Trading Health for Small Conveniences?

“Stain-resistant, Nonstick, Waterproof and Lethal” is how journalist Callie Lyons describes a highly fluorinated chemical called C8. When C8 was released into the air and water supply near processing plants in the mid-Ohio Valley, tens of thousands of people became seriously ill, with a range of health problems including cancer, liver malfunction, thyroid disruption, obesity, high cholesterol, ulcerative colitis, and lower birth weight and size. The disturbing results of this large-scale inadvertent human study led to the recent phase-out of…

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Phthoughts on phthalates: odd spelling, clear problem

Have you ever heard of phthalates or DEHP? I hadn’t either, until I read a recent US study that monitored nearly 800 pregnant women and found that exposure to a common household chemical called DEHP may alter infant boys’ genitals before birth, along with potentially being linked to a host of other health problems. In 2008, the US issued a nationwide ban on DEHP and two other phthalates (DBP and BBP) in children’s toys at levels higher than 0.1%; the…

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Upcoming workshop on PCBs in schools

More than 700 New York City public schools are believed to contain PCB-containing lighting fixtures and/or PCB containing caulk/sealants. Prior to remedial actions in pilot program schools, students were inhaling about six times the amount of PCBs that come from dietary sources. Might students attending schools in other locales be similarly exposed? What is the latest research on inhaled PCBs? In September, the Environmental Mutagenesis and Genomics Society (EMGS) will hold its annual meeting in Monterey CA. The meeting’s theme…

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