U.S. Senators today introduced the Safe Chemicals Act, designed to require stricter screening of chemicals to assess their safety before they’re approved for public use. The SCA also would give the EPA more authority to go after chemicals that have been linked to cancer and other health conditions.
Behavioural and emotional problems in young girls are being linked to their exposure to the chemical bisphenol A (BPA) – a common chemical found in plastics – while still in the womb, according to a new study released today in Pediatrics.
You are what you eat. But according to a new study, you also are what your food was wrapped or packed in, at least to a small degree.
And if that food was enclosed in plastic or plastic resin-lined cans, it could be having an effect on your health.
Researchers investigating whether the endocrine-disrupting plastic chemicals BPA (bisphenol A) and DEHP migrate from food packaging into humans have found evidence that they do.
The study, by researchers from the Silent Spring Institute, the Breast Cancer Fund and Vassar College, sampled the urine of 20 participants in 2010, testing the levels of BPA and DEHP while the study subjects ate a regular diet containing canned and packaged foods, and then again when the study group was placed on a fresh food diet.
Having just read and reviewed Slow Death By Rubber Duck, I had a few questions for co-author Rick Smith, head of Environmental Defence Canada.
And since his book was costing me — some $120 for a new set of stainless steel cookware to replace my stick-free, Teflon-coated set — I thought he owed me some answers.
We chatted earlier this week, while he took advantage of Family Day in Canada, visiting a playground with his young boys, a strong impetus behind his work to educate the public about harmful environmental and household toxic chemicals. The younger generation, he worried, has an even higher ‘body burden’ of chemicals than we adults grew up with.
In the book, he and co-author Bruce Lourie, an environmental consultant, test common toxics to find out how they get from consumer goods and food into our bodies. In fact, they ingest or expose themselves to these chemicals to chart the effects.
The basic idea: Since many of these toxic ingredients have been shown in lab experiments to act as endocrine disruptors and cancer triggers figuring out how to limit or reduce our exposure could have positive health effects, for kids and adults.
GREEN TO GROW
A hot topic has been the controversy surrounding a chemical in plastic bottles — particularly baby bottles. According to the FDA, a chemical called Bisphenol-A, or BPA, could potentially harm children. When Shelley Aronoff was pregnant with her son Hart, she’d researched the risks with Bisphenol-A and baby bottles. So to eliminate the risk, she developed her own BPA-free baby bottles and named her company Green to Grow.
Coca-Cola is getting kudos from environmentalists for meeting them half way on the subject of BPA, bisphenol-A, a toxic chemical used in food packaging.
On May 28 of this year, lobbyists from the chemical industry and food companies gathered at the Cosmos Club in Washington, D.C. According to the Environmental Working Group, a nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting public health and the environment, the focus of the meeting was to white-wash the risks of BPA.
That’s according to a survey of 937 members of the Society of Toxicology in early 2009. The survey, released Thursday, was administered by Harris Interactive and conducted by the nonprofit Statistical Assessment Service (STATS) and Center for Health and Risk Communication at George Mason University.
“This survey suggests that the public doesn’t get a full and balanced picture of chemical risk,” said Dr. Robert Lichter, the survey director.
Minnesota has become the first state to ban the toxic plastics chemical Bisphenol-A (BPA) in baby bottles and sippy cups. Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R) signed the legislation last week and the ban will take effect Jan. 1, 2010.
California and Connecticut are among the other states that also may ban the toxic chemical. The plastic additive has been found to leach from hard plastic water and baby bottles when they are heated, as well as when certain disposable containers labeled as “microwave safe” are heated. Children’s developing bodies are considered more susceptible to chemical insult.
Canada has already taken steps to ban BPA. In the U.S., Sen. Charles Schumer, (D-New York) and nine other senators introduced legislation in 2008 to treat BPA as a hazardous substance under federal law for any product targeting kids, ages 7 and younger.
We hear every day about dangerous chemicals in household products that are linked to cancer, infertility, autism and other diseases – yet many Americans may not realize just how many of these harmful substances they’ve actually ingested in the course of everyday living.
The answer? About 48. That’s according a study by the Environmental Working Group and Rachel’s Network, in which five leading minority women environmentalists from different parts of the country volunteered to have their blood tested for toxins. The results, say EWG experts, show that regulation of chemicals in the U.S. is weak and “antiquated” and needs a major overhaul.
Bisphenol A, the controversial component found in plastic baby bottles, took another image hit last week when the Canadian government announced it would be drafting regulations to ban the sale or importing of bottles containing the chemical.
Canadian Minister of Health Tony Clement called the step a milestone for Canada, which he said would be the first country to take regulatory action against the chemical. BPA is commonly found in polycarbonate or clear, hard plastics and can usually be identified by the number seven stamped within the recycling triangle on the bottom of containers.
The news on bisphenol A or BPA just doesn’t get better. The chemical, used to make plastic baby bottles and food can liners, could deliver a double-whammy to women, paving the way for breast cancer, and then boomeranging back to interfere with the treatment for cancer recovery.
A study by University of Cincinnati scientists released this week found that BPA exposure may reduce the effectiveness of chemotherapy treatments for breast cancer patients.
Researchers found that this man-made chemical – already implicated as a potential trigger in breast cancer because it is structurally similar to the estrogenic DES – induced a group of proteins in the body to protect breast cancer cells from the chemotherapy.
Resistance to chemotherapy is already a “major problem for cancer patients, especially those with advanced metastatic disease,” said UC’s Nira Ben-Jonathan, a professor of cell biology who’s been studying BPA for more than a decade.
By Lynette Holloway Eastman Chemical may have come out ahead in the recent move by the Canadian government to label bisphenol-A, a chemical found in some forms of plastic, as toxic. That is because the company already manufactures plastic without the noxious chemical, which could put its product in great demand. Last fall, the company [...]