Pesticide linked to 3 generations of disease

PUBLIC RELEASE DATE:

24-Jul-2014

Methoxychlor causes epigenetic changes
PULLMAN, Wash. – Washington State University researchers say ancestral exposures to the pesticide methoxychlor may lead to adult onset kidney disease, ovarian disease and obesity in future generations.

“What your great-grandmother was exposed to during pregnancy, like the pesticide methoxychlor, may promote a dramatic increase in your susceptibility to develop disease, 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.

Epigenetic mechanisms
Epigenetic mechanisms (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

He and his colleagues document their findings in a paper published online in PLOS ONE. The study was funded by the National Institutes of Health.

DDT replacement banned in 2003 Continue reading “Pesticide linked to 3 generations of disease”

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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Prenatal exposure to pesticide DDT linked to adult high blood pressure

Contact: Michele La Merrill mlamerrill@ucdavis.edu 347-791-1053 University of California – Davis

Infant girls exposed to high levels of the pesticide DDT while still inside the womb are three times more likely to develop hypertension when they become adults, according to a new study led by the University of California, Davis.

Previous studies have shown that adults exposed to DDT (dichlorodiplhenyltrichloroethane) are at an increased risk of high blood pressure. But this study, published online March 12 in Environmental Health Perspectives, is the first to link prenatal DDT exposure to hypertension in adults.

Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is a high risk factor for heart disease, which remains the leading cause of death in the United States and worldwide.

“The prenatal period is exquisitely sensitive to environmental disturbance because that’s when the tissues are developing,” said study lead author Michele La Merrill, an assistant professor in the UC Davis Department of Environmental Toxicology.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency banned DDT in this country in 1972 after nearly three decades of use. However, the pesticide is still used for malaria control in other parts of the world, such as India and South Africa. That means children born in those areas could have a higher risk of hypertension as adults.

La Merrill said that traces of DDT, a persistent organic pollutant, also remain in the food system, primarily in fatty animal products.

The study examined concentrations of DDT in blood samples collected from women who had participated in the Child Health and Development Studies, an ongoing project of the nonprofit Public Health Institute. The CHDS recruited women who sought obstetric care through Kaiser Permanente Foundation Health Plan in the San Francisco Bay Area between 1959 and 1967. They also surveyed the adult daughters of those women to learn if they had developed hypertension.

“Evidence from our study shows that women born in the U.S. before DDT was banned have an increased risk of hypertension that might be explained by increased DDT exposure,” said La Merrill. “And the children of people in areas where DDT is still used may have an increased risk, as well.”

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The study’s co-authoring institutions were the Public Health Institute and Columbia University.

The study was funded by the National Institutes of Health.

About UC Davis

For more than 100 years, UC Davis has engaged in teaching, research and public service that matter to California and transform the world. Located close to the state capital, UC Davis has more than 33,000 students, more than 2,500 faculty and more than 21,000 staff, an annual research budget of nearly $750 million, a comprehensive health system and 13 specialized research centers. The university offers interdisciplinary graduate study and more than 100 undergraduate majors in four colleges — Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, Biological Sciences, Engineering, and Letters and Science. It also houses six professional schools — Education, Law, Management, Medicine, Veterinary Medicine and the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing.

Study finds high exposure to food-borne toxins: preschool-age children had higher exposure to more than half the toxic compounds being measured. Even relatively low exposures can greatly increase the risk of cancer or neurological impairment.

Preschool children are particularly vulnerable to compounds linked to cancer and other conditions.

November 13, 2012
(SACRAMENTO, Calif.) —

In a sobering study published in the journal Environmental Health, researchers at UC Davis and UCLA measured food-borne toxin exposure in children and adults by pinpointing foods with high levels of toxic compounds and determining how much of these foods were consumed. The researchers found that family members in the study, and preschool children in particular, are at high risk for exposure to arsenic, dieldrin, DDE (a DDT metabolite), dioxins and acrylamide. These compounds have been linked to cancer, developmental disabilities, birth defects and other conditions. However, the study also points to dietary modifications that could mitigate risk.

Irva Hertz-Picciotto
Irva Hertz-Picciotto

“Contaminants get into our food in a variety of ways,” said study principal investigator Irva Hertz-Picciotto, professor and chief of the Division of Environmental and Occupational Health at UC Davis. “They can be chemicals that have nothing to do with the food or byproducts from processing. We wanted to understand the dietary pathway pesticides, metals and other toxins take to get into the body.”

Researchers assessed risk by comparing toxin consumption to established benchmarks for cancer risk and non-cancer health risks. All 364 children in the study (207 preschool children between two and seven and 157 school-age children between five and seven) exceeded cancer benchmarks for arsenic, dieldrin, DDE and dioxins. In addition, more than 95 percent of preschool children exceeded non-cancer risk levels for acrylamide, a cooking byproduct often found in processed foods like potato and tortilla chips. Pesticide exposure was particularly high in tomatoes, peaches, apples, peppers, grapes, lettuce, broccoli, strawberries, spinach, dairy, pears, green beans and celery.

“We focused on children because early exposure can have long-term effects on disease outcomes,” said Rainbow Vogt, lead author of the study. “Currently, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency only measures risk based on exposures of individual contaminants. We wanted to understand the cumulative risk from dietary contaminants. The results of this study demonstrate a need to prevent exposure to multiple toxins in young children to lower their cancer risk.”

The researchers used data from the 2007 Study of Use of Products and Exposure-Related Behavior (SUPERB), which surveyed households in California with children between two and five to determine how their diets, and other factors, contribute to toxic exposure. Specifically, SUPERB homed in on 44 foods known to have high concentrations of toxic compounds: metals, arsenic, lead and mercury; pesticides chlorpyrifos, permethrin and endosulfan; persistent organic pollutants dioxin, DDT, dieldrin and chlordane; and the food processing byproduct acrylamide. Toxin levels in specific foods were determined through the Total Diet Study and other databases.

Perhaps most disturbing, preschool-age children had higher exposure to more than half the toxic compounds being measured. Even relatively low exposures can greatly increase the risk of cancer or neurological impairment.

“We need to be especially careful about children, because they tend to be more vulnerable to many of these chemicals and their effects on the developing brain,” says Hertz-Picciotto.

Though these results are cause for concern, the study also outlines strategies to lower family exposure. For example, organic produce has lower pesticide levels. In addition, toxin types vary in different foods. Certain pesticides may be found in lettuce and broccoli, while others affect peaches and apples.

“Varying our diet and our children’s diet could help reduce exposure,” said Hertz-Picciotto. “Because different foods are treated differently at the source, dietary variation can help protect us from accumulating too much of any one toxin.”

Families also can reduce their consumption of animal meat and fats, which may contain high levels of DDE and other persistent organic pollutants, and switch to organic milk. While mercury is most often found in fish, accumulation varies greatly by species. Smaller fish, lower on the food chain, generally have lower mercury levels. In addition, acrilomides are relatively easy to remove from the diet.

“Acrilomides come from chips and other processed grains, said co-author Deborah Bennett, associate professor of Environmental and Occupational Health at UC Davis. “Even if we set aside the potential toxins in these foods, we probably shouldn’t be eating large amounts of them anyway. However, we should be eating fruits, vegetables and fish, which are generally healthy foods. We just need to be more careful in how we approach them.”

The study also highlights a number of policy issues, such as how we grow our food and the approval process for potentially toxic compounds. Though the pesticide DDT was banned 40 years ago, the study showed significant risk of DDE exposure.

“Given the significant exposure to legacy pollutants, society should be concerned about the persistence of compounds we are currently introducing into the environment,” said Bennett. “If we later discover a chemical has significant health risks, it will be decades before it’s completely removed from the ecosystem.”

While the study has profound implications for dietary habits, more work needs to be done to quantify risk. Specifically, researchers need to determine how these food-borne toxins interact collectively in the body.

This research was funded by a Science to Achieve Results (STAR) grant #RD-83154001 from the United States Environmental Protection Agency.

Other authors include Diana Cassady and Joshua Frost at the UC Davis Department of Public Health Sciences and Beate Ritz at the UCLA Department of Epidemiology.

The UC Davis School of Medicine is among the nation’s leading medical schools, recognized for its research and primary-care programs. The school offers fully accredited master’s degree programs in public health and in informatics, and its combined M.D.-Ph.D. program is training the next generation of physician-scientists to conduct high-impact research and translate discoveries into better clinical care. Along with being a recognized leader in medical research, the school is committed to serving underserved communities and advancing rural health. For more information, visit UC Davis School of Medicine at medschool.ucdavis.edu.

Pesticide levels in blood linked to Parkinson’s disease, UT Southwestern researchers find

2009 study posted for filing

Contact: Aline McKenzie
aline.mckenzie@utsouthwestern.edu
214-648-3404
UT Southwestern Medical Center

DALLAS – July 13, 2009 – People with Parkinson’s disease have significantly higher blood levels of a particular pesticide than healthy people or those with Alzheimer’s disease, researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center have found.

In a study appearing in the July issue of Archives of Neurology, researchers found the pesticide beta-HCH (hexachlorocyclohexane) in 76 percent of people with Parkinson’s, compared with 40 percent of healthy controls and 30 percent of those with Alzheimer’s.

The finding might provide the basis for a beta-HCH blood test to identify individuals at risk for developing Parkinson’s disease. The results also point the way to more research on environmental causes of Parkinson’s.

“There’s been a link between pesticide use and Parkinson’s disease for a long time, but never a specific pesticide,” said Dr. Dwight German, professor of psychiatry at UT Southwestern and a senior author of the paper. “This is particularly important because the disease is not diagnosed until after significant nerve damage has occurred. A test for this risk factor might allow for early detection and protective treatment.”

About 1 million people in the U.S. have Parkinson’s, a number expected to rise as the population ages. The disease occurs when brain cells in particular regions die, causing tremors, cognitive problems and a host of other symptoms.

The study involved 113 participants, ages 50 to 89. Fifty had Parkinson’s, 43 were healthy and 20 had Alzheimer’s. The researchers tested the subjects’ blood for 15 pesticides known as organochlorines.

These pesticides, which include the well-known DDT (dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane), were widely used in the U.S. from the 1950s to the 1970s but are more tightly regulated now. They persist in the environment for years without breaking down. In the body, they dissolve in fats and are known to attack the type of brain nerves that die in Parkinson’s disease, the researchers said.

“Much higher levels of the beta-HCH were in the air, water and food chain when the Parkinson’s patients were in their 20s and30s,” Dr. German said. “Also, the half-life of the pesticide is seven to eight years, so it stays in the body for a long time.”

Parkinson’s disease is more common among rural men than other demographic groups, but it is not a matter of a single factor causing the devastating disease, Dr. German said.

“Some people with Parkinson’s might have the disease because of exposure to environmental pesticides, but there are also genes known to play a role in the condition,” Dr. German said.

Although the current study points to an interesting link between the pesticide beta-HCH and Parkinson’s, there could be other pesticides involved with the disease, he said.

For example, the pesticide lindane often contains beta-HCH, but lindane breaks down faster. Beta-HCH might simply be a sign that someone was exposed to lindane, with lindane actually causing the damage to the brain, the researchers said.

In future research, Dr. German hopes to test patients from a wider geographical area and to measure pesticide levels in post-mortem brains. He and his team also are collecting blood samples from both patients with Parkinson’s and their spouses to see if a genetic difference might be making the one with Parkinson’s more susceptible to pesticides than the other.

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Other UT Southwestern researchers involved in the study were Dr. Padraig O’Suilleabhain, associate professor of neurology; Dr. Ramón Diaz-Arrastía, professor of neurology; and Dr. Joan Reisch, professor of clinical sciences.

Researchers from the Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, including lead author Dr. Jason Richardson, and the Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences Institute in New Jersey also participated in the study.

The study was funded by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, the National Institute on Aging, the Dallas Area Parkinsonism Society, Rowe & Co. Inc., the Dallas Foundation and the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research.

Visit www.utsouthwestern.org/neurosciences to learn more about UT Southwestern’s clinical services in neurosciences, including psychiatry.

This news release is available on our World Wide Web home page at www.utsouthwestern.edu/home/news/index.html

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Dr. Dwight German — http://www.utsouthwestern.edu/findfac/professional/0,2356,12533,00.html

Exposure to insecticide may play role in obesity epidemic among some women: DDE, DDT

Contact: Jason Cody
codyja@msu.edu
517-432-0924
Michigan State University

Researchers study fish-eater cohort along Lake Michigan

EAST LANSING, Mich. — Prenatal exposure to an insecticide commonly used up until the 1970s may play a role in the obesity epidemic in women, according to a new study involving several Michigan State University researchers.

More than 250 mothers who live along and eat fish from Lake Michigan were studied for their exposure to DDE – a breakdown of DDT. The study, published as an editor’s choice in this month’s edition of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, analyzed DDE levels of the women’s offspring.

Compared to the group with the lowest levels, those with intermediate levels gained an average of 13 pounds excess weight, and those with higher levels gained more than 20 pounds of excess weight.

“Prenatal exposure to toxins is increasingly being looked at as a potential cause for the rise in obesity seen worldwide,” said Janet Osuch, a professor of surgery and epidemiology at MSU’s College of Human Medicine, who was one of the lead authors of the study. “What we have found for the first time is exposure to certain toxins by eating fish from polluted waters may contribute to the obesity epidemic in women.”

Though DDT was banned in 1973 after three decades of widespread use, the chemical and its byproducts remain toxic in marine life and fatty fish. The study was funded by a $300,000 grant from the federal Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry.

Osuch said the study’s findings can have a huge impact on how researchers treat – and seek to prevent – obesity. The research team has been awarded a $1 million grant from the same federal agency, the ATSDR, to assess the impact of pollutants and toxins on a wide variety of disorders by determining the importance of second- and third-generation health effects.

“This line of research can transform how we think about the causes of obesity and potentially help us create prenatal tests to show which offspring are at higher risks,” she said.

The mothers who were studied are part of a larger cohort of Michigan fish eaters along Lake Michigan who were recruited in the early 1970s. In 2000, Osuch and research partners approached the cohort and began to identify daughters aged 20 to 50 years old.

“These findings not only apply to the offspring of women in our cohort but to any woman who has been exposed to high levels of DDE when she was growing in her mother’s womb,” Osuch said. “Mothers with the highest DDE levels are women who have consumed a lot of fish or high-fat meats.”

Current recommendations for eating fish call for limiting it to two meals per week; including tuna fish sandwiches. The study also looked at the effects of a second pollutant, PCBs, but found no correlation with weight and body mass index.

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Michigan State University has been advancing knowledge and transforming lives through innovative teaching, research and outreach for more than 150 years. MSU is known internationally as a major public university with global reach and extraordinary impact. Its 17 degree-granting colleges attract scholars worldwide who are interested in combining education with practical problem solving

Maternal exposure to persistent organic pollutants linked to urologic conditions in boys

Repost for filing 2008

Contact: Lacey Holt
lholt@auanet.org
American Urological Association

AUA 2008: Maternal exposure to persistent organic pollutants linked to urologic conditions in boys

ORLANDO, FL, MAY 18, 2008—Higher incidences of congenital anomalies, including cryptorchidism (undescended testicles) and hypospadias, were found in boys whose mothers had higher serum levels of certain organochlorine compounds, researchers say. Two separate studies presented today during the Annual Scientific Meeting of the American Urological Association (AUA) in Orlando confirmed existing hypotheses that maternal exposure to endocrine-disrupting chemicals – including total polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs, such as Arochlor) and organochlorinated pesticides (such as dichlorodiphenyl-trichloroethane, or DDT) may contribute to an increased incidence of these conditions.

The data was presented to the media on Sunday, May 18, 2008, during press conferences starting at 8:00 a.m.

Mothers with high levels of organochlorine compounds in their bodies are at a greater risk of bearing sons with undescended testicles (cryptorchidism). In a study (abstract #276) of 40 boys undergoing surgical treatment for the condition, researchers from New York and Michigan analyzed PCB serum levels from both the patient and the mother and compared the readings to residual PCB levels in the patients’ fatty tissue samples (taken at surgery). Patients ranged from eight to 18 months of age at the time of treatment.

Researchers’ analysis of the amount of OCC residue in the samples revealed that serum PCB levels reflect the fatty burden of OCC residues in the boys, and OCC concentration in maternal serum samples correlated with the son’s serum levels. Aggregate PCB levels and maternal levels of individual PCB congeners were significantly higher in boys with undescended testicles than in mothers of boys without the anomaly.

Researchers from Michigan and Atlanta presented similar findings (abstract #277) on congenital anomalies and chemical exposure. Using data from the Michigan Long-Term PBB Cohort, researchers examined individuals exposed to polybrominated biphenyl (PBB) during 1974-1974, including sons of mothers with known serum PBB levels, to determine whether in-utero exposure to PBB put male neonates at a greater risk for genitourinary (GU) or reproductive conditions. Self-reported data on varicocele, cryptorchidism, hypospadias and other GU and reproductive conditions was compared to estimated maternal PBB levels at the time of conception.

Of the sons whose mothers had measurable PBB levels at the time of conception, 35 reported GU conditions, including hernias (13), hydroceles (10), undescended testicles (9), hypospadias (5), phimosis (2) and varicocele (1). Sons whose mothers had PBB levels greater than 5 parts per billion were more likely to report these conditions than those whose mothers had lower levels. Maternal PBB levels were not found to have an impact on birth weight or estimated gestational age. 12.2 percent of boys with maternal serum levels greater than 5 were more likely to report GU conditions, compared to 5.5 percent of boys with lower maternal PBB levels.

“Mothers with known exposure to these enduring compounds should tell not only their own doctors but also their sons’ pediatricians,” said Anthony Y. Smith, M.D., a spokesman for the AUA. “These data underscore the importance of regular ‘well-baby checkups’ so that these easily treatable conditions are diagnosed promptly.”

About Pediatric Urological Conditions:

 

  • Cryptorchidism: Undescended testicles occur in 3 to 4 percent of full-term infants and, if left untreated, can lead to infertility and a greater risk of developing testicular cancer. In about 65 percent of patients, the condition spontaneously resolves by nine months of age. The condition is treated hormonally or surgically in patients whose testicles do not descend into the scrotal sac naturally. 

 

  • Hypospadias: One of the most common birth defects of the male genitalia, hypospadias varies in incidence around the world but can affect up to one in 125 boys. It occurs when the urethral opening is not positioned at the tip of the penis. Hypospadias can range in severity, depending on whether the urethral opening is minorly displaced on the glans penis (first degree), on the shaft of the penis (second degree) or not on the penis at all (third degree). Not all first-degree cases require treatment; surgical repair of severe hypospadias can involve multiple surgical procedures and, in some cases, mucosal grafting. 

 

  • Hydrocele: Approximately one in 10 male infants present with a hydrocele at birth. A fluid-filled sac surrounding a testicle, hydroceles are typically benign and painless and disappear in the first year of life. Hydroceles require treatment only when large enough to cause disfigurement or discomfort. Treatments include surgical excision and needle aspiration. 

About Organochlorine Compounds: Initially lauded for their chemical stability, PCBs (such as Araclor and its congeners) and organochlorinated pesticides such as DDT are lipid-soluble compounds actively produced around the world in the first half of the 20th century. After widespread use in agricultural and manufacturing applications (as plastizers, heat-stabilizing additives for PVC electric insulation, adhesives and paints), they were discontinued in both open and closed uses in the 1970s when health risks became apparent. Lipid soluble, the compounds are absorbed and dispersed to living tissue and, as a result, can have a cumulative effect and cause toxin damage across generations. The United States banned their domestic production in 1977.

 

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In addition to the author, Anthony Y. Smith, a member of the AUA Public Media Committee, will be on hand to provide expert commentary on the studies.

NOTE TO REPORTERS: Experts are available to discuss these studies outside normal briefing times. To arrange an interview with an expert, please contact the AUA Communications Office at the number above or e-mail Wendy Isett at wisett@auanet.org.

Chen JJ, Zhang G, Wasnick R, Priebe C, Roelof B, Steinhardt GF et al: Maternal Burden of organochloro-compounds associated with undescended testes. J Urol, suppl., 2008; 179: 97, abstract 276.

DeCaro JJ, Small CM, Terrell ML, Dominguez CE, Cameron LL, Wirth J, et al: Maternal exposure to polybrominated biphenyls and genitourinary conditions in male offspring. J Urol, suppl., 2008; 179: 97, abstract 277.

About the American Urological Association: Founded in 1902 and headquartered near Baltimore, Maryland, the American Urological Association is the pre-eminent professional organization for urologists, with more than 15,000 members throughout the world. An educational nonprofit organization, the AUA pursues its mission of fostering the highest standards of urologic care by carrying out a wide variety of programs members and their patients, including UrologyHealth.org, an award-winning on-line patient education resource, and the American Urological Association Foundation, Inc.

137th Health Research Report 07 SEP 2008

 Full Report at www.healthresearchreport.me

Editors Top Five:

 

1. Study Finds How BPA Affects Gene Expression, Anxiety; Soy Mitigates Effects

2. Vitamin B3 may offer new tool in fight against ‘superbugs’

3. Johns Hopkins team finds ICU misdiagnoses may account for as many annual deaths as breast cancer

4. Prenatal exposure to pesticide additive linked with childhood cough

5. Childhood virus RSV shows promise against adult cancer

 

 

In this Issue:

1. Vitamin B3 may offer new tool in fight against ‘superbugs’

2. How a virus might make you diabetic later in life

3. Adolescent pot use leaves lasting mental deficits

4. Nutrition tied to improved sperm DNA quality in older men

5. Energy drinks improve heart function

6. Breast milk promotes a different gut flora growth than infant formulas

7. Johns Hopkins team finds ICU misdiagnoses may account for as many annual deaths as breast cancer

8. WSU researcher documents links between nutrients, genes and cancer spread

9. Antibiotic residues in sausage meat may promote pathogen survival

10. Smoking after stroke increases death risk by 3-fold

11. The raccoon spreads dangerous diseases as it invades Europe

12. Chocolate: A sweet method for stroke prevention in men?

13. Bacterial cause found for skin condition rosacea

14. WSU researchers discover mechanism leading from trichomoniasis to prostate cancer

15. Lyme retreatment guidance may be flawed

16. Chemical exposure in the womb from household items may contribute to obesity

17. Affluent people less likely to reach out to others in times of chaos, study suggests

18. Coconut oil could combat tooth decay

19. Heavy drinking rewires brain, increasing susceptibility to anxiety problems

20. Even in normal range, high blood sugar linked to brain shrinkage

21. High doses of Vitamin D help tuberculosis patients recover more quickly

22. High levels of DDT in breast milk

23. Large Review Finds Some Evidence for “Chemo Brain” in Breast Cancer Survivors, Moffitt Cancer Center Says

24. Are restrictions to scientific research costing lives?

25. Toddlers increasingly swallowing liquid detergent capsules

26. Brainy beverage: Study reveals how green tea boosts brain cell production to aid memory

27. Children exposed to 2 phthalates have elevated risk of asthma-related airway inflammation

28. Prenatal exposure to pesticide additive linked with childhood cough

29. Nutritional supplement offers promise in treatment of unique form of autism

30. Diagnostic chest radiation before 30 may increase breast cancer risk

31. Report: Strategies to prevent noise-induced hearing loss, tinnitus in soldiers

32. Childhood virus RSV shows promise against adult cancer

33. Stress prompts some to retain as much salt as eating fries

34. Study Finds How BPA Affects Gene Expression, Anxiety; Soy Mitigates Effect

 

 

Health Technology Research Synopsis

137th Issue Date 07 SEP 2012

Compiled By Ralph Turchiano

www.healthresearchreport.me www.vit.bz

www.youtube.com/vhfilm http://www.facebook.com/vitaminandherbstore

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High levels of DDT in breast milk

The highest levels ever of DDT in breast milk have been measured in mothers living in malaria-stricken villages in South Africa. The values lie well over the limits set by the World Health Organization. DDT has been used for many years in South Africa, sprayed indoors to fight malaria. It works, but it exposes the inhabitants to other risks not yet fully known.

Henrik Kylin

“To our ears, spraying DDT inside people’s homes sounds absurd. But it is one of the most effective agents against malaria. And by only spraying adult mosquitoes in the vicinity of people, the risk of developing resistance in mosquitoes decreases, ” says Henrik Kylin, environmental chemist and professor at Water and Environmental Studies, Linköping. Together with South African researchers and doctors, he is collaborating on a project to map the effects of DDT on the population.

“We know a lot about how DDT affects nature and animals, but the effects on people’s health are not as well studied, especially concerning long-term exposure.”

“Based on the argument that “malaria is worse than DDT”, people accept this spray treatment programme. The purpose of our project is to study the side effects, thereby creating a better basis for decisions.”

In a newly published article, the researchers report on a study of DDT levels in breast milk from nursing mothers in four villages, of which three are afflicted by malaria. DDT has been used continuously in these three villages for more than 60 years. The spray treatment takes place a couple of times a year and is carried out by specially trained and equipped staff.

The levels proved to be unacceptably high in the villages sprayed. They were well over (100 times greater) the highest daily dosage recommended by WHO. In once case they measured the highest known level of DDT in breast milk ever, more than 300 times higher than the level allowed in cow’s milk.

DDT has been associated with diagnoses such as breast cancer, diabetes, impaired sperm quality, spontaneous abortions, and neurological disorders in children. In the region where the measurements were carried out, malformed genitalia among boys was significantly more common in areas treated with DDT compared with untreated areas.

“DDT contains oestrogen-like substances; we know that the breakdown products from DDT counteract male sexual development,” Kylin says. Based on breast milk samples, it was estimated that boys ingest somewhat more DDT than girls, with the exception of first-born children. This could depend on the fact that the fat content of breast milk is higher if a boy is nursing. First-born children, however, get the highest levels, depending – as Kylin explains – on the mother’s higher stored levels of DDT at her first birth.

What surprised the researchers more was the large differences between the treated villages. Despite apparently similar conditions, the measured DDT levels were twice as high in one treated village compared with one of the others. A whole range of factors may come into play here, such as procedures in connection with treatment, the condition of the walls, ventilation, people’s behaviour and cleaning habits. Identifying these factors, the researchers write, could contribute to decreasing exposure, thereby also the risk for both mothers and children.

“Unfortunately the smallest children are exposed to the highest DDT levels; they are also extra sensitive to chemical influence,” Kylin says.

He also emphasizes the staff operating the spray treatments as an overlooked risk group requiring further study.

As things stand today, there is no real alternative to DDT in these malaria-stricken areas. “Mosquito-proof netting has successfully been tested in a few places, but doesn’t work everywhere,” Kylin says.

He is convinced that research could have come farther in finding alternatives for DDT if malaria were a widespread illness in rich countries

http://www.liu.se/forskning/forskningsnyheter/1.359612?l=en