarbonate plastic bottles are an important contributor to the amount of BPA in the body,” said Carwile.

 

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The study was supported by the Harvard University Center for the Environment and the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences Biological Analysis Core, Department of Environmental Health, HSPH. Carwile was also supported by the Training Program in Environmental Epidemiology.

“Use of Polycarbonate Bottles and Urinary Bisphenol A Concentrations,” Jenny L. Carwile, Henry T. Luu, Laura S. Bassett, Daniel A. Driscoll, Caterina Yuan, Jennifer Y. Chang, Xiaoyun Ye, Antonia M. Calafat, Karin B. Michels, Environmental Health Perspectives, online May 12, 2009.

Harvard School of Public Health ( http://www.hsph.harvard.edu ) is dedicated to advancing the public’s health through learning, discovery, and communication. More than 400 faculty members are engaged in teaching and training the 1,000-plus student body in a broad spectrum of disciplines crucial to the health and well being of individuals and populations around the world. Programs and projects range from the molecular biology of AIDS vaccines to the epidemiology of cancer; from risk analysis to violence prevention; from maternal and children’s health to quality of care measurement; from health care management to international health and human rights. For more information on the school visit: http://www.hsph.harvard.edu

BPA linked to thyroid hormone changes in pregnant women, newborns

Contact: Sarah Yang scyang@berkeley.edu 510-643-7741 University of California – Berkeley

Berkeley — Bisphenol A (BPA), an estrogen-like compound that has drawn increased scrutiny in recent years, has been linked to changes in thyroid hormone levels in pregnant women and newborn boys, according to a new study by researchers at the University of California, Berkeley.

Normal thyroid function is essential to the healthy growth and cognitive development of fetuses and children. Yet, until this study, to be published Thursday, Oct. 4, in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives, little was known about the effects of BPA exposure on thyroid hormones in pregnant women and newborns.

The new findings add to growing health concerns about BPA, a chemical found in hard plastics, linings of canned food, dental sealants, and sales receipts on thermal paper, which is coated with a chemical that changes color when exposed to heat. In July, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration officially banned the chemical in baby bottles and cups, something the industry began doing voluntarily in recent years in response to consumer concerns about the potential risks of BPA.

The researchers analyzed BPA levels in the urine samples of 335 women during the second half of pregnancy, and thyroid hormone levels in blood samples taken from the mothers during pregnancy and from the newborns within a few days of birth. The participants were part of the Center for the Health Assessment of Mothers and Children of Salinas (CHAMACOS) study led by Brenda Eskenazi, UC Berkeley professor of epidemiology and of maternal and child health.

The researchers found that for each doubling of BPA levels, there was an associated decrease of 0.13 micrograms per deciliter of total thyroxine (T4) in mothers during pregnancy, which suggests a hypothyroid effect. For newborn boys, each doubling of BPA levels linked to a 9.9 percent decrease in thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH), indicating a hyperthyroid effect.

“Most of the women and newborns in our study had thyroid hormone levels within a normal range, but when we consider the impact of these results at a population level, we get concerned about a shift in the distribution that would affect those on the borderline,” said study lead author Jonathan Chevrier, research epidemiologist at UC Berkeley’s Center for Environmental Research and Children’s Health (CERCH). “In addition, studies suggest that small changes in thyroid level, even if they’re  within normal limits, may still have a cognitive effect.”

It was not clear why an association was not found among newborn girls, but animal studies may provide some clues. One study in neonatal rats found a similar hyperthyroidic effect in males, but not females. Another study found that female rats had higher levels of an enzyme important in metabolizing BPA when compared with their male counterparts. Whether that same relationship holds true for humans is not yet clear.

“In addition, studies in rodents are increasingly showing that BPA can have different effects in males and females, particularly in brain development and behavior,” said the study’s senior author, Kim Harley, adjunct associate professor of public health and associate director of CERCH.

The researchers pointed out that several studies in recent years have linked lower thyroid hormone levels to delays in cognitive and motor development in young children. Two years ago, the same group of UC Berkeley researchers also found links between PBDEs (polybrominated diphenyl ethers), a class of flame retardants, and changes in thyroid hormone levels.

They were confident that the BPA was acting on thyroid hormones independently from PBDEs, because levels of the two compounds were not correlated.

“There is good reason to be concerned about PBDEs and BPA, because both of these compounds are ubiquitous in our environment,” said Harley. “More than 90 percent of women of reproductive age have detectable levels of BPA in their urine, and some 97 percent of U.S. residents have detectable levels of PBDEs in their blood. Until we learn more about the human health effects of these chemicals, it would make sense to be cautious and avoid exposure when possible, particularly for those who are pregnant.”

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Other co-authors of the study are Robert Gunier, Asa Bradman and Nina Holland from CERCH; and Antonia Calafat from the National Center for Environmental Health at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the National Institute for Environmental Health Sciences, the UC Institute for Mexico and the United States, and the UC Berkeley Center for Latino Policy Research provided support for this research

Dausey calls BPA ban ‘hollow victory’

Jul 23, 2012 | Posted in News Releases

The FDA says baby bottles and sippy cups can no longer contain Bisphenol-A (BPA), an endocrine disruptor that mimics estrogen. But what about the hundreds of other plastic items, from water bottles to dental sealants, containing BPA?

The FDA didn’t go far enough, said Mercyhurst University Public Health Department Chair Dr. David Dausey. Dausey addresses the FDA’s recent BPA ban in his latest vlog, The Dausey File: Public Health News Today.

BPA has been associated with a wide range of health problems from metabolic disease to reproductive health defects. Dausey said the ban is merely symbolic and doesn’t truly regulate the controversial chemical.

“Manufactures and the chemical industry were getting such bad press from their use of BPA in baby bottles that they voluntarily decided to stop using it years ago,” Dausey said. “Now that no one is using BPA in baby bottles, the FDA finally gets around to banning it.”

It’s not only BPA that deserves further scrutiny, he said. He urged stronger state and federal regulations to protect consumers from a host of other potentially toxic chemicals that have found their way into a vast array of consumer products.

“The last federal toxic chemical law in the United States was passed in 1976,” Dausey said. “Since then, more than 80,000 chemicals have been brought to market.”

Examples of other potentially harmful chemicals found in consumer products include Perfluorinated Chemicals (PFCs), which can be found as stain retardants in clothing, and have been associated with impaired immune responses in babies; and Polybrominated Diphenyl Ethers (PBDEs), found in flame resistant products, which have been linked to learning disorders and hyperactivity in young children.

“We can and should do more to protect our children and families from harmful chemicals,” Dausey said. “The FDA’s recent ban on BPA is just a symbolic gesture that needs to be followed up with real regulations and real laws that force manufactures and the chemical industry to be accountable for their products and prove that they are safe before they are brought to market.”

For more information or to help, contact Dausey at ddausey@mercyhurst.edu.