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Recent Studies State Chemical In Plastic Liquid Containers Contain Tox

For BPA, Does the Dose Make the Poison?

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For those who keep up with environmental health research and chemical regulations, it is no surprise to come across conflicting reports on the safety or risk of various compounds. This week, in the case of the compound bisphenol A (BPA), these conflicting reports happened to emerge almost simultaneously. On January 21st, the European Food Safety Authority declared that BPA “poses no health risk to consumers of any age group…at current exposure levels.” The next day, a study published in the journal PLoS Genetics showed that even low and short-term exposures to BPA and other hormone-mimicking compounds could alter stem cells and lead to lower sperm counts.

BPA is a common ingredient in plastics used for food and drink containers. Its hormone-like properties allow it to disrupt the endocrine system, with potential health effects ranging from reproductive issues to cancer. Though BPA has been banned in baby bottles in the U.S., and BPA-free products have become widely available since concerns about the compound were first raised in 2008, it remains in products from water bottles to the inside coatings of cans.

David McNew via Getty Images

‘The dose makes the poison’ is a well-known adage in toxicology, implying that even hazardous chemicals can be harmless at low enough concentrations. However, decades of research have shown this to be an overly simplistic way of analyzing toxic exposures.  Dr. Theo Colborn, who passed away on December 14th, 2014, was a pioneering researcher in the field of endocrine disruption and a tireless advocate for precautionary chemical regulation. Her research on endocrine disruption demonstrated that even very low concentrations of harmful chemicals could result in changes to the reproductive system, particularly in developing babies and children who have less of a tolerance for exposure than adults. She also demonstrated that not all effects of toxic chemicals are immediately apparent, but can occur decades and even generations later.

The study published last week focused on both questions of concentration and timing. The researchers tested estrogenic compounds including BPA on mice, and found that they alter the stem cells, or undifferentiated cells, which are responsible for sperm production later in life. Patricia Hunt, the researcher who led the study, told Environmental Health News that exposure to even low doses of estrogens “is not simply affecting sperm being produced now, but impacting the stem cell population, and that will affect sperm produced throughout the lifetime.”

Uncertainties remain in the wake of this study. For instance, the researchers are still investigating whether the changes observed can cross generations, or whether the same changes can occur in human reproductive stem cells. The EFSA also recognized uncertainties in non-dietary sources of BPA, and they are still conducting long-term studies in rats. While scientists and regulators continue to chase answers, this past week shines a spotlight on the complicated realm of environmental health risk assessment, and shows the continued relevance of Dr. Theo Colborn’s work and legacy. Dose is indeed important in making a poison, but so is timing of exposure, and time itself in revealing the chronic and transgenerational effects of chemicals.

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One study finds BPA linked to changes in stem cells, while another declares it safe

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Environmental Health News reports on a study that shows BPA and other estrogenic compounds may affect stem cell development in mice. Writes Brian Bienkowski, “The study, published in PLoS Genetics, is the first to suggest that low, brief exposures to bisphenol-A, or other estrogens such as those used in birth control but found as water contaminants, early in life can alter the stem cells responsible for producing sperm later in life.” Read more here.

Another study, from the European food safety authority, has recently declared BPA as not a considerable health risk. Says NBC News, “The European Food Safety Authority’s review of BPA shows that people in general – from babies to the elderly – are not getting enough BPA in their systems to harm their health. But it says more research is needed it some areas, such as exposure from cash register receipts.Read more here.

A complicated picture emerges, but perhaps BPA is an instance of a chemical that poses few immediate risks, but can alter health in the future.

PA Ban Fracking Now March

Demand What You Want-Not What’s “Feasible”

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Truer words have never been spoken. In CHEJ’s recent training on Lessons Learned from New York State, which recently banned fracking until it can be proven safe, Eric Weltman from Food and Water Watch told the group to demand what you want not what is feasible.

I find it frustrating and a bit troubling when I visit communities who are struggling to protect their health and environment from environmental threats and they ask for less than they deserve and need. When I ask leaders, “why short change themselves,” they often respond saying they don’t want to sound unreasonable or worse because their opponents said it’s too expensive. Leaders and community members are often bullied into believing that they must take less or they won’t get anything. This is just not true.

At Love Canal in 1978, our community was told that government does not evacuate families and purchase homes because of toxic pollution. If we didn’t stick to our goal we would never had been evacuated. When the environmental health and justice movement demanded that no more commercial landfills be built, we were all told it must go somewhere. Several years later up until today no new commercial hazardous wastes landfills have been built, although it is still legal to do so.

In one of CHEJ’s consumer campaigns around a multinational corporation, we were demanding they take certain products off their shelves. The corporations response was, we won’t be bullied by radical environmental group. Yet a short time later they did exactly what we and consumers across the country asked.

No one should ask or accept as the final decision, what is not right and fair. However, winning the big ask is more difficult and demands serious discipline. Everyone needs to be on the same page and demand the same goal. Yes, there are always those few who will say out loud and even in the media that they would be wiling to accept less. Yet if the loud vocal people, the base of the majority, the framers of the campaign stick with their larger goal for justice, they will dominate the campaign. Those with smaller goals will be essential drowned out by the voices and actions of this  larger group.

This was the case in New York State around fracking. There were good people who would have accepted better regulations or only drilling in certain parts of the state. In every issue those working from various groups often have different goals. Sometimes their efforts help build toward the larger goal and other times they may be an irritation. The key to win it all is to build larger stronger, more visible opposition and demand for the larger goals. In this way you can win your goals without publicly fighting with others.

As Eric told us, “we were relentless. With op-eds, press events, using the public participation/comment period to submit a hundred thousands of “comments” that said Ban Fracking Now –not detailed line by line comments about regulations that were proposed. Hundreds of groups participated in bird dogging the governor who couldn’t go anywhere without a group, small or large in his face demanding he ban fracking.”

Secondly, Eric was clear that you need a single target, in NYS it was the governor. “You need to find the person who has the power to give you what you are demanding,” he said. I would add that it always needs to be a person not an entity, like regulatory agency or corporation. You need a human face on your opponent and your messengers to make it all work.

This is a time tested strategy and if you follow it you are more likely to receive a higher level of justice not a compromising solution.

Children have higher exposures to some phthalates, which are found in some PVC plastics and personal care products.

Good news/bad news: Some phthalates down, some up

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By Lindsey Konkel
Staff Writer
Environmental Health News

January 15, 2014


Children have higher exposures to some phthalates, which are found in some PVC plastics and personal care products.


Scientists have documented for the first time that several phthalates – controversial chemicals used to make vinyl and fragrances – are declining in people while several others are rising. The study, published today, is the first comprehensive, nationwide attempt to document trends in exposure to these widely used chemicals over the past decade.

Anne Petersen/flickr
Most nail polish no longer contains the phthalate called DBP.

The researchers said the results suggest that manufacturers may be reformulating products in the wake of a federal regulation and environmental groups’ campaigns.

Three compounds banned in U.S. toys and other children’s products in 2008 have declined. But since other phthalates are increasing, it’s possible that industries have substituted them in some products.

“Our findings suggest that interventions may be working, though legislation didn’t entirely predict which levels went up or down,” said Ami Zota, a George Washington University assistant professor of environmental and occupational health who led the research when she was at the University of California, San Francisco.

Phthalates have been linked to a variety of health effects in animal tests and some human studies, including hormone disruptionaltered male genital development,diabetesasthmaattention disorders, learning disabilities and obesity.

Chemical industry representatives said that the traces found in most products are small, and not likely to cause harm.

“Despite the fact that phthalates are used in many products, exposure is extremely low – much lower than the levels considered safe by regulatory agencies,” said Liz Bowman, a spokesperson for the American Chemistry Council, which represents manufacturers of phthalates and other chemicals.

The researchers analyzed the urine of more than 11,000 American adults and children between 2001 and 2010. They discovered that people are still widely exposed to phthalates; some were found in 98 percent of people tested.

Breakdown products of three phthalates that Congress banned from toys and other children’s products were significantly lower in 2010 than in 2001. One of the compounds, known as DEHP, found in some toys, blood bags and medical tubing, decreased 37 percent.

“Despite the fact that phthalates are used in many products, exposure is extremely low – much lower than the levels considered safe by regulatory agencies.” –Liz Bowman, American Chemistry CouncilWhile DEHP remained higher in children than adults, the levels dropped faster in children, narrowing the gap over time, according to the study, which was published online in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives. The study did not look at children under 6, who may be more highly exposed to phthalates and more susceptible to adverse health effects.

“Today phthalate usage is virtually nonexistent in toys. They have been replaced by non-phthalate substitutes,” said Alan Kaufman, senior vice president of technical affairs for the Toy Industry Association. He added that the toy industry began to transition away from phthalates years ago, but that the trend has been accelerated by regulatory actions in the U.S. and European Union.

However, three other phthalates used in some children’s products increased between 2001 and 2010. DiNP rose 149 percent, while DnOP increased 25 percent and DiDP rose 15 percent. The three were temporarily banned in 2008 in U.S. toys and childcare products that could be put in a child’s mouth. The Consumer Product Safety Commission is currently debating whether to lift the restrictions or make them permanent.

In addition, last month, California added DiNP to a list of chemicals known by the state to cause cancer. That could lead to warning labels on consumer products sold in the state.

Diueine Monteiro/flickr
Phthalates are used as fragrances in some shampoos and lotions.

DBP, which dropped 17 percent in people in the decade studied, was used in nail polish until a few years ago, when most major manufacturers eliminated it. Benzylbutyl phthalate, used in vinyl tiles and sealants, decreased 32 percent. Both compounds were part of the 2008 ban for children’s products.

A phthalate used primarily for fragrance – diethyl phthalate or DEP – decreased 42 percent. While it is not subject to U.S. bans, advocacy groups have pressured the cosmetics industry to remove it from products with initiatives such as the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics.

The study authors saw a steeper decline in DEP in adults and adolescents than in children, who may be less likely to use personal care products.

Joe Braun, an epidemiologist at Brown University who was not involved in the study, said “the age-dependent patterns confirm what we suspect about where these exposures are coming from.”

“These findings are not as reassuring as they could be,” Braun added.

For instance, DiBP, used in some nail polishes and personal care products, increased 206 percent in the decade studied.

Manufacturers may be using some phthalates as substitutes for the ones that declined, the researchers said. But it’s hard to know because they aren’t required to list ingredients on many consumer products.

“We are not confident that cosmetics manufacturers are replacing toxic phthalates with safer alternatives,” said Janet Nudelman, co-founder of the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics.

The Personal Care Products Council, a Washington D.C.-based trade group, did not respond to requests for comment on the findings.

“There’s a clear need for better data reporting on ingredient composition of everyday consumer products so that we can fully understand the impacts of legislation and consumer pressure,” said Zota, who co-authored the study with UC San Francisco Professor Tracey Woodruff and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention scientist Antonia Calafat.

Source: Zota et al. 2014

Companies used BPS as a safe alternative to BPA. (David McNew/Getty Images)

BPA alternative disrupts normal brain-cell growth, is tied to hyperactivity, study says

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In a groundbreaking study, researchers have shown why a chemical once thought to be a safe alternative to bisphenol-A, which was abandoned by manufacturers of baby bottles and sippy cups after a public outcry, might itself be more harmful than BPA.

Companies used BPS as a safe alternative to BPA. (David McNew/Getty Images)

Read more from Amy Ellis Nutt at The Washington Post.

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Global Polyvinyl Chloride Market Size, Market Share Competitive Scenario And Forecasts, 2012 To 2020

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The global polyvinyl chloride (PVC) market is expected to register considerable growth owing to increasing demand for rigid PVC in applications such as tubes, pipes and fittings. Increasing construction spending in emerging markets such as Brazil, China and India is expected to fuel the market growth over the forecast period. Increasing application of PVC in automotive and medical devices may positively impact the market over the next six years. PVC is widely used to manufacture pipes, wires, sheets, films, cables and bottles which find application in various end-use industries such as building & construction, electrical & electronics, transportation and packaging. 

Over the last few years, the market has witnessed downturn in demand owing global recession of 2009 which impacted the growth of critical industries such as construction, transportation and electronics. Furthermore, the global recession had an impact on the prices of PVC which faltered due to low demand in major markets such as North America and Europe. Recovery of end-use industries in North America and Europe is expected have a positive impact on the market. Civil unrest in Middle East has hindered the crude oil prices which adversely affected feedstock prices. Fluctuating raw material prices have resulted in volatility in PVC prices. Rising environmental concerns regarding presence of phthalate plasticizers and low degradation rate of PVC pose threat to the market. However, increasing R&D for development of bio-based PVC is expected to hold opportunities for market participants. 

For more information please click on: 
http://www.researchandmarkets.com/publication/mztazv8/global_polyvinyl_chloride

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US CPSC proposes ban on phthalates in children’s products

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12 January 2015

The US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is proposing to permanently ban the use of another five phthalates in children’s toys and childcare articles.

The move is based on the recommendations of the Chronic Hazard Advisory Panel (CHAP), which assessed the risks of 14 phthalates and six alternatives to the substances (CW 22 July 2014).

The panel recommended that diisobutyl phthalate (DIBP), di-n-pentyl phthalate (DnPP), di-n-hexyl phthalate (DnHP) and dicyclohexyl phthalate (DCHP) be permanently banned from use in children’s toys and childcare articles at levels greater than 0.1%. There is no restriction in place for these substances at the moment. Their toxicological profiles are very similar to other antiandrogenic phthalates, so exposure to these substances contributes to the cumulative risk, the panel said.

It also suggested that the Commission’s interim ban on the use of diisononyl phthalate (DINP) at levels greater than 0.1% be made permanent.

The Commission voted 3-2 to accept a staff report proposing a rulemaking that embraces most of the CHAP’s recommendations. However, it is not proposing any prohibition of products containing diisooctyl phthalate (DIOP). “Although the CHAP recommended an interim prohibition on DIOP, the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) did not provide for an interim prohibition as an option for the Commission’s rule under section 108. CPSIA section 108(b)(3),” the agency said in a Federal Register notice.

The CPSIA, which was enacted in 2008, permanently banned three phthalates:

  • di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP);
  • dibutyl pththalate (DBP); and
  • butyl benzyl phthalate (BBP).

It also imposed interim bans on:

  • DINP;
  • di-isodecyl phthalate  (DIDP); and
  • di-n-octyl phthalate (DNOP).

Saying the proposed rule is based “largely on old data,” the American Chemistry Council (ACC) said the CPSC should have considered the most recently-available Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) biomonitoring data from 2009-10 and 2011-12 prior to issuing a proposed rule.

The 2009-10 biomonitoring data “clearly show a marked decrease in overall phthalate exposure since the 2005-06 data used by the CHAP, the ACC said. “This data is more relevant to exposures since the enactment of the CPSIA. This trend persists, as seen in the 2011-12 CDC data released this year..” Exposures to DINP remain extremely low with margins of exposure (MOEs) that are many times above the concentrations that induce adverse effects in rats, it said. “In fact, when the CHAP cumulative risk methodology is used with the 2009-10 data, the Hazard Index (HI) is well below one, indicating exposure levels do not pose a risk to human health, the ACC said.

Comments are due by 16 March. The CPSC has notified the WTO of the proposed rule.

From Chemical Watch: Global Risk & Regulation News

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Global PVC Floor Industry Report 2014

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The report provides a basic overview of the industry including definitions, classifications, applications and industry chain structure. The PVC floor market analysis is provided for the international markets including development trends, competitive landscape analysis, and key regions development status.

Development policies and plans are also discussed and manufacturing processes and cost structures analyzed. PVC floor industry import/export consumption, supply and demand figures and cost price and production value gross margins are also provided. Get the full report here.

http://www.researchandmarkets.com/publication/mcwhitn/global_pvc_floor_industry_report_2014

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Phthalates risk damaging children’s IQs in the womb, US researchers suggest

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Additives found in plastics and scented products could affect brain development and lower IQ.

Pregnant women should avoid additives called phthalates found in common household products, according to US researchers, who found evidence that the substances may reduce children’s IQ.

Children whose mothers had the highest levels of phthalates had IQs on average seven points below those whose mothers had the lowest. The 328 women from inner-city New York who took part in the study had levels of phthalates in urine measured in the last weeks of pregnancy. IQs of the children were tested at seven years old.

While the study was purely observational and cannot prove that phthalates caused the children’s lower IQs, the research team said pregnant women might still want to avoid the additives as a precaution.

“People, and especially pregnant women, should try to reduce their exposure to phthalates, and we as investigators follow the same advice that we give,” said Pam Factor-Litvak, an epidemiologist at Columbia University in New York.

Read more at theguardian.com

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About 99 Percent of the Ocean’s Plastic Has Disappeared. Where It’s Ending Up Should Scare All of Us

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From water bottles to the microbeads in our face wash, we send millions of tons of plastic into the ocean every year. Not only does it amount to $13 billion in damages to the environment, but it costs the lives of the marine animals that end up choking on our garbage.

A new study has found even grimmer news: About 99 percent of the ocean’s plastic is missing, and there’s a chance that a large amount is ending up on our dinner plates.

Read more from Kristina Bravo at takepart.com.