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News and Announcements

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Topic-specific News

Items specific to any of the topics in the What We Know section of this site are displayed in the left sidebar of those pages. The same is true for our ScienceServ and Special Partnerships pages.

News and announcements related to environmental impacts on human health, collected from a multitude of sources, especially Environmental Health News. For additional items or to subscribe to this feed, visit healthandenvironment.org/CHE.xml.

CHE offers this information as a service but does not endorse any of the events, articles or announcements.

The plasticizer BBP selectively inhibits epigenetic regulator sirtuin during differentiation of C3H10T1/2 stem cell line.

December 8, 2016

Our study suggests for the first time that benzyl butyl phthalate (BBP), a potential epigenetic disruptor, can lead to increased adipogenesis and metabolic dysregulation by impairing vital epigenetic regulators. Toxicology In Vitro.

Does exposure to phthalates influence thyroid function and growth hormone homeostasis? The Taiwan Environmental Survey for Toxicants (TEST) 2013.

December 8, 2016

Our results are consistent with the hypothesis that exposure to phthalates influences thyroid function and growth hormone homeostasis. Environmental Research.

Exposure to phthalates in children aged 5-7years: associations with thyroid function and insulin-like growth factors.

December 8, 2016

Exposure to some phthalates at 5-7years of age might interfere with thyroid hormones and growth. Science of the Total Environment.

Internal living environment and respiratory disease in children: findings from the Growing Up in New Zealand longitudinal child cohort study.

December 8, 2016

The risk of early childhood acute respiratory infection (ARI) hospitalisation is increased by gas heater usage, specifically in the child’s bedroom. Use of non-gas forms of heating may reduce the risk of early childhood ARI hospitalisation. Environmental Health.

EPA’s national assessment finds nutrient pollution is widespread in lakes.

December 8, 2016

The National Lakes Assessment also found an algal toxin—microcystin—in 39 percent of lakes but below levels of concern. Low concentrations of the herbicide atrazine were found in 30 percent of lakes.

Fat fuels cancer's spread in mice.

December 8, 2016

The cells responsible for cancer's spread—and for most deaths from cancer—may have a fatal weakness according to studies in mice: a reliance on certain fats to fuel their invasion. Nature.
[See the study: Targeting metastasis-initiating cells through the fatty acid receptor CD36]

US life expectancy declines for the first time since 1993.

December 8, 2016

Rising fatalities from heart disease and stroke, diabetes, drug overdoses, accidents and other conditions caused the lower life expectancy revealed in a report released Thursday by the National Center for Health Statistics. Washington Post.
[See the report: Mortality in the United States, 2015]

Baby teether study finds potentially harmful chemicals, including BPA, triclosan and other endocrine disruptors.

December 8, 2016

Lots of parents make it a point to buy baby teethers labeled "non-toxic" or "BPA-free," but a new study suggests they might not be 100-percent free of troubling chemicals. CBS News.
[See the study: Migration of parabens, bisphenols, benzophenone-type UV filters, triclosan, and triclocarban from teethers and its implications for infant exposure]

Eating food wrapped in newspapers can invite cancer, says FSSAI.

December 8, 2016

There is an urgent need to discourage the use of newspaper as food packaging material by creating awareness, says advisory. New Delhi Asian Age, India.

Risk limits under new toxics law may continue past practice.

December 8, 2016

When the Environmental Protection Agency writes new chemical regulations under the amended toxics law it will need to apply conventional agency risk assessment norms or have to explain why it's not doing so, former EPA officials said. Bloomberg BNA.

Five questions on the environment, health, and the Americans who suffer most.

December 8, 2016

Low-income neighborhoods still bear far more than their fair share of the burden from environmental pollution, including health problems. Philadelphia Inquirer, Pennsylvania.

Residential proximity to major roadways, fine particulate matter, and adiposity: the Framingham Heart Study.

December 7, 2016

Living closer to a major roadway was associated with higher overall and abdominal adiposity. Obesity.

Effects of air pollution exposure on glucose metabolism in Los Angeles minority children.

December 7, 2016

Elevated air pollution exposure was associated with a metabolic profile that is characteristic of increased risk for type 2 diabetes. Pediatric Obesity.

EPA moves to ban certain aerosol degreasers and dry cleaning spot removers as the first major regulatory action under chemical reform law.

December 7, 2016

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing to ban certain uses of the toxic chemical trichloroethylene (TCE) due to health risks when used as a degreaser and a spot removal agent in dry cleaning. Comments on the proposed rule must be received 60 days after date of publication in the Federal Register.

Should I worry about the mercury in the fish I eat?

December 7, 2016

The fish we eat, such as tuna and salmon, all contain small amounts of mercury—a pollutant that can be highly toxic to our nervous systems. BBC.

Five west African countries ban 'dirty diesel' from Europe.

December 7, 2016

Five west African countries have announced measures to end the practice of European oil companies and traders exporting "African quality" diesel—highly polluting fuels that could never be sold in Europe. The Guardian.

Are plastic chemicals in dads hurting embryos?

December 7, 2016

A father's exposure to chemicals commonly found in plastics, personal care products and food packaging might decrease the quality of embryos produced by their sperm, according to a new study out of Massachusetts. Environmental Health News.
[See the study: Parental contributions to early embryo development: influences of urinary phthalate and phthalate alternatives among couples undergoing IVF treatment]

Smoking during pregnancy may lead to later substance use in the child.

December 7, 2016

New findings suggest that interventions that help reduce smoking in pregnancy may not only promote children's healthy development, but also reduce vulnerability to substance use. The Conversation.
[See the study: DNA methylation and substance-use risk: a prospective, genome-wide study spanning gestation to adolescence]

Mosquitoes thrive in US but don't blame climate change.

December 7, 2016

A surprising new study finds that mosquito populations have exploded in parts of the U.S. but not because of a warming climate. Instead, the study finds, growing cities and the ban on the insecticide DDT may be responsible. NBC News.
[See the study: Anthropogenic impacts on mosquito populations in North America over the past century]

Is diet outpacing pills in driving down us lipid levels?

December 6, 2016

Declines in total cholesterol, triglycerides, and LDL cholesterol observed around the new millennium continue their downward march in US adults, with the sharpest drops surprisingly seen in those not on lipid-lowering drugs, in a National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey analysis. Medscape.
[See the study: Trends in total cholesterol, triglycerides, and low-density lipoprotein in US adults, 1999-2014]

In the battle against malnutrition, UN expert says junk food is the real culprit.

December 6, 2016

A significant part of what's gone wrong, Elver explains, is that international trade policies have allowed large food corporations to sell lots of soda, fast food, and other high calorie, nutrient-poor products made with cheap refined grains, corn sweeteners, and vegetable oil. Civil Eats.
[See the Interim report of the Special Rapporteur on the right to food]

California finalizes Proposition 65 rule regarding point-of- sale warnings for bisphenol A (BPA).

December 6, 2016

On December 2, 2016, California's Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) finalized its regulation regarding point-of-sale (POS) warnings for canned and bottled foods and beverages if bisphenol A (BPA) has been intentionally used in a can, lid, or cap. Law Review.

Protective prevention effects on the association of poverty with brain development.

December 6, 2016

In this secondary analysis of data from the Strong African American Families randomized clinical trial, childhood poverty was associated with diminished volume of brain limbic regions in adulthood. The parenting-focused intervention was associated with attenuations in risk for poverty and reduced brain development. JAMA Pediatrics.

Forget those occasional cigarettes: there is no safe smoking level.

December 6, 2016

The National Cancer Institute study found that people who consistently smoked an average of less than one cigarette per day over their lifetimes had a 64 percent higher risk of earlier death. Those who smoked one to 10 cigarettes a day had an 87 percent greater risk. Washington Post.
[See the study: Association of long-term, low-intensity smoking with all-cause and cause-specific mortality in the National Institutes of Health–AARP Diet and Health Study]

Beauty products for black women are full of dodgy ingredients.

December 6, 2016

A disproportionately high number of hair and beauty products marketed to black women contain potentially harmful ingredients, according to a new investigation by a consumer advocacy and environmental research organization. Mother Jones.
[See the report: Big Market for Black Cosmetics, but Less-Hazardous Choices Limited]

New report: Exploring Data and Metrics of Value at the Intersection of Health Care and Transportation: Proceedings of a Workshop.

December 5, 2016

In June 2016 the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine held a joint workshop to explore partnerships, data, and measurement at the intersection of the health care and transportation sectors.

Call for proposals: Using a Total Environment Framework (Built, Natural, Social Environments) to Assess Life-long Health Effects of Chemical Exposures.

December 5, 2016

Proposed research should develop and test innovative models or impact assessment approaches to examine causal relationships of chemical pollutants and health effects with modifying interactions among the variables representing all of the major stressors and factors involved in a person’s life. The deadline to submit proposals to EPA is March 2, 2017.

Nut consumption and risk of cardiovascular disease, total cancer, all-cause and cause-specific mortality: a systematic review and dose-response meta-analysis of prospective studies.

December 5, 2016

Higher nut intake is associated with reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, total cancer and all-cause mortality, and mortality from respiratory disease, diabetes, and infections. BMC Medicine.

Putting the brakes on diesel pollution from big rigs at NJ's ports.

December 5, 2016

The state is taking another stab at dealing with one of the region's most persistent and threatening problems—unhealthy air pollution from heavy-duty diesel trucks traveling to and from its busiest ports. Montclair NJ Spotlight, New Jersey.

Household chemicals and diabetes: a surprising link.

December 4, 2016

A new analysis indicates that a 25% reduction in exposure to certain household chemicals would reduce diabetes cases by approximately 13%—not as much as a similar reduction in obesity rates would reduce diabetes cases, but enough to save billions of euros in annual health costs in Europe. MD.
[See the study: Population attributable risks and costs of diabetogenic chemical exposures in the elderly]