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Toxic Chemicals News Stories

Below are key excerpts of revealing news articles on the toxic chemicals that we're exposed to in our food, household products, environment, and more. If any link fails to function, a paywall blocks full access, or the article is no longer available, try these digital tools.

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Sort articles by: Article Date | Date Posted on WantToKnow.info | Importance

Glyphosate Linked to Severe Depression and Cognitive Decline in U.S. Adults
2023-08-29, The Defender
Posted: 2023-09-10 20:37:36
https://childrenshealthdefense.org/defender/glyphosate-depression-cognitive-d...

A new peer-reviewed study released by a group of scientists in Taiwan has revealed an astonishingly strong link between severe depression, cognitive decline and exposure to the world’s most used herbicide, glyphosate. The study was fully published on Aug. 22 in the highly respected Elsevier Journal, Environmental Research. It was met with silence by the manufacturers of glyphosate-based herbicides such as Bayer/Monsanto, who produce the infamous weedkiller Roundup. The study authors stated that they: “Conducted analyses on existing data collected from 1532 adults of the 2013–2014 U.S. National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) to explore the possible relationship between glyphosate exposure and cognitive function, depressive symptoms, disability, and neurological medical conditions.” The proportion of individuals with detectable levels of glyphosate was 80.4%. The scientists concluded: “Our study provides important evidence of an association between urinary glyphosate levels and adverse neurological outcomes in a representative cohort of U.S. adult population. “Specifically, we observed lower cognitive function scores, greater odds of severe depressive symptoms, and increased risk of serious hearing difficulty in individuals with higher glyphosate exposure.” Some other recent independent studies ... suggest that both glyphosate alone and glyphosate-based herbicides such as Roundup are neurotoxins.

Note: A 2019 study found that glyphosate increases cancer risk by 41%. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on food system corruption and health from reliable major media sources.


Map: Does your drinking water contain ‘forever chemicals’?
2023-08-05, The Hill
Posted: 2023-08-15 13:26:06
https://thehill.com/homenews/nexstar_media_wire/4133806-map-does-your-drinkin...

So-called “forever chemicals” have been found in 45% of the nation’s tap water, according to a recent government study, but is your tap water affected? If you’re wondering whether or not your tap water might contain synthetic chemicals known as PFAS, nonprofit Environmental Working Group created an interactive map using official records and data from public drinking water systems to show where forever chemicals were found to be above and below the advised maximum concentration level, 4 parts per trillion (PPT). EWG notes that while researchers used the highest quality data available, contamination levels are based on a single point in time and may not reflect changes to the water system or treatment efforts. PFAS is an umbrella term for thousands of chemicals that are used to make nonstick pans, food packaging, fire-fighting foams, to-go boxes, furniture, rugs, clothing and more. The chemicals are so ubiquitous it would be nearly impossible for most Americans to rid their home of them. The chemicals are both extremely common and potentially dangerous. Described as “forever chemicals” because they don’t degrade naturally in the environment, PFAS have been linked to a variety of health problems, including liver and immune-system damage. Studies of lab animals have found potential links between PFAS chemicals and some cancers, including kidney and testicular, plus issues such as high blood pressure and low birth weight.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corporate corruption and health from reliable major media sources.


Chemical companies’ PFAS payouts are huge – but the problem is even bigger
2023-08-03, The Guardian (One of the UK's Leading Newspapers)
Posted: 2023-08-15 13:24:40
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2023/aug/03/chemical-companies-pfas-p...

When the chemical giant 3M agreed in early June to pay up to $12.5bn to settle a lawsuit over PFAS contamination in water systems across the nation, it was hailed by attorneys as “the largest drinking water settlement in American history”, and viewed as a significant win for the public in the battle against toxic “forever chemicals”. A second June settlement with the PFAS manufacturers DuPont, Chemours and Corteva tallied a hefty $1.1bn. But while the sums are impressive on their face, they represent just a fraction of the estimated $400bn some estimate will be needed to clean and protect the nation’s drinking water. Orange county, California, alone put the cost of cleaning its system at $1bn. Because PFAS are so widely used and the scale of their harm is so great ... the industry’s final bill could exceed the $200bn paid by big tobacco in the 1990s. PFAS are a class of about 15,000 compounds used to make products across dozens of industries resistant to water, stains and heat. They are called “forever chemicals” because they do not naturally break down, and are linked to cancer, kidney disease, liver conditions, immune disorders, birth defects and other health problems. The chemicals are thought to be contaminating drinking water for over 200 million Americans. Tens of thousands of contaminated private wells are not included in the settlement. The chemicals are also widely used in thousands of consumer products from dental floss to cookware to clothing, and have been found to contaminate food, soil and air.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corporate corruption and health from reliable major media sources.


Why did the National Honey Board hire a PR firm that works for the pesticide industry?
2023-08-08, U.S. Right to Know
Posted: 2023-08-15 13:16:54
https://usrtk.org/pesticides/national-honey-board-porter-novelli/

In 2016, the American honey industry faced a crisis: The U.S. Food and Drug Administration had found high levels of glyphosate, an herbicide linked to cancer, in honey samples from Iowa. The National Honey Board (NHB), a honey industry-funded agency of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, did what many businesses under fire have done: They hired a crisis management public relations firm, in this case to downplay the risks of glyphosate in honey. The PR firm, Porter Novelli, later worked with the NHB to deflect concerns about honey containing neonicotinoids. The insect-killing chemicals are tied to the collapse of bee colonies. At the same time, Porter Novelli was working for Bayer, a leading manufacturer of glyphosate and neonicotinoids. The PR firm’s work for Bayer included promoting the use of neonicotinoids and opposing regulations that would safeguard honey bees. CropLife America, the pesticide industry lobby group, has also hired Porter Novelli’s subsidiary, Paradigm Communications, to “lead the effort to shift how pesticide products were portrayed in search engine results,” according to the Intercept. Search terms compiled by CropLife America staff included “neonicotinoid,” “pollinators,” and “neonics.” As other countries responded to the science by banning neonics, in the U.S., “industry dug in, seeking not only to discredit the research but to cast pesticide companies as a solution to the problem." Studies show the insecticides are toxic to the brain and nervous system [of humans].

Note: According to the CDC, about half the U.S. population is exposed to at least one neonic on a regular basis, with children ages 3-5 years old having the highest levels. Merchants of Poison: How Monsanto Sold the World on a Toxic Pesticide is a recent and comprehensive analysis of documents released in litigation against Monsanto that expose years of pesticide industry disinformation. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on food system corruption.


Common Chemical Strongly Linked to Parkinson's
2023-05-23, Smithsonian Magazine
Posted: 2023-06-04 18:59:31
https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/common-chemical-strongly-linked-to-...

A study of military veterans has shown the strongest evidence yet that the widespread chemical trichloroethylene (TCE)–used in spot removers, office products and dry-cleaning–is linked to Parkinson's disease. The research focused on service members who were stationed at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina between 1975 and 1985, when levels of TCE in the base's water reached 70 times higher than the Environmental Protection Agency's limit. After accounting for demographic factors, Camp Lejeune veterans were 70 percent more likely to develop the movement disorder than service members stationed at Camp Pendleton in California, where the water was uncontaminated. The large study, published last week in the journal JAMA Neurology, adds to a handful of smaller, earlier papers that found a link between TCE and Parkinson's. TCE, which can be in liquid or vapor form, has been commonly used since the 1920s, including as an inhaled surgical anesthetic and in several cleaning products. Today, it's primarily used in making refrigerants and degreasing metal equipment. The chemical breaks down slowly and can be detected in the air, water and soil. It's also found in one-third of U.S. drinking water. The Camp Lejeune drinking water was contaminated with TCE and other chemicals from 1953 to 1987, per the study, due to leakage from underground storage tanks, industrial spills, waste disposal sites and a dry-cleaning business.

Note: Internal corporate documents reveal how global chemical giant Syngenta secretly influenced scientific research regarding links between its top-selling weedkiller and Parkinson's disease. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on health from reliable major media sources.


A potentially cancer-causing chemical is sprayed on much of America’s farmland. Here is where it is used the most.
2022-10-10, NBC News
Posted: 2023-06-04 18:57:12
https://www.nbcnews.com/data-graphics/toxic-herbicides-map-showing-high-use-s...

Every day, farms across the country use a potentially cancer-causing chemical that is in the world’s most common weedkillers. And data shows that it’s most used in the Midwest and parts of the South. Glyphosate, the active ingredient in many herbicides, has been in use for nearly 50 years. The World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer concluded in a 2015 report that the chemical “is probably carcinogenic to humans.” Glyphosate’s main use is in agriculture. Weedkillers containing it are used on nearly half of all planted acres of corn and soybeans in the U.S. They’re also used on acres of farmland where wheat, oats, fruits and cotton are grown. Pesticide residue testing from the FDA found glyphosate residues on a wide variety of crops, including oats, soybeans, cranberries, grapes, raisins, oranges, apples, cherries and beans. A 2020 Department of Health and Human Services report notes that the greatest potential exposure is among farm workers and gardeners that use glyphosate-based herbicides and those who live near farms, manufacturing plants ... and hazardous waste disposal sites. For the general public, the report notes that exposure to glyphosate typically comes by touching or eating food or water containing residues. Some studies have found a link between increased cancer rates and higher levels of exposure. Several peer-reviewed studies have also suggested that herbicides containing glyphosate may disrupt hormones and alter the gut microbiome

Note: Don't miss the interactive map of glyphosate usage available at the link above. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on food system corruption and health from reliable major media sources.


Recycled and reused food contact plastics are 'vectors' for toxins – study
2023-05-27, The Guardian (One of the UK's Leading Newspapers)
Posted: 2023-06-04 18:55:29
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2023/may/27/recycled-reused-food-plas...

Recycled and reused food contact plastics are "vectors for spreading chemicals of concern" because they accumulate and release hundreds of dangerous toxins like styrene, benzene, bisphenol, heavy metals, formaldehyde and phthalates, new research finds. The study assessed hundreds of scientific publications on plastic and recycled plastic to provide a first-of-its-kind systematic review of food contact chemicals in food packaging, utensils, plates and other items and what is known about how the substances contaminate food. "Hazardous chemicals can accumulate in recycled material and then migrate into foodstuffs, leading to chronic human exposure," the study's authors wrote, noting bottles made from polyethylene terephthalate (PET) plastic as a common example. The study ... identified 853 chemicals used in PET recycled plastic and many of those have been discovered during the last two years. The most commonly detected were antimony and acetaldehyde, while potent toxins like 2,4-DTBP, ethylene glycol, lead, terephthalic acid, bisphenol and cyclic PET oligomers were also most frequently found. The review also highlighted widespread "illicit" recycling in which industry uses non-food grade plastic made with flame retardants and other toxic compounds in recycled food packaging. Despite strict regulations on which types of plastic can be used for food contact, studies identified [contaminated materials from] recycled electronics in the US, South Korea and European markets.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on food system corruption and health from reliable major media sources.


Monsanto and the Merchants of Poison
2022-12-23, CounterPunch
Posted: 2023-06-04 18:51:49
https://www.counterpunch.org/2022/12/23/monsanto-and-the-merchants-of-poison/

Last week, the report Merchants of Poison: How Monsanto Sold the World on a Toxic Pesticide was published by authors Stacy Malkan, Kendra Klein and Anna Lappé. [In 2012], pesticide and processed food companies spent $45 million to defeat a ballot initiative to label GMOs (genetically modified foods) in California. This campaign was led by Monsanto, one of the planet’s largest producers of GMOs. Monsanto created a PR storm through the mouths of so-called third-party “experts” from across the fields of academia and science. It was later revealed that these allegedly neutral voices were closely tied to Monsanto. The World Health Organization (WHO) in 2015 concluded that glyphosate—the chemical contained within herbicides that most GMO crops have been engineered to resist—is likely a human carcinogen. Thousands sued Monsanto claiming that their exposure of Monsanto’s glyphosate-based product, Roundup, caused their cancers. Monsanto employees ghostwrote scientific papers on the safety of glyphosate and strategized how to discredit journalists and scientists raising concerns about the pesticide. Major universities, including University of California Davis and University of Florida, played a significant role in legitimizing and amplifying pesticide industry product-defense efforts. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Cornell University, and the American Academy for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) ... also provided essential aid and cover for pesticide industry propaganda.

Note: A 2019 study found that glyphosate increases cancer risk by 41%. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on GMOs and science corruption from reliable major media sources.


The Pesticide Industry’s Playbook for Poisoning the Earth
2020-01-18, The Intercept
Posted: 2023-04-17 13:40:36
https://theintercept.com/2020/01/18/bees-insecticides-pesticides-neonicotinoi...

In 2013, the European Union called for a temporary suspension of the most commonly used neonicotinoid-based products on flowering plants, citing the danger posed to bees — an effort that resulted in a permanent ban in 2018. In the U.S., however, industry dug in, seeking not only to discredit the research but to cast pesticide companies as a solution to the problem. Lobbying documents and emails ... show a sophisticated effort over the last decade by the pesticide industry to obstruct any effort to restrict the use of neonicotinoids. Bayer and Syngenta, the largest manufacturers of neonics, and Monsanto, one of the leading producers of seeds pretreated with neonics, cultivated ties with prominent academics ... and other scientists who had once called for a greater focus on the threat posed by pesticides. A study published in peer-reviewed journal PLOS One found that the American landscape has become 48 times more toxic to insects since the 1990s, a shift largely fueled by the rising application of neonics. “Generally, we see the U.S. waiting longer than the EU to take action on a variety of pesticides and other chemicals,” said [Willa] Childress ... with Pesticide Action Network North America. Part of the divergence, Childress continued, stems from a regulatory system in the U.S. that assumes chemical products are generally safe until proven hazardous. In contrast, the EU tends to use the “precautionary principle,” removing products that may cause harm.

Note: Merchants of Poison: How Monsanto Sold the World on a Toxic Pesticide is a recent and comprehensive analysis of documents released in litigation against Monsanto and their dangerous use of glyphosate. These revealing documents expose years of pesticide industry disinformation, attacks on scientists and journalists, and Monsanto’s deep influence on US regulatory agencies to manipulate science and prioritize profits over public health. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corruption in science and in the food system from reliable major media sources.


The links between pollution and miscarriage: ‘This is the stuff nightmares are made of’
2023-03-28, The Guardian (One of the UK's Leading Newspapers)
Posted: 2023-04-02 20:12:16
https://www.theguardian.com/society/2023/mar/29/the-links-between-pollution-a...

The world we live in is slowly poisoning every single one of us. And the chemicals doing the most damage are byproducts of the fossil fuel industry, agribusiness and manufacturing. There doesn’t seem to be the appetite at a regulatory or governmental level to stop it. In Australia, 50,000 agricultural, industrial and veterinary chemicals are being used; 1,500 are suspected to interfere with endocrine function, which is essential to the healthy working of our reproductive and hormonal systems. Only a very small number have been tested. Microplastics, which can cause inflammation in the body, is being found in our blood streams and also in the placentas of unborn fetuses. Walking down a major intersection during rush hour can expose you to as much particulate matter as a major bushfire event. Even if chemicals are tested, the testing regimen means that chemicals are only being tested in isolation and not in conjunction with others to see how compounds react. Also, they might be tested for carcinogenic effects ... but the test subjects aren't monitored for other ill-effects, such as endocrine disruption. Some effects take place long after the research has concluded. Some of these chemicals can stay in the body forever. Or affect the way our DNA functions. There’s even an Australian website (not widely enough publicised) called yourfertility.org.au. It has an entire section on chemicals in our environment and what to avoid, stating that “avoiding these chemicals may increase the chance of having a baby”.

Note: The above was written by Isabelle Oderberg, author of Hard to Bear: Investigating the science and silence of miscarriage. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corporate corruption and health from reliable major media sources.


How microplastics are infiltrating the food you eat
2023-01-03, BBC News
Posted: 2023-02-26 22:37:57
https://www.bbc.com/future/article/20230103-how-plastic-is-getting-into-our-food

Microplastics have infiltrated every part of the planet. One study estimated that there are around 24.4 trillion fragments of microplastics in the upper regions of the world's oceans. But they aren't just ubiquitous in water – they are spread widely in soils on land too and can even end up in the food we eat. Unwittingly, we may be consuming tiny fragments of plastic with almost every bite we take. In 2022, analysis by the Environmental Working Group, an environmental non-profit, found that sewage sludge has contaminated almost 20 million acres (80,937sq km) of US cropland with per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), often called "forever chemicals", which are commonly found in plastic products and do not break down under normal environmental conditions. Sludge is commonly used as organic fertiliser in the US and Europe. Due to this practice ... between 31,000 and 42,000 tonnes of microplastics, or 86 trillion to 710 trillion microplastic particles, contaminate European farmland each year. Plastic particles can also contaminate food crops directly. A 2020 study found microplastics and nanoplastics in fruit and vegetables sold by supermarkets and in produce sold by local sellers. Crops absorb nanoplastic particles from surrounding water and soil through tiny cracks in their roots. Chemicals found in plastic have been linked to cancer, heart disease and poor fetal development. High levels of ingested microplastics may also cause cell damage which could lead to inflammation and allergic reactions.

Note: There seems to be no part of the planet that is unaffected by the pervasiveness of microplastics, from being found in human veins, human lungs, flying insects, and in 90% of table salt, to heavily polluting our skies and now spiraling around the globe through Earth’s atmosphere. Read more on simple ways that you can reduce microplastic pollution and consumption in your life, and support the many organizations making a meaningful difference to address this issue.


How pesticides impair our senses
2023-02-15, BBC News
Posted: 2023-02-26 22:35:53
https://www.bbc.com/future/article/20230215-how-pesticides-harm-human-health

Regenerative agriculture is an approach to farming that prioritises soil and environmental health by minimising synthetic inputs. [Farm manager Tim Parton] switched to using biologically active inputs after experiencing headaches and skin rashes from using pesticides. After sheep dipping, which involves immersing sheep in insecticide and pesticide mixtures to eliminate parasites, lumps would often show up on his arms. "I would be a mess, but if I went to the doctors, they would say 'you've just had a reaction' and would not take it seriously," he says. Since adopting a biological farming method, Parton has not experienced any negative health impacts. He has not had to use any phosphorus and potassium fertilisers on his crops for over 10 years. He says he has observed a big increase in insect and bird species since he stopped using pesticides. Pesticides may be responsible for the loss of smell in honeybees and salmon. Despite global regulations on pesticide use, one study estimates that about 385 million cases of unintentional, acute pesticide poisoning occur among farm workers each year. A 2020 study found that of the estimated 860 million agricultural workers worldwide, 44% are affected by pesticide poisoning annually. Acute health impacts can range from seizures to respiratory depression. Pesticide exposure has been associated with conditions such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and Parkinson's disease. Pesticide exposure has also been linked to sensory deterioration.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on food system corruption and health from reliable major media sources.


Vinyl chloride's invisible threat: Thousands of pounds are released every year in the U.S. as part of
2023-02-20, CBS News
Posted: 2023-02-26 22:33:41
https://www.cbsnews.com/news/vinyl-chloride-ohio-train-derailment-thousands-p...

Vinyl chloride entered the spotlight after the Feb. 3 Ohio train derailment. But the hazardous substance has been around for decades and is everywhere — from buildings and vehicle upholstery to children's toys and kitchen supplies — and factories have been emitting the EPA-designated toxic chemical into the air for years. The train that derailed had the manmade and volatile compound on board, prompting temporary evacuations. But the derailment isn't the first time vinyl chloride has alarmed experts. Experts say that the volatile compound, "used almost exclusively by the plastics industry," has "leached into groundwater from spills, landfills, and industrial sources," and that people who live around plastic manufacturing facilities "may be exposed to vinyl chloride by inhalation of contaminated air." According to the EPA's Toxics Release Inventory (TRI), which "tracks the management of certain toxic chemicals that may pose a threat to human health and the environment," there are 38 TRI facilities in 15 states — mostly around the Gulf of Mexico and the eastern U.S. — that use vinyl chloride, emitting about half a million pounds of the substance every year. The problem begins at vinyl chloride's origins. It's generated from ethane, which is obtained through fracking natural gas. The U.S. Energy Information Administration said ethane production hit a monthly record last year of more than 2.4 million barrels per day. The global PVC market is expected to become a $56.1 billion industry within the next 3 years. 

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corporate corruption and health from reliable major media sources.


History of DDT ocean dumping off L.A. coast even worse than expected, EPA finds
2022-08-04, Los Angeles Times
Posted: 2023-01-29 20:56:19
https://www.latimes.com/environment/story/2022-08-04/ddt-ocean-dumping-in-l-a...

After an exhaustive historical investigation into the barrels of DDT waste reportedly dumped decades ago near Catalina Island, federal regulators concluded that the toxic pollution in the deep ocean could be far worse ... than what scientists anticipated. In internal memos made public recently, officials from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency determined that acid waste from the nation’s largest manufacturer of DDT — a pesticide so powerful it poisoned birds and fish — had not been contained in hundreds of thousands of sealed barrels. Most of the waste, according to newly unearthed information, had been poured directly into the ocean from massive tank barges. Other chemicals — as well as millions of tons of oil drilling waste — had also been dumped decades ago in more than a dozen areas off the Southern California coast. “That’s pretty jaw-dropping in terms of the volumes and quantities of various contaminants that were dispersed in the ocean,” said John Chesnutt ... who has been leading the EPA’s technical team on the investigation. “This also begs the question: So what’s in the barrels? There’s still so much we don’t know.” These revelations build on much-needed research into DDT’s toxic — and insidious — legacy in California. As many as half a million barrels of DDT waste have not been accounted for in the deep ocean. Women face greater risk of obesity, earlier menstruation and possibly breast cancer if their grandmothers were exposed to DDT during pregnancy, researchers say.

Note: Back in 2020, LA Times wrote an excellent investigative piece on the history and background of this unsettling issue. Consider watching a brief and shocking video of how the US government made the public believe DDT was so safe you could eat it and spray it on children. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on health from reliable major media sources.


Microplastics can cross placenta into unborn babies, study shows
2022-12-28, The Independent (One of the UK's Leading Newspapers)
Posted: 2023-01-16 13:02:53
https://www.independent.co.uk/news/health/microplastics-in-humans-baby-placen...

Microplastics have been found to cross the placenta into unborn babies, a shocking study reveals. Scientists warn it is impossible to stop children ingesting the tiny plastic particles as well as even smaller nanoplastics, which can be found almost everywhere. Microplastics have also been found in newborn children, the researchers add. Infants ingest microplastics from baby bottles, toys, textiles and food packaging. When microplastics end up in household dust, children can ingest them by playing and crawling on the floor. Microplastics contain other harmful chemicals as well as plastic, such as phthalates and metals added for colour, stabilisation or as a biocide. When microplastics end up outdoors, for example as particles from car tires, this plastic core is often coated with air pollution and car exhaust. Study author Kam Sripada from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology said: “It’s quite possible that children are more exposed to microplastics than adults, similar to children’s greater exposure to many other environmental toxic chemicals. “No one knows exactly how much microplastic a child ingests, but several studies now suggest that today’s children absorb microplastics in their bodies as early as at fetal age. “Children do not have a fully developed immune system and are in a very important phase of their brain development. “This makes them particularly vulnerable. Nano and microplastics are so miniscule that they can travel deep into the lungs and can also cross into the placenta.”

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on health from reliable major media sources. Then explore the excellent, reliable resources provided in our Health Information Center.


Why the government fails to limit many dangerous chemicals in the workplace
2022-12-15, NPR
Posted: 2023-01-03 00:43:20
https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2022/12/15/1142915184/ortho-toluidi...

The permissible exposure limit for ortho-toluidine is 5 parts per million in air, a threshold based on research conducted in the 1940s and '50s without any consideration of the chemical's ability to cause cancer. Despite ample evidence that far lower levels can dramatically increase a person's cancer risk, the legal limit has remained the same. Paralyzed by industry lawsuits from decades ago, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration has all but given up on trying to set a truly protective threshold for ortho-toluidine and thousands of other chemicals. The agency has only updated standards for three chemicals in the past 25 years; each took more than a decade to complete. David Michaels, OSHA's director throughout the Obama administration, [said] that legal challenges had so tied his hands that he decided to put a disclaimer on the agency's website saying the government's limits were essentially useless: "OSHA recognizes that many of its permissible exposure limits (PELs) are outdated and inadequate for ensuring protection of worker health." The agency has also allowed chemical manufacturers to create their own safety data sheets, which are supposed to provide workers with the exposure limits and other critical information. OSHA does not require the sheets to be accurate or routinely fact-check them. As a result, many fail to mention the risk of cancer and other serious health hazards. Almost one-third of more than 650 sheets for dangerous chemicals contain inaccurate warnings.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corruption in government and in the corporate world from reliable major media sources.


Study links in utero ‘forever chemical’ exposure to low sperm count and mobility
2022-10-05, The Guardian (One of the UK's Leading Newspapers)
Posted: 2022-10-10 13:10:48
https://www.theguardian.com/society/2022/oct/05/pfas-sperm-count-mobility-tes...

A new peer-reviewed Danish study finds that a mother’s exposure to toxic PFAS “forever chemicals” during early pregnancy can lead to lower sperm count and quality later in her child’s life. PFAS – per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances – are known to disrupt hormones and fetal development, and future “reproductive capacity” is largely defined as testicles develop in utero during the first trimester of a pregnancy, said study co-author Sandra Søgaard Tøttenborg. PFAS are a class of about 12,000 chemicals typically used to make thousands of products resistant to water, stains and heat. They are called “forever chemicals” because they accumulate in humans and the environment and do not naturally break down. A growing body of evidence links them to serious health problems such as cancer, birth defects, liver disease, kidney disease and decreased immunity. The study ... examined semen characteristics and reproductive hormones in 864 young Danish men born to women who provided blood samples during their pregnancies’ first trimesters between 1996 and 2002. Mothers with higher levels of exposure more frequently raised adult men with lower sperm counts, as well as elevated immotile sperm levels, meaning their sperm did not swim. This exposure also increased the amount of non-progressive sperm – sperm that do not swim straight or swim in circles. Both issues can lead to infertility. The ubiquitous chemicals are estimated to be in 98% of Americans’ blood.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on health from reliable major media sources.


Microplastics found deep in lungs of living people for first time
2022-04-06, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2022-06-06 18:07:55
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2022/apr/06/microplastics-found-deep-...

Microplastic pollution has been discovered lodged deep in the lungs of living people for the first time. The particles were found in almost all the samples analysed. The scientists said microplastic pollution was now ubiquitous across the planet, making human exposure unavoidable and meaning “there is an increasing concern regarding the hazards” to health. Samples were taken from tissue removed from 13 patients undergoing surgery and microplastics were found in 11 cases. The most common particles were polypropylene, used in plastic packaging and pipes, and PET, used in bottles. Two previous studies had found microplastics at similarly high rates in lung tissue taken during autopsies. People were already known to breathe in the tiny particles, as well as consuming them via food and water. Workers exposed to high levels of microplastics are also known to have developed disease. Microplastics were detected in human blood for the first time in March, showing the particles can travel around the body and may lodge in organs. The impact on health is as yet unknown. But researchers are concerned as microplastics cause damage to human cells in the laboratory and air pollution particles are already known to enter the body and cause millions of early deaths a year. The research, which has been accepted for publication by the journal Science of the Total Environment, used samples of healthy lung tissue.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on health from reliable major media sources.


These Chemicals Disrupt the Sexual Development of Children - And They're Everywhere
2021-12-07, The Intercept
Posted: 2021-12-27 01:14:56
https://theintercept.com/2021/12/07/epa-dinp-phthalates-child-sexual-developm...

Laurie Valeriano first heard about DINP decades ago. “I started to worry about the chemicals that come out of all these plastics,” she said. DINP, one of a group of chemicals called phthalates that makes plastic more pliable, was one of them. It was already clear that DINP could cause cancer and interfere with hormonal functioning. In February 2000, Valeriano and her employer, the Washington Toxics Coalition, asked the Environmental Protection Agency to add DINP to the list of chemicals it monitors through a nationwide program called the Toxics Release Inventory. Seven months later ... the EPA announced that it planned to grant the group’s request and issued a proposed rule that would add DINP to the toxics inventory. Yet more than 20 years later, the EPA has yet to make good on its promise to add DINP to the list of chemicals. It never finalized the rule. Companies have continued to churn out DINP ... in astounding amounts without disclosing how much individual plants make and emit. In addition to the cancer and hormone disruption that sparked Valeriano’s claim 21 years ago, we now know more about how DINP affects the sexual development of children. It decreases sperm motility, increases malformations of the testes and other organs, and makes boys ... more likely to be infertile later in life. In fact, the entire group of phthalates — an estimated half-billion pounds of which are made and used in the U.S. each year — seem to cause a similar constellation of health problems.

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EPA Withheld Reports of Substantial Risk Posed by 1,200 Chemicals
2021-11-01, The Intercept
Posted: 2021-11-28 20:20:49
https://theintercept.com/2021/11/01/epa-toxic-chemicals-reports-withheld/

The Environmental Protection Agency has withheld information from the public since January 2019 about the dangers posed by more than 1,200 chemicals. By law, companies must give the EPA any evidence they possess that a chemical presents “a substantial risk of injury to health or the environment.” Until recently, the agency had been making these reports — known as 8(e) reports, for the section of the Toxic Substances Control Act that requires them — available to the public. But since 2019, the EPA has only posted one of the reports to its public website. During this time, chemical companies have continued to submit the critical studies to the agency, according to two EPA staff members with knowledge of the matter. Since January 2019, the EPA has received at least 1,240 reports documenting the risk of chemicals’ serious harms, including eye corrosion, damage to the brain and nervous system, chronic toxicity to honeybees, and cancer in both people and animals. PFAS compounds are among the chemical subjects of these notifications. Not only has the agency kept all but one of these reports from the public, but it has also made them difficult for EPA staff to access, according to the two agency scientists, who are choosing to remain anonymous. The substantial risk reports have not been uploaded to the databases used most often by risk assessors searching for information about chemicals. They have been entered only into an internal database that is difficult to access and search.

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