Ambient BTEX Exposure and Hormone-related Health Conditions in Humans

May 20, 2015
10:00 am US Eastern Time

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A recently published review of the effects of low level human exposure to four chemicals known together as BTEX—benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, and xylene—was presented on this call. BTEX are most well known as products of combustion exhaust, and more recently as pollutants from unconventional oil and gas operations (drilling and hydraulic fracturing). Typically, concentrations found indoors are higher than outdoors due to off-gassing from products like household cleaners, fabric treatments, building materials, furniture and automotive products. However, recent studies measuring the compounds at residences near oil and gas development have found concentrations hundreds of times greater than those in this review.

Ashley Bolden presented evidence from the review suggesting that low BTEX exposure (chemicals individually or in combination) are connected to developmental, respiratory, and immune effects like reduced fetal growth, asthma, and increased susceptibility to allergy at levels considered safe by the US EPA.

Featured Speaker

Ashley BoldenAshley Bolden is a Research Associate at The Endocrine Disruption Exchange (TEDX). She began working for the non-profit in 2011, shortly after receiving her Master’s degree in Integrative Physiology from the University of Colorado Boulder. There she studied the effects of waste treated water on the reproductive physiology of fish. Ashley’s current projects involve the use of systematic review to perform literature-based assessments of the impacts of environmental chemicals on health. Her work also focuses on understanding how prenatal exposure to environmental contaminants influences disease susceptibility later in life.  

This half-hour teleconference call is one in a monthly series sponsored by the Collaborative on Health and the Environment’s EDC Strategies Group.The CHE EDC Strategies Group is chaired by Carol Kwiatkowski (TEDX), Sharyle Patton (Commonweal), and Genon Jensen (HEAL). To see a full list of past calls in the series and listen to the MP3 recordings please visit the CHE Endocrine Distrupting Chemicals webpage.

The call was moderated by Carol Kwiatkowski, executive director of The Endocrine Disruption Exchange. The call was recorded for archival purposes.