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kassy

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Persistent chemical pollution
« on: August 03, 2022, 07:31:36 PM »
The Consequences of using plastics threads contains a number of reports on chemical pollution related to them and there are scattered reports in some places but now it seems to become quite a big problem on it´s own although off course it is coming from the same roots, eg concentrated wealth making sure we live well beyond our means.

I had a newspaper article about a report but that broke so here is just the report:

Forbidden fruit: The dramatic rise in dangerous pesticides found on fruits and vegetables sold in Europe and evidence that governments are failing their legal obligations
European citizens have been exposed to a dramatic rise in the frequency and intensity of  residues of the most toxic pesticides on fruits and vegetables sold in the EU. This report and its primary conclusion contradict official claims that toxic pesticide use is declining and expose a complete failure by Member States to implement EU Regulation and protect consumers.

https://www.pan-europe.info/resources/reports

And today there was this:

Pollution: 'Forever chemicals' in rainwater exceed safe levels

New research shows that rainwater in most locations on Earth contains levels of chemicals that "greatly exceed" safety levels.

These synthetic substances called PFAS are used in non-stick pans, fire-fighting foam and water-repellent clothes.

Dubbed 'forever chemicals', they persist for years in the environment.

Such is their prevalence now that scientists say there is no safe space on Earth to avoid them.

The researchers from Stockholm University say it is "vitally important" that the use of these substances is rapidly restricted.

Scientists fear PFAS may pose health risks including cancer, though research has so far been inconclusive. They have been growing increasingly concerned about the proliferation of PFAS in recent years.

PFAS stands for poly- and perfluoroalkyl substances.

There are around 4,500 of these fluorine-based compounds and they are found in almost every dwelling on Earth in hundreds of everyday products including food packaging, non-stick cookware, rain gear, adhesives, paper and paints.

This new study, which looks at four specific chemicals in the class, suggests that levels of one PFAS in rainwater around the globe often "greatly exceed" US drinking water advisory levels.

Soil around the world is similarly contaminated, evidence suggests.


The study's findings lead the authors to conclude that a planetary boundary has been crossed - that there simply is no safe space on Earth to avoid these substances.

"We argue here that we're not within this safe operating space anymore, because we now have these chemicals everywhere, and these safety advisories, we can't achieve them anymore," said Prof Ian Cousins, the lead author from Stockholm University.

"I'm not saying that we're all going to die of these effects. But we're in a place now where you can't live anywhere on the planet, and be sure that the environment is safe."

While this is undoubtedly cause for concern, there are some provisos.

Many of these safety levels in place are advisory, meaning they are not legally enforceable.

Other scientists take the view that action on these chemicals should wait until the health risks are more clearly proven.

Much research has been carried out on the health risks posed by PFAS, and scientists say that exposure to high levels may be associated with an increased risk of some cancers, fertility issues and developmental delays in children.

However such associations don't prove cause and effect and other studies have found no connection between PFAS and disease.

But for those who have spent years working closely with PFAS, the evidence in the new research paper underlines the need for a precautionary approach.

"In this background rain, the levels are higher than those environmental quality criteria already. So that means that over time, we are going to get a statistically significant impact of those chemicals on human health," said Prof Crispin Halsall from the University of Lancaster. He was not involved with the Swedish study.

"And how that will manifest itself? I'm not sure but it's going come out over time, because we're exceeding those concentrations which are going to cause some harm, because of exposure to humans in their drinking water."

Removing the chemicals in the study from drinking water at treatment plants is possible, if expensive.

But getting below the US advisory levels is extremely challenging, according to the authors.

As scientists have gained more knowledge about PFAS over the past 20 years, the safety advisories have been continuously lowered.

The has also happened with regard to the presence of these chemicals in soil - and that too is causing problems.

In the Netherlands in 2018, the infrastructure ministry set new limits on concentrations of PFAS in soil and dredging material.

But this caused 70% of building projects involving soil removal or using excavated material to be halted. After protests, the government relaxed the guidelines.


According to the new study, this type of relaxation of safety levels is likely to happen with water contamination as well.

"If you applied those guidelines everywhere, you wouldn't be able to build anywhere," said Prof Ian Cousins.

"I think they'll do the same thing with the US drinking water advisories, because they're not practical to apply.

"It's not because there's anything wrong with the risk assessment. It's just because you can't apply those things. It's just impossible, from an economic viewpoint to apply any of those guidelines."

The key challenge with these chemicals is their persistence, rather than their toxicity, say the study authors.

While some harmful PFAS were phased out by manufacturers two decades ago, they persist in water, air and soil.

One way PFAS cycle through the environment is in the form of tiny particles carried in sea spray into the air and then back to land.

This inability to breakdown in the environment means that PFAS are now found even in remote areas of the Antarctic, as reported by Prof Halsall recently.

...

https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-62391069
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kassy

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Re: Persistent chemical pollution
« Reply #1 on: August 03, 2022, 09:17:47 PM »
New Antarctic study shows levels of 'forever chemicals' reaching the remote continent have been increasing

New evidence from Antarctica shows that toxic 'fluorinated forever chemicals' have increased markedly in the remote environment in recent decades and scientists believe CFC-replacements could be among likely sources.

Known as forever chemicals because they do not break down naturally in the environment, chemicals such as perfluorocarboxylic acids (PFCAs) have a wide array of uses such as in making non-stick coatings for pans, water-repellents for clothing, and in fire-fighting foams. One of these chemicals, perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), bioaccumulates in foodwebs and is toxic to humans with links to impairment of the immune system and infertility.

In this new study, published by the journal Environmental Science & Technology, and led by scientists from Lancaster University along with researchers from the British Antarctic Survey and the Hereon Institute of Coastal Environmental Chemistry, Germany, firn (compacted snow) cores were taken from the extremely remote, high and icy Dronning Maud Land plateau of eastern Antarctica.

The cores, which provide a historic record between 1957 and 2017, provide evidence that levels of these chemical pollutants have shown a marked increase in the remote snowpack of Antarctica over the last few decades.

The most abundant chemical discovered by far was the shorter chain compound, perfluorobutanoic acid (PFBA). Concentrations of this chemical in the snow cores increased significantly from around the year 2000 until the core was taken in 2017.

Professor Crispin Halsall of Lancaster University, and who led the study, believes this increase can be partly explained by a switch by global chemicals manufacturers around 20 years ago from producing long-chain chemicals like PFOA to shorter-chain compounds, such as PFBA due to health concerns associated with human exposure to PFOA.

Dr Jack Garnett who conducted the chemical analysis on the snow samples, added: "The large increase in PFBA observed from the core, particularly over the last decade, suggests there is an additional global source of this chemical other than polymer production. We do know that some of the chemicals replacing the older ozone-depleting substances like CFCs and HCFCs, such as the hydrofluoroethers, are produced globally in high quantities as refrigerants but can breakdown in the atmosphere to form PFBA.

"The Montreal Protocol certainly provided huge benefits and protection to the ozone, the climate and to us all. However, the wider environmental and toxicity impact of some of these replacement chemicals is still unknown."

PFOA shows an increase in the snow core from the mid-1980s onward, but with no evidence of a decline in more recent years to match the global industry phase out of this chemical. This indicates that production of PFOA was maintained or that volatile precursors to this chemical have remained high in the global atmosphere.

The researchers behind the study believe the chemicals are likely reaching Antarctica by the release of volatile 'precursor' chemicals into the atmosphere at industrial manufacturing sites. These precursors waft in the global atmosphere until they eventually degrade in the presence of sunlight to form the more persistent PFCAs.

Successive snowfall over the years has deposited these chemicals from the atmosphere resulting in a historical record of global contamination that is now trapped in the snow pack.

The results, which are consistent with modelled estimates of PFCA chemical emissions, further add to evidence that show increases in these forever chemicals in the Arctic and the Tibetan Plateau and helps provide a global picture and further understanding of how chemicals such as these are transported in the atmosphere.

...

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2022/07/220728143011.htm
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kassy

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Re: Persistent chemical pollution
« Reply #2 on: August 03, 2022, 09:23:29 PM »
Exposure to 'forever chemicals' costs US billions in health costs

Daily exposure to a class of chemicals used in the production of many household items may lead to cancer, thyroid disease, and childhood obesity, a new study shows. The resulting economic burden is estimated to cost Americans a minimum of $5.5 billion and as much as $63 billion over the lifetime of the current population.

The new work revolves around per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), a group of over 4,700 humanmade chemicals that experts have detected for decades in the blood of millions of people. The chemicals are used, for example, in the production of water- and oil-resistant clothing, electronics, and nonstick cookware, and people are thought to ingest them as food comes into contact with packaging. The substances are believed to disrupt the function of hormones, signaling compounds that influence many bodily processes.

Led by researchers at NYU Grossman School of Medicine, the new study in roughly 5,000 Americans identified 13 medical conditions that may result from PFAS exposure, such as infertility, diabetes, and endometriosis, a painful disorder of the uterus. Together, the diseases generate medical bills and reduce worker productivity across a lifetime to create the costs measured by the study, say the study authors.

"Our findings add to the substantial and still-mounting body of evidence suggesting that exposure to PFAS is harming our health and undermining the economy," says study co-author Linda Kahn, PhD, MPH, an assistant professor in the Departments of Pediatrics and Population Health at NYU Langone Health.

Previous investigations have quantified the medical burden and financial costs of low birth weight due to PFAS exposure. However, the new study, publishing online July 26 in the journal Exposure and Health, incorporates a much broader range of health consequences across the lifespan, says Kahn.

For the investigation, the researchers determined how many Americans were likely exposed to PFAS chemicals in 2018 using blood samples obtained from adults and children who participated in the U.S. National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Next, the study team analyzed data from dozens of studies in the past decade that explored diseases connected to the substances.

The research team used models from earlier investigations to estimate the national economic cost of the medical bills and lost worker productivity that resulted from the top five medical conditions that had the strongest links to PFAS exposure. These included low birth weight, childhood obesity, kidney and testicular cancers, and hypothyroidism.

Among the findings, the investigation revealed that childhood obesity was the largest contributor to the overall economic toll of PFAS exposure, costing about $2.7 billion. Hypothyroidism in women, a condition in which the thyroid cannot release enough hormones into the bloodstream, was the next highest contributor at $1.26 billion.

The study investigators also expanded the scope of their economic estimates to include eight other conditions with preliminary links to PFAS exposure, including endometriosis, obesity in adults, and pneumonia in children. When such diseases were considered, the total costs reached as high as $63 billion.

"Our results strongly support the recent decision by the Environmental Protection Agency to lower the safe allowable level of these substances in water," says study senior author Leonardo Trasande, MD, MPP. "Based on our estimates, the cost of eradicating contamination and replacing this class of chemical with safer alternatives is ultimately justified when considering the tremendous economic and medical risks of allowing them to persist in the environment."

...

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2022/07/220726132528.htm
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vox_mundi

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Re: Persistent chemical pollution
« Reply #3 on: August 05, 2022, 08:42:18 PM »
History of DDT Ocean Dumping Off LA Coast Even Worse Than Expected, EPA Finds
https://www.latimes.com/environment/story/2022-08-04/ddt-ocean-dumping-in-l-a-even-worse-than-expected
https://phys.org/news/2022-08-history-ddt-ocean-dumping-la.html

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—and far more sweeping—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.

https://www.epa.gov/system/files/documents/2022-07/epa-memo-initial-findings-regarding-ocean-disposal-of-montrose-chemical-acid-waste-2021-04-20.pdf

Most of the waste, according to newly unearthed information, had been poured directly into the ocean from massive tank barges.

Although shipping records noted the number of discarded barrels, regulators say the word "barrel" appeared to refer to a unit of volume, rather than a physical barrel. Further review of old records revealed that 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.

https://www.epa.gov/ocean-dumping/southern-california-ocean-disposal-site-2-investigation

"That's pretty jaw-dropping in terms of the volumes and quantities of various contaminants that were dispersed in the ocean," said John Chesnutt, a Superfund section manager 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, according to old reports and a UC Santa Barbara study that provided the first real glimpse into how the Los Angeles coast became a chemical dumping ground.

The scope of the pollution has turned out to be startling. In the process of trying to figure out how much DDT was dumped into the deep ocean, regulators discovered that from the 1930s to the early 1970s, 13 other areas off the Southern California coast had also been approved for dumping of military explosives, radioactive waste, and various chemical and refinery byproducts—including 3 million metric tons of petroleum waste.

Very little is known about these deep-water disposals beyond a grainy map from a 1973 technical report that labeled each dumpsite with a tiny dot or square.



https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/7212619-Ocean-Dumping-Under-Los-Angeles-Regional-Water

"The fact that here we are, more than 50 years later, and we don't even know what's in the 14 dumpsites other than a summary from a report in 1973 from the Southern California Coastal Water Research Project? That's just not acceptable," said Mark Gold, who has followed the DDT problem as a marine scientist since the 1990s and currently serves as Newsom's deputy secretary for coastal and ocean policy. "It really makes you question: OK, how big of a problem is deep-water ocean dumping … along not just the California coast, but nationwide?"

... Records also indicate there might actually be two DDT dumpsites, dubbed Dumpsite 1 and Dumpsite 2, because the company in charge of the disposal may have decided to dump in an area different from where it was supposed to.

The dumping appears to be sloppy: The Scripps expedition spent two weeks mapping a swath of seafloor larger than the city of San Francisco, but it could find no outer boundary to Dumpsite 2. Initial sonar surveys suggest there still could be thousands of physical barrels underwater filled with who knows what.

https://pubs.acs.org/doi/pdf/10.1021/acs.est.8b05859

As for the mystery of the DDT barrels, regulators combed old aerial photos of the Montrose Chemical Corp. plant near Torrance and the berth from which the waste haulers set sail. They called on every possible government agency to dig up its records and considered all the logistics that would have gone into transporting half a million physical barrels at the time.

Finally, they called up a retired EPA investigator who had been in charge of looking into the deep-sea DDT dumping. He explained that in the 1940s and '50s, local government agencies had asked waste haulers to report their quantities of waste with a default unit of measurement: barrels.

The exact volume remains unclear, but the standard at the time ranged from 42 to 55 gallons per barrel depending on the industry. It's also likely that there were rounding errors when the companies converted their massive tanks of waste into barrels, and that more chemicals were dumped than logged.

Regardless of how the waste got dumped into the ocean, sediment samples so far show that a lot of DDT is clearly down there. The big question now is whether the chemicals have been sequestered or embedded into the seafloor well enough to prevent them from remobilizing—or whether they have been recirculating in a way that threatens human health and California's marine environment.

... David Valentine, the University of California, Santa Barbara scientist whose research team first came across dozens of mysterious barrels underwater, said that not having a physical object to search for makes the issue more complicated—and even more concerning. If highly acidic DDT waste wasn't considered too bad to dump straight into the ocean, he wondered, what could've been worse that had to be put into an actual barrel?

"Maybe some of those barrels were the bad batches … but we don't really know. It could be a whole lot of other stuff too," said Valentine, who has been thinking through the next steps for research—in the field and in the lab.

Considering the latest information from the EPA, they described the material that got poured into the ocean as likely a hail or mist of DDT-laden particles raining down from the ocean surface.

"It's been sitting now on the seafloor, potentially for 60, 70 years," Valentine said. "What's happened to all this material during that time? Has it moved around? Is it working its way back into the ecosystem? Those are the things that we really need to start answering."

Scientist: Extent of DDT dumping in Pacific is 'staggering'
https://phys.org/news/2021-04-scientists-barrels-ddt-dump-site.html
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oren

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Re: Persistent chemical pollution
« Reply #4 on: August 09, 2022, 08:19:35 PM »
Even considering the general habits of our civilization, this is shocking.

kassy

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Re: Persistent chemical pollution
« Reply #5 on: August 11, 2022, 08:50:28 AM »
A Common 'Forever Chemical' Has Just Been Linked to Liver Cancer in Humans


A common 'forever chemical' known as PFOS (perfluorooctanesulfonic acid) has been linked to liver cancer in humans in a worrying new study.

Once a key ingredient in the water-repelling product commercially known as Scotchguard, PFOS was finally phased out soon after the turn of the century following concerns over its toxicity and environmental impact.

Still, it didn't earn its label of 'forever chemical' for nothing, with environmental levels of this and closely related substances remaining alarmingly high around the globe.

Now a study by researchers from the University of Southern California and the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in the US have confirmed an association between PFOS and the development of a particularly deadly form of liver cancer.

Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) accounts for more than four out of five cases of liver cancer in the world. With a five-year survival rate of less than 20 percent, it's also regarded as one of the most deadly of cancers any of us could get.

....

With more than 98 percent of the adult US population having detectable concentrations of these compounds in their blood, researchers are now turning their attention to questions of what might be considered a 'safe' level of contamination.

Animal studies have demonstrated clear links between PFAS and liver damage. But what was really needed was a population-scale analysis of exposure and risk of ill health.

"Part of the reason there has been few human studies is because you need the right samples," says Veronica Wendy Setiawan, a cancer epidemiologist from the Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California.

"When you are looking at an environmental exposure, you need samples from well before a diagnosis because it takes time for cancer to develop."

As part of a collaboration with the University of Hawai'i called the Multiethnic Cohort Study, the researchers analyzed blood taken from 50 individuals a diagnosis of non-viral HCC.

These were compared with a carefully matched sample of bloods taken from 50 volunteers without a diagnosis.

Measuring levels of various types of PFAS in blood samples taken prior to the development of liver cancer, the researchers identified a strong association between PFOS and HCC.

Those in the top 10 percent of blood-PFOS levels, in fact, were 4.5 times more likely to develop HCC than those with lower blood-PFOS levels, providing the strongest evidence yet that we're capable of absorbing dangerous levels of these notorious substances.

"This study fills an important gap in our understanding of the true consequences of exposure to these chemicals," says the study's lead author, Keck School of Medicine public health researcher Leda Chatzi.

...

https://www.sciencealert.com/this-once-common-forever-chemical-has-just-been-linked-to-liver-cancer-in-humans
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vox_mundi

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Re: Persistent chemical pollution
« Reply #6 on: August 23, 2022, 02:26:25 PM »
Study First to Link Weed Killer Roundup to Convulsions In Animals
https://phys.org/news/2022-08-link-weed-killer-roundup-convulsions.html

A recent report by the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found more than 80 percent of urine samples from children and adults in the U.S. contained the herbicide glyphosate. A study by Florida Atlantic University and Nova Southeastern University takes this research one step further and is the first to link the use of the herbicide Roundup, a widely used weed killer, to convulsions in animals.

https://www.cdc.gov/exposurereport/whats_new_071922_1.html

... Glyphosate-resistant crops account for almost 80 percent of transgenic crop cultivated land, which has resulted in an estimated 6.1 billion kilos of glyphosate sprayed across the world from 2005 to 2014.

Results, published in [I[Scientific Reports[/I], showed that glyphosate and Roundup increased seizure-like behavior in soil-dwelling roundworms and provides significant evidence that glyphosate targets GABA-A receptors. These communication points are essential for locomotion and are heavily involved in regulating sleep and mood in humans. What truly sets this research apart is that it was done at significantly less levels than recommended by the EPA and those used in past studies

"The concentration listed for best results on the Roundup Super Concentrate label is 0.98 percent glyphosate, which is about 5 tablespoons of Roundup in 1 gallon of water," said Naraine. "A significant finding from our study reveals that just 0.002 percent glyphosate, a difference of about 300 times less herbicide than the lowest concentration recommended for consumer use, had concerning effects on the nervous system."

The study found that the active ingredient glyphosate exacerbated convulsions in C. elegans and suggest the GABA-A receptor as a neurological target for the observed physiological changes. The data also indicate that there is an important distinction between exposure to glyphosate and Roundup (w/surfactants), with Roundup exposure increasing the percentage of C. elegans that did not recover from seizure activity. The non-recovery phenotype and prolonged convulsions in C. elegans from this study have helped to set a foundation for understanding nuanced physiological effects of herbicide that occur at concentrations exponentially below neurotoxic levels.

This study provides evidence to further investigate how chronic exposure and accumulation may lead to neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson's disease. Importantly, there also is a sub-neurodegenerative threshold that may dramatically impact dysregulation of neurotransmission.

Roundup and glyphosate's impact on GABA to elicit extended proconvulsant behavior in 12 Caenorhabditis elegans, Scientific Reports (2022).
https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-022-17537-w
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kassy

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Re: Persistent chemical pollution
« Reply #7 on: August 25, 2022, 04:38:22 PM »
Toxic 'forever chemicals' accumulate above the water table

PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances) are water-, stain-, and heat-resistant chemicals added to products like nonstick pans, nail polish, food wrappers, and firefighting foam. They have been linked to health problems, including thyroid disease, liver damage, and kidney cancer. Increasingly, PFAS have become a public health concern because they don't break down, instead accumulating in the environment. These so-called "forever chemicals" are now found virtually everywhere, from human blood to the top of Mount Everest. Researchers are urgently trying to understand how PFAS move through the environment to get a better grasp of the extent of the problem and how to control it.

n a new article published in Reviews of Geophysics, Xueyan Lyu and colleagues summarize research published between 2010 and 2022 regarding the fate and transport of PFAS in the soil, ground, and groundwater. The article reviews the physical and chemical properties of PFAS that affect how they move through the subsurface environment and what causes them to stick around. The authors pay particularly close attention to transitional spaces, like soil to groundwater and air to groundwater.

Strikingly, the authors found that just a handful of PFAS have been studied in any detail, even though more than 3,000 have been manufactured and the list continues to grow rapidly. They identified the portion of soil above the water table as a hot spot of PFAS accumulation. Of the PFAS studied, the ones with short carbon chains and negative charges were most likely to move through soil and contaminate the groundwater.

The authors emphasize, however, that most observational and modeling studies on the fate and transport of PFAS have been conducted at a fairly small scale in a laboratory setting. The authors call for large-scale studies in natural settings that will provide critical information necessary to assess the environmental and health impacts associated with the exposure to PFAS, along with future remediation endeavors.

https://phys.org/news/2022-08-toxic-chemicals-accumulate-table.html

https://agupubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1029/2021RG000765
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vox_mundi

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Re: Persistent chemical pollution
« Reply #8 on: August 26, 2022, 04:35:15 PM »
EPA to Designate 'Forever Chemicals' as Hazardous Substances
https://phys.org/news/2022-08-epa-chemicals-hazardous-substances.html

The Environmental Protection Agency is designating some toxic industrial compounds used in cookware, carpets and firefighting foams as hazardous substances under the so-called Superfund law.

The designation means that releases of long-lasting chemicals known as PFOA and PFOS that meet or exceed a certain quantity would have to be reported to federal, state or tribal officials. The requirement would increase understanding of the extent and locations of the contamination and help communities avoid or reduce contact with the potentially dangerous chemicals, the EPA said.

PFOA and PFOS have been voluntarily phased out by U.S. manufacturers but are still in limited use and remain in the environment because they do not degrade over time. The compounds are part of a larger cluster of "forever chemicals" known as PFAS that have been used in consumer products and industry since the 1940s.

The chemicals can accumulate and persist in the human body for long periods of time, and evidence from animal and human studies indicates that exposure to PFOA or PFOS may lead to cancer or other health problems.

... The EPA's action follows a recent report by the National Academies of Science that calls PFAS a serious public health threat in the U.S. and worldwide.

The move follows an EPA announcement in June that PFOA and PFOS are more dangerous than previously thought and pose health risks even at levels so low they cannot currently be detected. ...

https://phys.org/news/2022-06-epa-chemicals-pose.html
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kassy

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Re: Persistent chemical pollution
« Reply #9 on: September 06, 2022, 10:49:47 AM »
Simple method destroys dangerous 'forever chemicals,' making water safe

If you're despairing at recent reports that Earth's water sources have been thoroughly infested with hazardous human-made chemicals called PFAS that can last for thousands of years, making even rainwater unsafe to drink, there's a spot of good news.

Chemists at UCLA and Northwestern University have developed a simple way to break down almost a dozen types of these nearly indestructible "forever chemicals" at relatively low temperatures with no harmful byproducts.

In a paper published today in the journal Science, the researchers show that in water heated to just 176 to 248 degrees Fahrenheit, common, inexpensive solvents and reagents severed molecular bonds in PFAS that are among the strongest known and initiated a chemical reaction that "gradually nibbled away at the molecule" until it was gone, said UCLA distinguished research professor and co-corresponding author Kendall Houk.

The simple technology, the comparatively low temperatures and the lack of harmful byproducts mean there is no limit to how much water can be processed at once, Houk added. The technology could eventually make it easier for water treatment plants to remove PFAS from drinking water.

Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances -- PFAS for short -- are a class of around 12,000 synthetic chemicals that have been used since the 1940s in nonstick cookware, waterproof makeup, shampoos, electronics, food packaging and countless other products. They contain a bond between carbon and fluorine atoms that nothing in nature can break.

When these chemicals leach into the environment through manufacturing or everyday product use, they become part of the Earth's water cycle. Over the past 70 years, PFAS have contaminated virtually every drop of water on the planet, and their strong carbon-fluorine bond allows them to pass through most water treatment systems completely unharmed. They can accumulate in the tissues of people and animals over time and cause harm in ways that scientists are just beginning to understand. Certain cancers and thyroid diseases, for example, are associated with PFAS.

For these reasons, finding ways to remove PFAS from water has become particularly urgent. Scientists are experimenting with many remediation technologies, but most of them require extremely high temperatures, special chemicals or ultraviolet light and sometimes produce byproducts that are also harmful and require additional steps to remove.

Leading PFAS to the guillotine

Northwestern chemistry professor William Dichtel and doctoral student Brittany Trang noticed that while PFAS molecules contain a long "tail" of stubborn carbon-fluorine bonds, their "head" group often contains charged oxygen atoms, which react strongly with other molecules. Dichtel's team built a chemical guillotine by heating the PFAS in water with dimethyl sulfoxide, also known as DMSO, and sodium hydroxide, or lye, which lopped off the head and left behind an exposed, reactive tail.

"That triggered all these reactions, and it started spitting out fluorine atoms from these compounds to form fluoride, which is the safest form of fluorine," Dichtel said. "Although carbon-fluorine bonds are super-strong, that charged head group is the Achilles' heel."

But the experiments revealed another surprise: The molecules didn't seem to be falling apart the way conventional wisdom said they should.

To solve this mystery, Dichtel and Trang shared their data with collaborators Houk and Tianjin University student Yuli Li, who was working in Houk's group remotely from China during the pandemic. The researchers had expected the PFAS molecules would disintegrate one carbon atom at a time, but Li and Houk ran computer simulations that showed two or three carbon molecules peeled off the molecules simultaneously, just as Dichtel and Tang had observed experimentally.

The simulations also showed the only byproducts should be fluoride -- often added to drinking water to prevent tooth decay -- carbon dioxide and formic acid, which is not harmful. Dichtel and Trang confirmed these predicted byproducts in further experiments.

"This proved to be a very complex set of calculations that challenged the most modern quantum mechanical methods and fastest computers available to us," Houk said. "Quantum mechanics is the mathematical method that simulates all of chemistry, but only in the last decade have we been able to take on large mechanistic problems like this, evaluating all the possibilities and determining which one can happen at the observed rate."

Li, Houk said, has mastered these computational methods, and he worked long distance with Trang to solve the fundamental but practically significant problem.

The current work degraded 10 types of perfluoroalkyl carboxylic acids (PFCAs) and perfluoroalkyl ether carboxylic acids (PFECAs), including perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA). The researchers believe their method will work for most PFAS that contain carboxylic acids and hope it will help identify weak spots in other classes of PFAS. They hope these encouraging results will lead to further research that tests methods for eradicating the thousands of other types of PFAS.

The study, "Low-temperature mineralization of perfluorocarboxylic acids," was supported by the National Science Foundation.

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2022/08/220818163721.htm

Nice find.
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SteveMDFP

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Re: Persistent chemical pollution
« Reply #10 on: September 06, 2022, 02:16:57 PM »
...
In a paper published today in the journal Science, the researchers show that in water heated to just 176 to 248 degrees Fahrenheit, common, inexpensive solvents and reagents severed molecular bonds in PFAS that are among the strongest known and initiated a chemical reaction that "gradually nibbled away at the molecule" until it was gone, said UCLA distinguished research professor and co-corresponding author Kendall Houk.
...

Northwestern chemistry professor William Dichtel and doctoral student Brittany Trang noticed that while PFAS molecules contain a long "tail" of stubborn carbon-fluorine bonds, their "head" group often contains charged oxygen atoms, which react strongly with other molecules. Dichtel's team built a chemical guillotine by heating the PFAS in water with dimethyl sulfoxide, also known as DMSO, and sodium hydroxide, or lye, which lopped off the head and left behind an exposed, reactive tail.

The simulations also showed the only byproducts should be fluoride -- often added to drinking water to prevent tooth decay -- carbon dioxide and formic acid, which is not harmful. Dichtel and Trang confirmed these predicted byproducts in further experiments.
...
The study, "Low-temperature mineralization of perfluorocarboxylic acids," was supported by the National Science Foundation.

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2022/08/220818163721.htm

Nice find.

Nice find, indeed.  Considering the rate of flow of water in a typical municipal water supply, I'm skeptical that this heat and chemical treatment could be accomplished at an economically feasible rate.  Still, quantities treated for just drinking and cooking should be feasible for advanced economies.  Poor countries?  Likely out of reach.

kassy

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Re: Persistent chemical pollution
« Reply #11 on: September 16, 2022, 05:45:13 PM »
This story is not new. See reply #6 above which also links to the paper. Please just check at least the current page.

Bonus link to upgrade this post.
Update on human exposure to glyphosate, with a complete review of exposure in children
https://ehjournal.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12940-020-00673-z

A recent meta-analysis has suggested that glyphosate use in an occupational setting may raise the risk of non-Hodgkin lymphoma as much as 41% [4]; a pooled analysis of case-control studies from North America confirmed the association, and suggested that specific histologic subtypes of non-Hodgkin lymphoma may be associated with exposure to glyphosate
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kassy

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Re: Persistent chemical pollution
« Reply #12 on: September 21, 2022, 06:31:36 PM »
School uniforms in N America linked to PFAS "forever chemicals"

A study of school uniforms in the US and Canada reveals high levels of so-called "forever chemicals".

The chemicals, known as PFAS, are used to make clothing resistant to stains or water but they have been linked to asthma, obesity and fertility issues.

Researchers found that uniforms made with 100% cotton showed higher levels than synthetic materials.

Exposing children to these chemicals may increase the long-term health risk, the scientists believe.

The issue is less of a concern in the UK because almost all retailers' own brand uniforms are PFAS free, say campaigners.

...

https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-62982397

On the upside they are easy to wash...
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Alexander555

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Re: Persistent chemical pollution
« Reply #13 on: October 06, 2022, 08:51:55 PM »
Pretty sick, now Rondup is outlawed a little. https://www.ecowatch.com/diapers-glyphosate-france-2626946130.html

Alexander555

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Re: Persistent chemical pollution
« Reply #14 on: October 07, 2022, 08:24:18 PM »
Something is very wrong with this planet. You are just a few days on the planet earth. And your mommy dips your little butt into the glyphosate, 24 hours a day. And over here there are already plenty people that say daipers are a basic human right. And whene they are full, they put them in a container. And ship them to Africa. I think it was better if we never abolished the gold standard. From that moment on, it all started to become a little insane. A total lack of responsability. Only the money matters.

vox_mundi

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Re: Persistent chemical pollution
« Reply #15 on: October 13, 2022, 07:51:43 PM »
Popular Herbicide Weakens Bumblebees' Color Vision
https://phys.org/news/2022-10-popular-herbicide-weakens-bumblebees-vision.html

Finnish researchers found how Roundup, a herbicide containing glyphosate, affects the learning and memory of bumblebees. Very low dose interfers with their ability to learn and memorize connections between colors and taste. Fine color vision weakening also severely impairs bumblebees' foraging and nesting success.

In the study, bumblebees were exposed to an very low acute dose of herbicide that pollinating bumblebees might be exposed to in a sprayed field during the day. After the exposure, the bumblebees' learning and memory were tested in a 10-color discrimination task, in which the bumblebees learned to associate five specific colors with a rewarding sugar solution and another five colors with an aversive quinine solution

Control bumblebees learned to distinguish colors associated with sweet sugar water from colors associated with a bad tasting compound and remembered what they learned after three days. Bumblebees exposed to the herbicide learned significantly less and forgot almost everything they had learned within a few days.

Individual forager bumblebees marked with a small number tag were exposed either to very low acute dose of glyphosate-based herbicide Roundup, or to sucrose (control). Thereafter, bees underwent five learning bouts in which they choose between artificial rewarding flowers (sucrose) or aversive flowers (quinine). Experimental bees were individually allowed to enter the arena with 10 different color flowers (two of each color) with a drop of sucrose or quinine.

During the five learning bouts control bees learned to differentiate between the rewarding and aversive flowers, and two days later they were able to remember all they had learned. However, learning of the Roundup exposed bees was declined within few hours from the exposure, and two days later in a memory test they had lost everything they had learned.



The researchers also found that the herbicide treatment did not affect bumblebees' performance in an easier two-color discrimination task or a 10-odor discrimination task. The results suggest that while exposure to Roundup does not make bumblebees completely color or smell blind, it does impair their fine color vision.

"We focused on the cognitive traits of the bees because these traits determine the successful foraging and social behavior of social insects and therefore their fitness. I am really worried. Even one very small acute dose had a harmful effect on the bumblebees," says researcher, Associate Professor Marjo Helander from the University of Turku, Finland.

"The result is even more worrying when you take into account how much glyphosate-containing herbicides are used globally," states Helander.



Marjo Helander et al, Field-realistic acute exposure to glyphosate-based herbicide impairs fine-color discrimination in bumblebees, Science of The Total Environment (2022)
https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0048969722063975?via%3Dihub
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kassy

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Re: Persistent chemical pollution
« Reply #16 on: October 20, 2022, 12:29:03 PM »
Alligators exposed to PFAS show autoimmune effects

A recent study of alligators in the Cape Fear River found the animals had elevated levels of 14 different per- and polyfluoroalkyl (PFAS) chemicals in their blood serum, as well as clinical and genetic indicators of immune system effects. The work adds to the body of evidence connecting PFAS exposure with adverse immune system effects.

The research team, led by Scott Belcher, associate professor of biology at North Carolina State University, took blood samples and did health evaluations on 49 alligators living along the Cape Fear River between 2018 and 2019. They compared these results to a reference population of 26 alligators from Lake Waccamaw, located in the adjoining Lumber River basin.

“We looked at 23 different PFAS and saw clear differences between both types and levels of PFAS in the two populations,” Belcher says. “We detected an average of 10 different PFAS in the Cape Fear River samples, compared to an average of five different PFAS in the Lake Waccamaw population.

“Additionally, blood concentrations of fluoroethers such as Nafion byproduct 2 were present at higher concentrations in alligators from the Cape Fear River basin, whereas these levels were much lower – or not detected – in alligators from Lake Waccamaw. Our data showed that as we moved downstream from Wilmington to Bald Head Island, overall PFAS concentrations decreased.”

But the most unusual observation the team made was that alligators in the Cape Fear River had a number of unhealed or infected lesions.

“Alligators rarely suffer from infections,” Belcher says. “They do get wounds, but they normally heal quickly. Seeing infected lesions that weren’t healing properly was concerning and led us to look more closely at the connections between PFAS exposure and changes in the immune systems of the alligators.”

A qRT-PCR genetic analysis revealed significantly elevated levels of interferon-alpha (INF-α) responsive genes in the Cape Fear River alligators: their levels were 400 times higher than those of the Lake Waccamaw alligators, which had much lower PFAS blood concentrations.

“INF-α is a secreted immune protein involved in stimulating immune response,” Belcher says. “The set of INF-α responsive genes we analyzed are normally involved with viral infections. In humans, chronic (or long-term) high expression of this set of genes is an important indicator of autoimmune diseases, especially lupus. Additionally, some PFAS exposures in humans are linked with chronic autoimmune disorders like ulcerative colitis and thyroid disease.

“When we see elevated expression of INF-α in these alligators, then, it tells us that something in these alligators’ immune responses is being disrupted.”

...

https://www.eurekalert.org/news-releases/968207
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kassy

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Re: Persistent chemical pollution
« Reply #17 on: November 03, 2022, 09:58:17 AM »
PFAS persists through wastewater treatment, may enter crops

Preisendanz and her colleagues analyzed PFAS concentrations in water that passed through a water reclamation facility. They collected bi-monthly water samples from fall 2019 through winter 2021 prior to treatment and after treatment. Since the treated water from the wastewater treatment plant is used to irrigate nearby crops, the team also collected tissues from those crop plants, including corn silage and tall fescue, to assess for the presence of PFAS.

The team identified 10 types of PFAS across the site, with average total measured concentrations of 88 ng/L in the wastewater effluent and concentrations as high as 155 ng/L (nanograms per liter) in the downstream monitoring wells. The conclusions suggest that occurrence of PFAS across the site is nearly ubiquitous, and that levels increase with the direction of groundwater flow.

“The United States Environmental Protection Agency recently released updated health advisories for two of the most important PFAS — PFOA (Perfluorooctanoic acid) and PFOS (Perfluorooctanesulfonic acid) — such that ‘any detectable level is considered a risk to human health,’” said Preisendanz. “This presents potential challenges for beneficial reuse of wastewater.”

While the groundwater near the spray-irrigation site the team studied is not used for drinking, and not likely to pose a risk to human health in that regard, the team did find several PFAS compounds in crop tissue samples collected at both irrigated and non-irrigated portions of the site.

While the groundwater near the spray-irrigation site the team studied is not used for drinking, and not likely to pose a risk to human health in that regard, the team did find several PFAS compounds in crop tissue samples collected at both irrigated and non-irrigated portions of the site.

“This suggests that PFAS may enter the food chain when these crops are fed to livestock,” Preisendanz said, adding that future research is needed to determine potential risks to livestock health and the potential implications of PFAS presence in meat and dairy products, including milk. “Our study results have important implications to ensure that beneficial wastewater reuse activities achieve desired goals to reuse water and nutrients, while simultaneously ensuring PFAS levels are safe from a human health perspective.”

...

https://envirotecmagazine.com/2022/11/02/pfas-persists-through-wastewater-treatment-may-enter-crops/
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kassy

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Re: Persistent chemical pollution
« Reply #18 on: November 05, 2022, 07:33:07 PM »
Economic interests cloud hazard reductions in the European regulation of substances of very high concern

Introduction
Estimates by the European Environment Agency suggest that 62 percent of the volume of chemicals consumed in Europe in 2016 were hazardous to human health, with the potential to cause a range of diseases, including cancer; fetal malformations; diseases of the respiratory, endocrine, cardiovascular and urinary systems; and neurodevelopmental and immune disorders1. The same year, the World Health Organization estimated that the burden of disease due to chemical exposures accounted for 1.6 million lives and 45 million disability-adjusted life-years lost2. These WHO estimates are based on a selection of chemicals with sufficient evidence for global quantification of health impacts. However, people are exposed to thousands of chemicals from a wide range of sources, many of which have not been evaluated for their potential health and environmental effects3,4,5.

https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-022-34492-2
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kassy

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Re: Persistent chemical pollution
« Reply #19 on: December 08, 2022, 01:09:57 PM »
Call to phase out 'forever chemicals' gains investor momentum

LONDON, Dec 1 (Reuters) - Investors managing $8 trillion in assets have written to the world's biggest chemicals companies urging them to phase out the use of so-called forever chemicals that can accumulate in the environment and remain hazardous for generations.

Known as PFAS, which stands for Perfluoroalkyl and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances, the chemicals are used in everything from cosmetics to furniture and have been linked to illnesses including cancer and liver damage.

...

https://www.reuters.com/business/environment/call-phase-out-forever-chemicals-gains-investor-momentum-2022-12-01/?rpc=401&
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Alexander555

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Re: Persistent chemical pollution
« Reply #20 on: December 10, 2022, 05:11:04 PM »

Sigmetnow

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Re: Persistent chemical pollution
« Reply #21 on: December 21, 2022, 04:23:53 PM »
3M will stop making dangerous ‘forever chemicals’
Company announces it will phase out PFAS by end of 2025
Quote
Consumer products giant 3M announced Tuesday that it will stop making and using a ubiquitous class of long-lasting, hazardous chemicals that can pose health risks to millions of Americans.

The Minnesota-based conglomerate, which makes widely used products including sticky notes, adhesive tape and safety masks, pledged to “exit all manufacturing” and “work to discontinue the use” of perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS, across its products by the end of 2025, according to a news release. More commonly known as “forever chemicals,” the compounds do not break down naturally and have been found in the water supplies of communities across the country.


“With these two actions, 3M is committing to innovate toward a world less dependent upon PFAS,” the release said.

Tuesday’s announcement comes as 3M is facing an onslaught of lawsuits from states and individuals who are claiming contamination from PFAS harmed their health. Bloomberg Intelligence estimates long-term legal liabilities could wind up costing the company $30 billion or more. 3M’s current annual net sales of manufactured PFAS are approximately $1.3 billion, according to the company.

Exposure to certain levels of PFAS chemicals has been linked to infertility, developmental issues or delays in children, and several types of cancer, among other health concerns. Despite these known risks to humans, the chemicals, which help make consumer goods resistant to water as well as stains and grease, continue to show up in products such as cosmetics, dental floss, food packaging and clothing.

The Biden administration has taken steps to regulate PFAS in various ways. Last year, the Environmental Protection Agency said it would set enforceable drinking water limits on certain compounds.

Since then, the EPA has publicly warned that the chemicals pose a greater danger to human health than regulators previously thought. In August, the agency also proposed classifying two of the most common of these chemical compounds — PFOA and PFOS — as hazardous.

EPA Administrator Michael Regan tweeted Tuesday afternoon that “protecting people from PFAS pollution is one of my top priorities,” and he vowed “to hold polluters accountable and protect public health.”

Major U.S. manufacturers including 3M have long agreed to stop making PFOA and PFOS after their health risks became clear. 3M committed in 2000 to phase out the two chemicals, but it continued to use other types of “forever chemicals,” of which there are thousands with varying properties.

In Tuesday’s announcement, 3M argued the class of chemicals continues to be “essential for modern life.” The latest decision “is based on an evolving external landscape,” the company said, pointing to regulatory crackdowns as well as pressure from consumers and investors.

“While PFAS can be safely made and used, we also see an opportunity to lead in a rapidly evolving external regulatory and business landscape to make the greatest impact for those we serve,” 3M chairman and chief executive Mike Roman said in the news release.

The company did not say exactly how it plans to achieve its targets, noting, “We have already reduced our use of PFAS over the past three years through ongoing research and development, and will continue to innovate new solutions for customers.”

John Rumpler, senior clean water director for Environment America, called 3M’s announcement “great news for clean water.”

“For the sake of our health and our environment, we hope 3M will phase out PFAS production before 2025 and that other companies will follow suit,” he said in a statement.

Others questioned the company’s motivation.

Erik Olson, a senior strategic director at the Natural Resources Defense Council, said in an interview that 3M’s announcement almost certainly stems in part from the “massive liability” the company is facing.

“Virtually every American is walking around with PFAS in their bodies,” Olson said. “The handwriting is on the wall that continuing to make these chemicals is putting their shareholders and their company at risk.”

Olson and other environmental advocates are hoping 3M’s decision to move away from PFAS chemicals sends a powerful signal to other companies to “follow suit and get out of this dangerous chemistry,” he said. But he is skeptical that will happen quickly.

“There is a risk that others will see a void to be filled,” he said.
https://www.washingtonpost.com/climate-solutions/2022/12/20/3m-forever-chemicals-pfas/
People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it.

vox_mundi

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Re: Persistent chemical pollution
« Reply #22 on: January 03, 2023, 10:26:58 PM »
Northeastern Wisconsin PFAS Plume Moves Into Green Bay Via Groundwater
https://phys.org/news/2023-01-northeastern-wisconsin-pfas-plume-green.html

A new study has found that a plume of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) from an industrial source has made its way into Green Bay, Lake Michigan, through the movement of groundwater.

Researchers tracked the movement of PFAS through groundwater and surface water flow, as well as the chemicals' presence in biosolids on land. Analysis of samples showed that unfortunately, a large PFAS plume has moved into Green Bay, Lake Michigan.

Green Bay is one of the largest bays on the Great Lakes, an interconnected freshwater system providing drinking water for 30 million U.S. and Canadian residents. That makes it even more important for researchers to understand what contaminants are present and where they may have come from.

The source of this Great Lakes contamination has been traced to Tyco Fire Products. The company's fire-training facilities in Marinette and Peshtigo have previously been identified as a source of PFAS contamination in groundwater and private drinking water wells in the area.

... The study also found that PFAS associated with the industrial facility are present in streams near some agricultural fields. The researchers believe this PFAS contamination may have come from the treated biosolids many farmers use to fertilize their fields.

"Treated biosolids are commonly spread on fields all across Wisconsin," Balgooyen says. "This information may impact how municipalities across Wisconsin and other states approach the use of biosolids as an agricultural fertilizer."

Sarah Balgooyen et al, Impacts of Environmental and Engineered Processes on the PFAS Fingerprint of Fluorotelomer-Based AFFF, Environmental Science & Technology (2022)
https://pubs.acs.org/doi/10.1021/acs.est.2c06600
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kassy

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Re: Persistent chemical pollution
« Reply #23 on: January 04, 2023, 01:50:36 PM »
Had to google it:

Biosolids are the nutrient-rich organic materials resulting from the treatment of domestic sewage in a wastewater treatment facility.
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El Cid

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Re: Persistent chemical pollution
« Reply #24 on: January 04, 2023, 04:23:19 PM »
The only question is how PFAS got into wastewater which should be basically piss, shit, and soap in lots of water...

kassy

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Re: Persistent chemical pollution
« Reply #25 on: January 04, 2023, 04:54:46 PM »
It´s in the rainwater by now and there are probably plenty other sources in the city. It is in many throwaway items. It is in fire retardants so it is in all kind of things we throw away.
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kassy

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Re: Persistent chemical pollution
« Reply #26 on: January 17, 2023, 08:42:10 PM »
Eating One Freshwater Fish Equals A Month Of Drinking ‘Forever Chemicals’ Water


A new study by Environmental Working Group scientists finds that consumption of just a single serving of freshwater fish per year could be equal to a month of drinking water laced with the forever chemical PFOS at high levels that may be harmful.

...

EWG found the median amounts of PFAS in freshwater fish were an astounding 280 times greater than forever chemicals detected in some commercially caught and sold fish. The testing data, from the Environmental Protection Agency and Food and Drug Administration, showed that consuming a single meal of freshwater fish could lead to similar PFAS exposure as ingesting store-bought fish every day for a year.

...

The forever chemical found at greatest concentrations in freshwater fish was PFOS, formerly an ingredient in 3M’s Scotchgard, averaging roughly three in four of total PFAS detections.

“These test results are breathtaking,” said Scott Faber, EWG’s senior vice president for government affairs. “Eating one bass is equivalent to drinking PFOS-tainted water for a month.”

Consumption of PFOS-contaminated freshwater fish can cause significant increases in peoples’ blood serum levels of the forever chemical, creating potential health risks. Even infrequent consumption of freshwater fish can raise PFOS levels in the body.

“The extent that PFAS has contaminated fish is staggering”, said Nadia Barbo, a graduate student at Duke University and lead researcher on this project. “There should be a single health protective fish consumption advisory for freshwater fish across the country.”

...

https://scienceblog.com/536016/eating-one-freshwater-fish-equals-a-month-of-drinking-forever-chemicals-water/

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kassy

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Re: Persistent chemical pollution
« Reply #27 on: January 25, 2023, 03:53:23 PM »
Farewell to 'forever' -- Destroying PFAS by grinding it up with a new additive

Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are potentially harmful substances known as "forever chemicals" because they are so difficult to destroy. One emerging technique to degrade PFAS involves forcefully grinding them with metal balls in a moving container, but this technique can require corrosive additives. Now, researchers in ACS' Environmental Science & Technology Letters report a new type of additive for "ball milling" that completely breaks down PFAS at ambient temperature and pressure.

...

As a proof-of-concept for the new additive, the team ball milled two legacy PFAS compounds with boron nitride and analyzed the products. By optimizing the ratio of boron nitride to PFAS, the team almost completely removed the fluorine atoms from PFAS in four hours at ambient temperature and pressure, effectively destroying it. The method also broke down 80% of known PFAS from soils contaminated with firefighting foam after six hours. In both experiments, boron nitride degraded PFAS more efficiently than when KOH was used. Further analyses suggest that boron nitride accepts electrons and fluorine atoms from PFAS, which then breaks into fluoroalkyl radical species that react with oxygen or other radicals to ultimately produce innocuous minerals. This new method could open the door for future mechanical-force-based PFAS remediation strategies, say the researchers.

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2023/01/230123083438.htm
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kassy

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Re: Persistent chemical pollution
« Reply #28 on: March 02, 2023, 08:58:07 AM »
“Forever Chemicals” Negatively Impact Key Biological Processes


Scientists from the Keck School of Medicine at the University of California found that exposure to a mixture of synthetic chemicals found widely in the environment alters several critical biological processes, including the metabolism of fats and amino acids, in both children and young adults.

This process disruption is connected to an increased risk of a broad range of diseases, including developmental disorders, cardiovascular disease, metabolic disease, and many types of cancer.

...

Although individual PFAS are known to increase the risk of several types of disease, this study “Metabolic Signatures of Youth Exposure to Mixtures of Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances: A Multi-Cohort Study”, published in Environmental Health Perspectives, reportedly is the first to evaluate which biological processes are altered by exposure to a combination of multiple PFAS, which is important because most people carry a mixture of the chemicals in their blood.

“However, the metabolic pathways linking PFAS exposure and human disease are unclear. We examined associations of PFAS mixtures with alterations in metabolic pathways in independent cohorts of adolescents and young adults,” wrote the investigators.

...

“Our findings were surprising and have broad implications for policymakers trying to mitigate risk,” said Jesse A. Goodrich, PhD, assistant professor of population and public health sciences and lead author of the study. “We found that exposure to a combination of PFAS not only disrupted lipid and amino acid metabolism but also altered thyroid hormone function.”

One finding that stood out, according to Goodrich, was the fact that PFAS exposure had an effect on thyroid hormone function, which has a critical role in growth and metabolism. Because of this, changes in thyroid hormones play an important role in child development during puberty, which can have important effects on a range of diseases later in life, including diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and cancer.

Important public health consideration
Another important finding was the fact that exposure to a mixture of PFAS, rather than a single chemical of this type, drove the disruption of these biological processes. This finding was consistent across the two cohorts, even though they had different levels of PFAS exposure.

...

https://www.genengnews.com/topics/cancer/forever-chemicals-negatively-impact-key-biological-processes/

The paper:
https://ehp.niehs.nih.gov/doi/10.1289/EHP11372
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kassy

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Re: Persistent chemical pollution
« Reply #29 on: March 24, 2023, 05:00:31 PM »
Scientists uncover startling concentrations of pure DDT along seafloor off L.A. coast

First it was the eerie images of barrels leaking on the seafloor not far from Catalina Island. Then the shocking realization that the nation’s largest manufacturer of DDT had once used the ocean as a huge dumping ground — and that as many as half a million barrels of its acid waste had been poured straight into the water.

Now, scientists have discovered that much of the DDT — which had been dumped largely in the 1940s and ’50s — never broke down. The chemical remains in its most potent form in startlingly high concentrations, spread across a wide swath of seafloor larger than the city of San Francisco.

“We still see original DDT on the seafloor from 50, 60, 70 years ago, which tells us that it’s not breaking down the way that [we] once thought it should,” said UC Santa Barbara scientist David Valentine, who shared these preliminary findings Thursday during a research update with more than 90 people working on the issue. “And what we’re seeing now is that there is DDT that has ended up all over the place, not just within this tight little circle on a map that we referred to as Dumpsite Two.”

These revelations confirm some of the science community’s deepest concerns — and further complicate efforts to understand DDT’s toxic and insidious legacy in California. Public calls for action have intensified since The Times reported in 2020 that dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane, banned in 1972, is still haunting the marine environment today. Significant amounts of DDT-related compounds continue to accumulate in California condors and local dolphin populations, and a recent study linked the presence of this once-popular pesticide to an aggressive cancer in sea lions.

...

The findings so far have been one stunning development after another. A preliminary sonar-mapping effort led by the Scripps Institution of Oceanography identified at least 70,000 debris-like objects on the seafloor.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, after combing through thousands of pages of old records, discovered that other toxic chemicals — as well as millions of tons of oil drilling waste — had also been dumped decades ago by other companies in more than a dozen areas off the Southern California coast.

...

Analysis of the sediment so far shows that the most concentrated layer of DDT is only about 6 centimeters deep — raising questions about just how easily these still-potent chemicals could be remobilized.

“Trawls, cable lays could reintroduce this stuff back up to the surface,” Valentine said. “And animals feeding — if a whale goes down and burrows on the seafloor, that could kick stuff up.”

...

https://www.latimes.com/environment/story/2023-03-23/scientists-uncover-startling-concentrations-of-pure-ddt-along-seafloor-off-l-a-coast

Lots more to come on this eventually.
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vox_mundi

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“There are three classes of people: those who see. Those who see when they are shown. Those who do not see.” ― anonymous

Insensible before the wave so soon released by callous fate. Affected most, they understand the least, and understanding, when it comes, invariably arrives too late

kassy

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Re: Persistent chemical pollution
« Reply #31 on: March 24, 2023, 10:36:39 PM »
Yes that was an earlier episode. The scale was already shocking but it gets worse the more we know and there is 18 months of grants left...
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kassy

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Re: Persistent chemical pollution
« Reply #32 on: June 01, 2023, 10:28:52 AM »
Secret industry documents reveal that makers of PFAS 'forever chemicals' covered up their health dangers

The chemical industry took a page out of the tobacco playbook when they discovered and suppressed their knowledge of health harms caused by exposure to PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances), according to an analysis of previously secret industry documents by UC San Francisco (UCSF) researchers.

A new paper published May 31, 2023, in Annals of Global Health, examines documents from DuPont and 3M, the largest manufacturers of PFAS. The paper analyzes the tactics the industry used to delay public awareness of PFAS toxicity, and in turn, delay regulations governing their use. PFAS are widely used chemicals in clothing, household goods, and food products, and are highly resistant to breaking down, giving them the name "forever chemicals." They are now ubiquitous in people and the environment.

"These documents reveal clear evidence that the chemical industry knew about the dangers of PFAS and failed to let the public, regulators, and even their own employees know the risks," said Tracey J. Woodruff, Ph.D., professor and director of the UCSF Program on Reproductive Health and the Environment (PRHE), a former senior scientist and policy advisor at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and senior author of the paper.

This is the first time these PFAS industry documents have been analyzed by scientists using methods designed to expose tobacco industry tactics.

Adverse effects had been known for decades
The secret industry documents were discovered in a lawsuit filed by attorney Robert Bilott, who was the first to successfully sue DuPont for PFAS contamination and whose story was featured in the film, "Dark Waters." Bilott gave the documents, which span 45 years from 1961 to 2006, to producers of the documentary, "The Devil We Know," who donated them to the UCSF Chemical Industry Documents Library.

"Having access to these documents allows us to see what the manufacturers knew and when, but also how polluting industries keep critical public health information private," said first author Nadia Gaber, MD, Ph.D., who led the research as a PRHE fellow and is now an emergency medicine resident. "This research is important to inform policy and move us towards a precautionary rather than reactionary principle of chemical regulation."

Little was publicly known about the toxicity of PFAS for the first 50 years of their use, the authors stated in the paper, "The Devil They Knew: Chemical Documents Analysis of Industry Influence on PFAS Science," despite the fact that "industry had multiple studies showing adverse health effects at least 21 years before they were reported in public findings."

...

The paper documents a timeline of what industry knew versus public knowledge, and analyzes strategies the chemical industry used to suppress information or protect their harmful products. Examples include:

As early as 1961, according to a company report, Teflon's Chief of Toxicology discovered that Teflon materials had "the ability to increase the size of the liver of rats at low doses," and advised that the chemicals "be handled 'with extreme care' and that 'contact with the skin should be strictly avoided.'"
According to a 1970 internal memo, DuPont-funded Haskell Laboratory found C8 (one of thousands of PFAS) to be "highly toxic when inhaled and moderately toxic when ingested." And in a 1979 private report for DuPont, Haskell labs found that dogs who were exposed to a single dose of PFOA "died two days after ingestion."
In 1980, DuPont and 3M learned that two of eight pregnant employees who had worked in C8 manufacturing gave birth to children with birth defects. The company did not publish the discovery or tell employees about it, and the following year an internal memo stated, "We know of no evidence of birth defects caused by C-8 at DuPont."
Despite these and more examples, DuPont reassured its employees in 1980 that C8 "has a lower toxicity, like table salt." Referring to reports of PFAS groundwater contamination near one of DuPont's manufacturing plants, a 1991 press release claimed, "C-8 has no known toxic or ill health effects in humans at concentration levels detected."

...

https://phys.org/news/2023-05-secret-industry-documents-reveal-makers.html
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kassy

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Re: Persistent chemical pollution
« Reply #33 on: June 09, 2023, 06:33:12 PM »
1 in 5 children have levels of 'forever chemicals' above safety limits, finds study

...

Several negative health effects have been associated with PFAS exposure, including reduced vaccine response in children, reduced birth weight, and certain types of cancers. Reduced vaccine response in children was the basis for the safety limit set by the European Food and Safety Authority (EFSA) in 2020. Several European countries are now working together to restrict the production and use of all PFAS in Europe.

As part of "the Bergen Growth Study 2" from 2016, researchers at the University of Bergen collected blood samples from children aged 6-16 years for PFAS analyzes. Four PFAS were present in all children. In addition, 22% of the children had PFAS levels above the safety limits set by EFSA, indicating a potential risk of negative health effects. This is in line with findings in other European and Norwegian studies. The findings are published in the International Journal of Hygiene and Environmental Health.

https://medicalxpress.com/news/2023-06-children-chemicals-safety-limits.html
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kassy

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Re: Persistent chemical pollution
« Reply #34 on: July 14, 2023, 07:04:16 AM »
Alarmingly high PFAS levels in the populations of Greenland, the Faroe Islands, Denmark and the UK

The hunting community in Ittoqqotoormiit (Scoresby Sound), Northeast Greenland, has some of the world's highest concentrations of PFAS in their blood, even though they live far away from sources of contamination with per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS).

PFAS is used in almost all industries and is found in many products such as textiles, carpets, shoes, food packaging, cosmetics, fire foam and pesticides.

The substances are long-range transported to the Arctic via the atmosphere and ocean currents. When they are released to the environment, PFAS is bio-magnified through the food chain. Predators at top of the food chain, such as ringed seals, toothed whales and polar bears therefore contain high PFAS concentrations, and the high levels in the indigenous population of East Greenland are hence primarily originating from their food.

The study, which has just been published in the   journal Lancet Planetary Health, shows that 92% of residents in Ittoqqortoormiit have far more PFAS in the body than the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) recommends to avoid damage to the immune system.

In addition, 86% of the inhabitants have blood values that are higher than EFSA's threshold value for serious risk of damage to the immune system.

A global problem

The recently published study shows that the pollution with PFAS is critical in many parts of the world, and Christian Sonne emphasizes that national and regional legislation must go hand in hand with the UN's sustainable development goals and the Stockholm Convention in order to phase out PFAS.

"If measures are not taken quickly, such as a ban on PFAS and the use of alternatives to PFAS, pollution of the environment will continue to threaten public health around the world," says professor Christian Sonne.

On 7 February 2023, the European Chemicals Agency published a proposal to limit the production, use and marketing of more than 10,000 PFAS substances in the EU. The purpose of the proposal is to limit the spread of PFAS substances. As a rule, the use of PFAS will be banned in general in EU, but unfortunately not in various pesticides. Similar actions are under way in the US.

The researchers behind the study show that PFAS levels in the blood are generally higher in the European countries and North America compared to countries in Asia and Africa. The highest concentrations are found (in descending order) in Greenland, the Faroe Islands, Denmark, Australia, Sweden, Norway, Malaysia, USA, Taiwan, Greece, Poland, Spain and Iceland.

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2023/07/230712124648.htm
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kassy

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Re: Persistent chemical pollution
« Reply #35 on: July 29, 2023, 07:52:39 PM »


Because they are persistent, per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are also known as "chemicals for eternity." They can lead to liver damage, thyroid disorders, obesity, hormonal disorders, and cancer. A team of researchers from the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ) has now shown that PFAS can also reduce the activity of human immune cells and thus impair health. The study was recently published in Chemosphere. The method developed at the UFZ could be used to reveal the immunomodulatory effects of other chemicals.

Whether in cosmetics, coated pans, or outdoor clothing -- PFAS are used in many everyday products. This is because PFAS are water- and fat-repellent, heat resistant, and extremely durable. PFAS have been produced since the 1950s and there are now around 10,000 different compounds. "PFAS are poorly to hardly biodegradable -- and that is a real problem," says UFZ environmental immunologist Dr Gunda Herberth. "They therefore accumulate in the environment -- in soils and bodies of water. They can even be found in Antarctica. They can enter the human body via food, drinking water, or the air. Studies have shown that PFAS can be detected in the blood of almost everyone in the world. What this means for our long-term health is not yet known

...

To find out exactly what happens at the cellular level after PFAS exposure, the researchers used a special immunological measurement method they developed. "Using multiparameter spectral flow cytometry, we can detect up to 30 markers in a blood sample using different fluorescent dyes and thus identify many different immune cell types and their activation," explains UFZ environmental immunologist Dr Arkadiusz Pierzchalski, who developed the method together with Gunda Herberth. The team used immune cells from the blood of healthy donors. First, the isolated immune cells were exposed to different PFAS mixtures for 20 hours in the laboratory. "We selected six PFAS that are particularly common in the environment and prepared three mixtures. One mixture with three short-chain PFAS, one with three long-chain PFAS and one with all six PFAS," explains Ambra Maddalon, a toxicologist at the University of Milan and first author of the study with Arkadiusz Pierzchalski. "The immune cells were then stimulated using standard activation methods. The researchers then determined how active they were at the cellular level by using multi-parameter spectral flow cytometry.

PFAS significantly reduce the activity of T cells

The result: immune cells previously exposed to PFAS showed significantly lower activity than untreated cells. This was particularly true of T-cells. " For example, the T-cells produced less of the messenger substances they normally use to communicate with each other and to recruit other immune cells or to trigger inflammation" says Gunda Herberth. "The strongest effects occurred when all six PFAS were mixed. Here, the effects of the different PFAS are clearly compounded. PFAS reduced the activity of two out of five types of immune cells in particular: MAIT cells (mucosa-associated invariant T cells) and T-helper cells. MAIT cells are found in the mucous membranes and form the first effective defence response. "If the activity of MAIT cells is restricted, it is much easier for pathogens to invade the body," says Gunda Herberth. "T-helper cells are involved in the production of antibodies. If they are inhibited by PFAS, it is likely that fewer antibodies are produced -- which could explain the reduced immune response to vaccination.

Further investigations carried out at the genetic level were consistent with the results at the cellular level: genes that normally play a role in T-cell activation were down-regulated after PFAS exposure. "Our study clearly shows that PFAS reduce the activity of immune cells," says Gunda Herberth. "If a person is exposed to high levels of PFAS, this is likely to be reflected in their health. For example, through a higher susceptibility to infections."

...

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2023/07/230718105616.htm
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morganism

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Re: Persistent chemical pollution
« Reply #36 on: August 05, 2023, 01:13:27 AM »
(when PFAS is the safest thing in the mix..)

EPA approved fuel ingredient with sky-high lifetime cancer risk, document reveals

Chevron component approved even though it could cause cancer in virtually every person exposed over a lifetime

The Environmental Protection Agency approved a component of boat fuel made from discarded plastic that the agency’s own risk formula determined was so hazardous, everyone exposed to the substance continually over a lifetime would be expected to develop cancer.

Current and former EPA scientists said that threat level is unheard of. It is a million times higher than what the agency usually considers acceptable for new chemicals and six times worse than the risk of lung cancer from a lifetime of smoking.

Federal law requires the EPA to conduct safety reviews before allowing new chemical products on to the market. If the agency finds that a substance causes unreasonable risk to health or the environment, the EPA is not allowed to approve it without first finding ways to reduce that risk.

But the agency did not do that in this case. Instead, the EPA decided its scientists were overstating the risks and gave Chevron the go-ahead to make the new boat fuel ingredient at its refinery in Pascagoula, Mississippi. Though the substance can poison air and contaminate water, EPA officials mandated no remedies other than requiring workers to wear gloves, records show.
20230706 US Global defender of Chemicals 1
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ProPublica and the Guardian in February reported on the risks of other new plastic-based Chevron fuels that were also approved under an EPA program that the agency had touted as a “climate-friendly” way to boost alternatives to petroleum-based fuels. That story was based on an EPA consent order, a legally binding document the agency issues to address risks to health or the environment. In the Chevron consent order, the highest noted risk came from a jet fuel that was expected to create air pollution so toxic that one out of four people exposed to it over a lifetime could get cancer.

In February, ProPublica and the Guardian asked the EPA for its scientists’ risk assessment, which underpinned the consent order. The agency declined to provide it, so ProPublica requested it under the Freedom of Information Act. The 203-page risk assessment revealed that, for the boat fuel ingredient, there was a far higher risk that was not in the consent order. EPA scientists included figures that made it possible for ProPublica to calculate the lifetime cancer risk from breathing air pollution that comes from a boat engine burning the fuel. That calculation, which was confirmed by the EPA, came out to 1.3 in 1, meaning every person exposed to it over the course of a full lifetime would be expected to get cancer.

Such risks are exceedingly unusual, according to Maria Doa, a scientist who worked at EPA for 30 years and once directed the division that managed the risks posed by chemicals. The EPA division that approves new chemicals usually limits lifetime cancer risk from an air pollutant to one additional case of cancer in a million people. That means that if a million people are continuously exposed over a presumed lifetime of 70 years, there would likely be at least one case of cancer on top of those from other risks people already face.

When Doa first saw the one-in-four cancer risk for the jet fuel, she thought it must have been a typo. The even higher cancer risk for the boat fuel component left her struggling for words. “I had never seen a one-in-four risk before this, let alone a 1.3-in-1,” said Doa. “This is ridiculously high.”

Another serious cancer risk associated with the boat fuel ingredient that was documented in the risk assessment was also missing from the consent order. For every 100 people who ate fish raised in water contaminated with that same product over a lifetime, seven would be expected to develop cancer – a risk that’s 70,000 times what the agency usually considers acceptable.

When asked why it didn’t include those sky-high risks in the consent order, the EPA acknowledged having made a mistake. This information “was inadvertently not included in the consent order”, an agency spokesperson said in an email.

Nevertheless, in response to questions, the agency wrote, “EPA considered the full range of values described in the risk assessment to develop its risk management approach for these” fuels. The statement said that the cancer risk estimates were “extremely unlikely and reported with high uncertainty.” Because it used conservative assumptions when modeling, the EPA said, it had significantly overestimated the cancer risks posed by both the jet fuel and the component of marine fuel. The agency assumed, for instance, that every plane at an airport would be idling on a runway burning an entire tank of fuel, that the cancer-causing components would be present in the exhaust and that residents nearby would breathe that exhaust every day over their lifetime.

In addition, the EPA also said that it determined the risks from the new chemicals were similar to those from fuels that have been made for years, so the agency relied on existing laws rather than calling for additional protections. But the Toxic Substances Control Act requires the EPA to review every new chemical – no matter how similar to existing ones. Most petroleum-based fuels were never assessed under the law because existing chemicals were exempted from review when it passed in 1976. Studies show people living near refineries have elevated cancer rates.

“EPA recognizes that the model it used in its risk assessments was not designed in a way that led to realistic risk estimates for some of the transportation fuel uses,” an agency spokesperson wrote. For weeks, ProPublica asked what a realistic cancer risk estimate for the fuels would be, but the agency did not provide one by the time of publication.

New chemicals are treated differently under federal law than ones that are already being sold. If the agency is unsure of the dangers posed by a new chemical, the law allows the EPA to order tests to clarify the potential health and environmental harms. The agency can also require that companies monitor the air for emissions or reduce the release of pollutants. It can also restrict the use of new products or bar their production altogether. But in this case, the agency didn’t do any of those things.

Six environmental organizations concerned about the risks from the fuels – the Sierra Club, Natural Resources Defense Council, Moms Clean Air Force, Toxic-Free Future, Environmental Defense Fund and Beyond Plastics – are challenging the agency’s characterization of the cancer risks. “EPA’s assertion that the assumptions in the risk assessment are overly conservative is not supported,” the groups wrote in a letter sent Wednesday to EPA administrator Michael Regan. The groups accused the agency of failing to protect people from dangers posed by the fuels and urged the EPA to withdraw the consent order approving them.

Chevron has not started making the new fuels, the agency said.

Separately, the EPA acknowledged that it had mislabeled critical information about the harmful emissions. The consent order said the one-in-four lifetime cancer risk referred to “stack air” – a term for pollution released through a smokestack. The cancer burden from smokestack pollution would fall on residents who live near the refinery. And indeed a community group in Pascagoula sued the EPA, asking the US court of appeals in Washington to invalidate the agency’s approval of the chemicals.

But the agency now says that those numbers in the consent order do not reflect the cancer risk posed by air from refinery smokestacks. When the consent order said stack emissions, the EPA says, it really meant pollution released from the exhaust of the jets and boats powered by these fuels.

“We understand that this may have caused a misunderstanding,” the EPA wrote in its response to ProPublica.

Based on that explanation, the extraordinary cancer burden would fall on people near boats or idling airplanes that use the fuels – not those living near the Chevron refinery in Pascagoula.

Each of the two cancer-causing products is expected to be used at 100 sites, the EPA confirmed. ProPublica asked for the exact locations where the public might encounter them, but Chevron declined to say. The EPA said it didn’t know the locations and didn’t even know whether the marine fuel would be used for a Navy vessel, a cruise ship or a motorboat.

In an email, a Chevron spokesperson referred questions to the EPA and added: “The safety of our employees, contractors and communities are our first priority. We place the highest priority on the health and safety of our workforce and protection of our assets, communities and the environment.”

Doa, the former EPA scientist who worked at the agency for three decades, said she had never known the EPA to misidentify a source of pollution in a consent order. “When I was there, if we said something was stack emissions, we meant that they were stack emissions,” she said.

During multiple email exchanges with ProPublica and the Guardian leading up to the February story, the EPA never said that cancer risks listed as coming from stack emissions were actually from boat and airplane exhaust. The agency did not explain why it initially chose not to tell ProPublica and the Guardian that the EPA had mislabeled the emissions.

The agency faced scrutiny after the February story in ProPublica and the Guardian. In an April letter to Regan, Senator Jeff Merkley, the Oregon Democrat who chairs the Senate’s subcommittee on environmental justice and chemical safety, said he was troubled by the high cancer risks and the fact that the EPA approved the new chemicals using a program meant to address the climate crisis.

EPA assistant administrator Michal Freedhoff told Merkley in a letter earlier this year that the one-in-four cancer risk stemmed from exposure to the exhaust of idling airplanes and the real risk to the residents who live near the Pascagoula refinery was “on the order of one in a hundred thousand,” meaning it would cause one case of cancer in 100,000 people exposed over a lifetime.

Told about the even higher cancer risk from the boat fuel ingredient, Merkley said in an email: “It remains deeply concerning that fossil fuel companies are spinning what is a complicated method of burning plastics, that is actually poisoning communities, as beneficial to the climate. We don’t understand the cancer risks associated with creating or using fuels derived from plastics.”

Merkley said he is “leaving no stone unturned while digging into the full scope of the problem, including looking into EPA’s program”.

He added: “Thanks to the dogged reporting from ProPublica we are getting a better sense of the scale and magnitude of this program that has raised so many concerns.”

The risk assessment makes it clear that cancer is not the only problem. Some of the new fuels pose additional risks to infants, the document said, but the EPA did not quantify the effects or do anything to limit those harms, and the agency would not answer questions about them.

Some of these newly approved toxic chemicals are expected to persist in nature and accumulate in living things, the risk assessment said. That combination is supposed to trigger additional restrictions under EPA policy, including prohibitions on releasing the chemicals into water. Yet the agency lists the risk from eating fish contaminated with several of the compounds, suggesting they are expected to get into water. When asked about this, an EPA spokesperson wrote that the agency’s testing protocols for persistence, bioaccumulation and toxicity are “unsuitable for complex mixtures” and contended that these substances are similar to existing petroleum-based fuels.

The EPA has taken one major step in response to concerns about the plastic-based chemicals. In June, it proposed a rule that would require companies to contact the agency before making any of 18 fuels and related compounds listed in the Chevron consent order. The EPA would then have the option of requiring tests to ensure that the oil used to create the new fuels doesn’t contain unsafe contaminants often found in plastic, including certain flame retardants, heavy metals, dioxins and PFAS. If approved, the rule will require Chevron to undergo such a review before producing the fuels, according to the EPA.

But environmental advocates say that the new information about the plastic-based chemicals has left them convinced that, even without additional contamination, the fuels will pose a grave risk.

“This new information just raises more questions about why they didn’t do this the right way,” said Daniel Rosenberg, director of federal toxics policy at NRDC. “The more that comes out about this, the worse it looks.”

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2023/aug/04/epa-boat-fuel-cancer-risk-chevron-mississippi

kassy

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Re: Persistent chemical pollution
« Reply #37 on: August 05, 2023, 04:54:32 PM »
Most petroleum-based fuels were never assessed under the law because existing chemicals were exempted from review when it passed in 1976.

And of course that was never fixed...
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vox_mundi

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Re: Persistent chemical pollution
« Reply #38 on: August 09, 2023, 02:15:30 PM »
Carcinogens Found at Montana Nuclear Missile Sites As Reports of Hundreds of Cancers Surface
https://abcnews.go.com/Health/wireStory/carcinogens-found-nuclear-missile-sites-reports-hundreds-cancers-102087697

The Air Force has detected unsafe levels of a likely carcinogen in samples taken at a Montana missile base where a striking number of men and women have reported cancer diagnoses.

... After a military briefing was obtained by The Associated Press in January showing that at least nine current or former missileers at Malmstrom were diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma, a rare blood cancer, the Air Force School of Aerospace Medicine launched a study to look at cancers among the entire missile community checking for the possibility of clusters of the disease.

And there could be hundreds more cancers of all types, based on new data from a grassroots group of former missile launch officers and their surviving family members.

According to the Torchlight Initiative, at least 268 troops who served at nuclear missile sites, or their surviving family members, have self-reported being diagnosed with cancer, blood diseases or other illnesses over the past several decades.

At least 217 of those reported cases are cancers, at least 33 of them non-Hodgkin lymphoma.

What's notable about those reported numbers is that the missileer community is very small. Only a few hundred airmen serve as missileers at each of the country's three silo-launched Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile bases any given year. There have been only about 21,000 missileers in total since the Minuteman operations began in the early 1960s, according to the Torchlight Initiative.

For some context, in the U.S. general population there are about 403 new cancer cases reported per 100,000 people each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and non-Hodgkin lymphoma affects an estimated 19 of every 100,000 people annually, according to the American Cancer Society.

... The Minuteman III silos and underground control centers were built more than 60 years ago. Much of the electronics and infrastructure is decades old. Missileers have raised health concerns multiple times over the years about ventilation, water quality and potential toxins they cannot avoid as they spend 24 to 48 hours on duty underground.
« Last Edit: August 09, 2023, 02:26:54 PM by vox_mundi »
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morganism

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Re: Persistent chemical pollution
« Reply #39 on: August 16, 2023, 08:40:58 PM »
‘Forever Chemicals’ Are Everywhere.

(...)
In 2009, Grandjean happened to be reading a toxicology journal when a study caught his eye. The authors had exposed rats to one of a group of common chemicals that are classed together as “per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances,” or PFAS for short. The chemicals, many of which repel water, oil and grease and can often withstand high heat, are used in countless consumer products. They also linger in the environment. The exposure, they found, damaged the rodents’ immune system. The question was whether the same would be true in people.

Grandjean, who had never heard of PFAS, was intrigued. By then, he and Weihe were investigating whether several other persistent chemical pollutants affected how children responded to routine vaccination. So it was relatively easy to add PFAS to their study. Over the prior 23 years, they had periodically asked the children from their mother-child groups for biological samples: blood and hair trimmings. They also saved samples from the children’s mothers around the time of their birth. This biobank, a portion of which is preserved in a dozen freezers in the basement of the national hospital, served as a kind of time machine: Grandjean and Weihe were able to test for chemicals in the serum of babies who were now years and even decades older.

Around the same time, other potential health impacts of PFAS were starting to receive attention in the United States. Lawsuits filed beginning in the late ’90s raised serious concerns about a DuPont factory near Parkersburg, W.Va., that used a type of PFAS called PFOA to make Teflon. For decades, the company had dumped waste containing the chemical into the Ohio River and unlined pits on its property, polluting both the air and drinking water of tens of thousands of people. As part of a settlement, DuPont funded a study to determine if residents had been harmed by the chemicals. Its major conclusions, published online in 2012, were damning: The evidence, including blood samples and health surveys, indicated a “probable link” between PFOA and high cholesterol, ulcerative colitis, thyroid disease, testicular cancer, kidney cancer and pregnancy-induced hypertension.

Grandjean, Weihe and their colleagues published their own paper in 2012 showing that PFAS reduced the number of antibodies that children maintained after they received tetanus and diphtheria vaccinations. (Weihe was so alarmed at the apparent lack of protection for some of them that he called their parents to offer them boosters.) Between the Faroese and the Ohio Valley residents, however, there was a crucial difference. The Faroese had not been exposed to high levels of the chemicals, as the subjects in the DuPont study had; the levels of PFAS circulating in the bloodstreams of the Faroese were akin to U.S. and European averages. If such relatively small quantities of PFAS could interfere with the immune system, Weihe and Grandjean asked, what other processes might be affected? And how long might it take for those outcomes to appear? The two researchers have been seeking answers by documenting the health of the babies in their study as they move through childhood and into adulthood."
(more)

https://www.nytimes.com/2023/08/16/magazine/pfas-toxic-chemicals.html

neal

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Re: Persistent chemical pollution
« Reply #40 on: August 19, 2023, 12:21:11 AM »
‘Escaping PFAS is nearly impossible’: Nearly half of US tap water tainted with forever chemicals
Hundreds of communities across the US were found to have drinking water contaminated with dangerous levels of PFAS.

Almost half of America’s tap water could contain toxic ‘forever chemicals’ known as PFAS, according to government data.

Testing by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) revealed that water for as many as 26 million people in hundreds of communities across the country had measurable levels of PFAS.

This is the first round of testing in the effort to check most US water systems for forever chemicals and the metal lithium over the next three years. More testing for PFAS is due to take place between 2023 and 2025 with results being published every three months.

https://www.euronews.com/green/2023/08/18/escaping-pfas-is-nearly-impossible-nearly-half-of-us-tap-water-tainted-with-forever-chemic

kassy

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Re: Persistent chemical pollution
« Reply #41 on: August 26, 2023, 11:13:43 PM »
Paper Drinking Straws, Cups Bring Their Own Health, Environment Problems


“Eco-friendly” paper drinking straws, marketed as sustainable alternatives to plastic, have been found to contain persistent and potentially harmful chemicals, according to a recent study conducted by Belgian researchers.

This study, the first of its kind in Europe and only the second globally, investigated 39 brands of straws for the presence of poly- and perfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), synthetic chemicals used to impart water, heat, and stain resistance in products such as outdoor clothing and non-stick pans. The research, published in the peer-reviewed journal Food Additives and Contaminants, unveiled that PFAS were prevalent in the majority of the straws tested, particularly in those made from paper and bamboo materials.

more:
https://scienceblog.com/539370/paper-drinking-straws-bring-their-own-health-environment-problems/
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morganism

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Re: Persistent chemical pollution
« Reply #42 on: August 28, 2023, 09:00:56 PM »
Federal Study Links Testicular Cancer to ‘Forever Chemicals’

Until now, the link between PFAS and testicular cancer among service members had never been directly proven
(...)
A new federal study for the first time shows a direct association between PFOS, a PFAS chemical, found in the blood of thousands of military personnel and testicular cancer.

Using banked blood drawn from Air Force servicemen, researchers at the National Cancer Institute and Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences found strong evidence that airmen who were firefighters had elevated levels of PFAS in their bloodstreams and weaker evidence for those who lived on installations with high levels of PFAS in the drinking water. And the airmen with testicular cancer had higher serum levels of PFOS than those who had not been diagnosed with cancer, said study co-author Mark Purdue, a senior investigator at NCI.

“To my knowledge,” Purdue said, “this is the first study to measure PFAS levels in the U.S. military population and to investigate associations with a cancer endpoint in this population, so that brings new evidence to the table.”
(more)

https://undark.org/2023/08/22/federal-study-links-testicular-cancer-to-forever-chemicals/

morganism

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Re: Persistent chemical pollution
« Reply #43 on: September 14, 2023, 04:07:19 AM »
In our blood: how the US allowed toxic chemicals to seep into our lives

Experts say that the majority of the 86,000 consumer chemicals registered with the Environmental Protection Agency have never received vigorous toxicity testing

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2023/sep/13/us-environmental-protection-agency-failed-policy-consumer-chemicals

(...)
For decades, it was the secret behind the magic show of homemaking across the US. Applied to a pan, it could keep a fried egg from sticking to the surface. Soaked into a carpet, it could shrug off spills of red wine. Sprayed onto shoes and coats, it could keep the kids dry on a rainy day.

But the most clandestine maneuver of perfluorooctanoic acid, or PFOA, was much less endearing: seeping into the blood and organs of hundreds of millions of people who used products containing the chemical.
‘Forever chemicals’ pollute water from Alaska to Florida
Read more

Most people who have heard of the chemical likely know about it because it was found to be toxic and removed from consumer goods in 2015 after decades of use, leading to modern boasts of “PFOA-free” on product packaging. In recent years, PFOA has also become the target of widespread regulatory action, news media attention and even a Hollywood movie as contaminated drinking water was discovered in hundreds of communities across the country.

While most concerns about the chemical’s health risks have centered on communities where research has linked PFOA to cancer and other serious illnesses, public health researchers say it serves as a klaxon of something more insidious.

PFOA is just one of dozens of modern-day chemicals that are found in the bodies of the majority of Americans, regardless of where they live. Research has also shown that more Americans are facing a growing number of ailments and disorders, from autoimmune disease to developmental disorders such as autism and some cancers. Scientists are increasingly concerned these two truths are linked, and some believe that the American public and lawmakers alike are dangerously unaware of the perils lurking in their veins"
(snip)
Ostensibly designed to enable the EPA to collect information on chemicals from the companies that created them and ban the ones found to be unacceptably toxic, experts say the law had major flaws from the start. Perhaps none loom larger than the law’s “grandfathering” of tens of thousands of chemicals already in the marketplace, removing most from scrutiny. Vogel says the law was further diminished by rollbacks and budget cuts.

“TSCA effectively became a dead letter law,” Vogel said, meaning its original intentions were gutted.

In one of the most significant moments in the law’s history, in the 1980s the EPA moved to ban asbestos, a well-known carcinogen. But a 1991 US court of appeals decision tossed out most of the ruling, weakening the power of TSCA, and the administration of President George HW Bush declined to appeal. Contrary to popular belief, asbestos remains legal for various uses today.

“That really kneecapped the EPA,” said Melanie Benesh, legislative attorney for the non-profit Environmental Working Group. “It made it much more difficult for them to do much for existing chemicals.”

In 2016, the US Congress passed the Lautenberg Act, which overhauled the 40-year-old Toxic Substances Control Act and gave the EPA new authority, leading to the creation of two separate programs at the agency to review old and new chemicals. The agency announced a plan last year to fully ban asbestos.

But policy specialists like Vogel are withholding judgment on the significance of the reform as the Biden administration makes its mark, introducing new regulations on PFOA and similar chemicals in drinking water and evoking TSCA to potentially regulate 10 more toxic substances, including those used in rubber, plastics and fuels.

Although the EPA told the Examination it agrees that TSCA “largely failed to serve its purpose” over its first four decades, it said the 2016 update allows the agency to “effectively protect human health and the environment” through a slew of new mandates and regulatory authorities.

“Despite facing a massive increase in responsibilities and statutory deadlines from the most significant piece of environmental legislation enacted in a generation, the [Trump] administration never asked for any additional resources to implement TSCA,” the agency said. “Still, we’ve taken the resources we have and managed to make significant progress.”

For its part, the American Chemistry Council says it has “consistently called attention to challenges with TSCA” and supports the law.

vox_mundi

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Re: Persistent chemical pollution
« Reply #44 on: September 14, 2023, 04:39:19 PM »
'Bisphenol A' Detected In Almost All Europeans: Report
https://medicalxpress.com/news/2023-09-bisphenol-europeans.html

Bisphenol A (BPA), a hormone-disrupting chemical used in food packaging, is present in almost all Europeans' bodies, posing a potential health risk, the European Environment Agency said Thursday.

"A recent Horizon 2020 research initiative, HBM4EU, measured chemicals in people's bodies in Europe and detected BPA in the urine of 92 percent of adult participants from 11 European countries," the agency wrote in a new report.

The Copenhagen-based EEA said the share of adults exceeding the recommended maximum levels ranged from 71 to 100 percent in the 11 countries studied, referring to levels outlined by the European Food Safety Agency (EFSA) in an April review.

The EFSA at the time drastically reduced the recommended maximum daily intake of BPA allowed for consumers, slashing it by 20,000 times to 0.2 billionths of a gram (0.2 ng), down from four millionths of a gram (4.0 μg).

BPA, once used to make baby bottles until it was banned in Europe, the US and other nations a decade ago, is still used to make plastic for some food and drink packaging, meaning that most people are potentially exposed to it while consuming food and drink.

Research has suggested it is linked to a range of health disorders linked to hormone disruption, such as breast cancer and infertility.

France is the only country to have entirely banned BPA.

Levels of Bisphenol A, S and F were measured in the urine of 2,756 people in the 11 countries between 2014 and 2020.

The countries were Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Finland, Germany, Iceland, Luxembourg, Poland, Portugal and Switzerland.

Levels were lowest in Switzerland, where they exceeded the new maximum recommended levels in 71 percent of people studied, while they were exceeded in 100 percent of people in France, Luxembourg and Portugal, the EEA said.

"The reported exceedances are minimum numbers. The probability exists that actually, all 11 countries have exceedance rates of 100 percent exposed above safe levels," it concluded.

https://www.efsa.europa.eu/en/topics/topic/bisphenol

Re‐evaluation of the risks to public health related to the presence of bisphenol A (BPA) in foodstuffs
https://www.efsa.europa.eu/en/efsajournal/pub/6857
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morganism

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Re: Persistent chemical pollution
« Reply #45 on: September 19, 2023, 12:43:11 AM »
Exploratory profiles of phenols, parabens, and per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances among NHANES study participants in association with previous cancer diagnoses

(...)
Results

Previous melanoma in women was associated with higher PFDE (OR:2.07, 95% CI: 1.25, 3.43), PFNA (OR:1.72, 95% CI: 1.09, 2.73), PFUA (OR:1.76, 95% CI: 1.07, 2.89), BP3 (OR: 1.81, 95% CI: 1.10, 2.96), DCP25 (OR: 2.41, 95% CI: 1.22, 4.76), and DCP24 (OR: 1.85, 95% CI: 1.05, 3.26). Previous ovarian cancer was associated with higher DCP25 (OR: 2.80, 95% CI: 1.08, 7.27), BPA (OR: 1.93, 95% CI: 1.11, 3.35) and BP3 (OR: 1.76, 95% CI: 1.00, 3.09). Previous uterine cancer was associated with increased PFNA (OR: 1.55, 95% CI: 1.03, 2.34), while higher ethyl paraben was inversely associated (OR: 0.31, 95% CI: 0.12, 0.85). Various PFAS were associated with previous ovarian and uterine cancers in White women, while MPAH or BPF was associated with previous breast cancer among non-White women.
Impact Statement

Biomarkers across all exposure categories (phenols, parabens, and per- and poly- fluoroalkyl substances) were cross-sectionally associated with increased odds of previous melanoma diagnoses in women, and increased odds of previous ovarian cancer was associated with several phenols and parabens. Some associations differed by racial group, which is particularly impactful given the established racial disparities in distributions of exposure to these chemicals. This is the first epidemiological study to investigate exposure to phenols in relation to previous cancer diagnoses, and the first NHANES study to explore racial/ethnic disparities in associations between environmental phenol, paraben, and PFAS exposures and historical cancer diagnosis.
Introduction

Prostate and breast cancer are the most commonly diagnosed cancers among men and women, respectively [1]. Despite their prevalence, risk factors explaining the majority of cases remain elusive [2]. Previous work has shown that genetic heritability does not fully explain the incidence and outcomes of these cancers, thus multiple environmental and social factors are likely to be involved in the initiation and progression of these diseases [3]. Prostate and breast cancer are both hormone-mediated cancers, as are other less common cancer types including ovarian cancer, endometrial cancer, testicular cancer, thyroid cancer, and melanoma. Growth and progression of these cancer types depend largely on endogenous steroid and thyroid hormones [4], therefore identifying environmental insults that impact these hormone levels may be important for discovery of new cancer prevention and mitigation methods. These efforts could include targeted environmental health interventions to reduce exposure to these chemicals in high-risk individuals or cancer patients, regulations to limit the exposure of these chemicals in the general population, and the replacement of these chemicals with safer alternatives.

Many environmental toxicants have been identified as endocrine disruptors, including phenols, parabens, and per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). Human exposure to phenols and parabens occurs most commonly via plastic food/beverage packaging and personal care products. PFAS chemicals are found in stain resistant fabrics and flame retardant furniture, are persistent in the environment, and can bioaccumulate inside the body following exposure. Previous work has shown these chemicals to have effects on circulating concentrations of estrogens [5, 6], thyroid hormones [6,7,8], and testosterone [6, 9] in human studies. Further, effects on hormones have been identified as a key characteristic of carcinogenesis [10]. Despite the established endocrine disrupting potential of these chemicals, few epidemiology studies have assessed their relationships with endocrine-active cancer outcomes. Several case control studies have shown positive or suggestive associations between breast cancer and bisphenol-A (BPA) [11] and PFAS chemicals [12,13,14,15], but similar studies involving other emerging phenols or other cancer types are lacking.

The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) is a United States nation-wide biomonitoring effort which has demonstrated evidence of widespread human exposure to environmental toxicants including phenols, parabens, and PFAS [16]. NHANES also provides self-reported cancer diagnoses for all participating individuals aged 20 years and older, constituting an ideal dataset for conducting preliminary analyses to evaluate the relationships between environmental chemicals and cancer outcomes. Therefore, the aim of this study was to utilize NHANES data from 2005 to 2018 to conduct a cross-sectional study evaluating associations between current exposure levels to phenols, parabens, and PFAS chemicals and previous endocrine-active cancer diagnoses. The results from this study can help identify the potential role of environmental toxicants in prospective studies of cancer.
(more)

https://www.nature.com/articles/s41370-023-00601-6

kassy

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Re: Persistent chemical pollution
« Reply #46 on: September 19, 2023, 12:34:05 PM »
Study finds significant chemical exposures in women with cancer

In a sign that exposure to certain endocrine-disrupting chemicals may be playing a role in cancers of the breast, ovary, skin and uterus, researchers have found that people who developed those cancers have significantly higher levels of these chemicals in their bodies.

While it does not prove that exposure to chemicals like PFAS (per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances) and phenols (including BPA) led to these cancer diagnoses, it is a strong signal that they may be playing a role and should be studied further.

The study showed that particularly for women, higher exposure to PFDE, a long-chained PFAS compound, had double the odds of a previous melanoma diagnosis; women with higher exposure to two other long-chained PFAS compounds, PFNA and PFUA, had nearly double the odds of a prior melanoma diagnosis.

The study showed a link between PFNA and a prior diagnosis of uterine cancer; and women with higher exposure to phenols, such as BPA (used in plastics) and 2,5-dichlorophenol (a chemical used in dyes and found as a by-product in wastewater treatment), had higher odds of prior ovarian cancer diagnoses.

more:
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2023/09/230918105152.htm

Science Daily article on the paper linked above.
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vox_mundi

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Re: Persistent chemical pollution
« Reply #47 on: October 05, 2023, 12:58:21 AM »
NGOs Accuse Bayer of Hiding Glyphosate Risk Data
https://phys.org/news/2023-10-ngos-accuse-bayer-glyphosate.html

An NGO grouping said Wednesday it had filed claims in an Austrian court alleging that chemicals firm Bayer withheld data showing health risks from exposure to its herbicide glyphosate, which the EU has proposed to keep using for 10 more years.

Vienna prosecutors opened an inquiry in 2019 after NGOs filed suits alleging the herbicide's dangers.

As part of that inquiry, the Global 2000 association said it had given prosecutors new documents purportedly showing that Bayer omitted research results indicating risks to the nervous system, especially for pregnant women and children.

"In its re-authorization request, Bayer wrongly excluded unfavorable data or presented results in a misleading way" in an attempt to deceive authorities and the public, Helmut Burtscher-Schaden, a biochemist with Global 2000, told AFP.

... Glyphosate is classified as a "probable carcinogen" by the International Agency for Research on Cancer at the World Health Organization (WHO).
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vox_mundi

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Re: Persistent chemical pollution
« Reply #48 on: October 11, 2023, 05:31:04 PM »
Roundup Herbicide Ingredient Connected to Epidemic Levels of Chronic Kidney Disease
https://phys.org/news/2023-10-roundup-herbicide-ingredient-epidemic-chronic.html

For the past couple of decades, tens of thousands of people living in rural Sri Lanka have been devastated by kidney failure due to unclear causes, also known as CKDu. Similar incidences of mysterious kidney diseases have emerged in tropical farming communities around the world.

A massive field study of the wells supplying drinking water to the Sri Lankan communities, conducted by researchers at Duke University, has identified a possible culprit—glyphosate, the active compound in Roundup, the most widely used herbicide in the world.

The results of the study were published in Environmental Science and Technology Letters on September 13, 2023.

Roundup is a glyphosate-based herbicide used to control weeds and other pests. Because it is supposed to break down in the environment within a few days to weeks, its use is relatively under-regulated by most public health agencies. But when glyphosate encounters certain trace metal ions that make water hard—like magnesium and calcium—glyphosate-metal ion complexes can form. Those complexes can persist up to seven years in water and 22 years in soil.

In certain agricultural areas of Sri Lanka, the high, dry climate combined with its geological formations creates the perfect conditions for hard water. It is also in these regions that CKDu has reached epidemic levels, with as many as 10% of children aged 5–11 years exhibiting signs of early onset kidney damage. Researchers found significantly higher levels of the herbicide in 44% of wells within the affected areas versus just 8% of those outside it.

... "We think of PFAS as being a drinking water contaminant because it's mobile and persistent. Now we're realizing that glyphosate may also be quite persistent in hard water areas," said Ferguson. "This gives me concerns about exposures here in the United States."

Jake C. Ulrich et al, Glyphosate and Fluoride in High-Hardness Drinking Water Are Positively Associated with Chronic Kidney Disease of Unknown Etiology (CKDu) in Sri Lanka, Environmental Science & Technology Letters (2023)
https://pubs.acs.org/doi/10.1021/acs.estlett.3c00504

-----------------------------------------------------------------

Research Finds Commonly-Used Herbicide Is Harmful to Adolescent Brain Function
https://medicalxpress.com/news/2023-10-commonly-used-herbicide-adolescent-brain-function.html

Herbicides are the most used class of pesticides worldwide, with uses in agriculture, homes and industry. Exposures to two of the most popular herbicides were associated with worse brain function among adolescents, according to a study led by researchers at the Herbert Wertheim School of Public Health and Human Longevity Science at University of California San Diego.

In the Oct. 11, 2023 online issue of Environmental Health Perspectives, the researchers reported measuring metabolite concentrations of two commonly used herbicides—glyphosate and 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4D)—and the insect repellent DEET in urine samples collected in 2016 from 519 adolescents, aged 11 to 17, living in the agricultural county of Pedro Moncayo, Ecuador. Researchers also assessed neurobehavioral performance in five areas: attention and inhibitory control, memory and learning, language, visuospatial processing, and social perception.

Among the findings:

- Glyphosate, a nonselective herbicide used in many crops, including corn and soy, and for vegetation control in residential settings, was detected in 98% of participants.

- 2,4D, a broadleaf herbicide used on lawns, aquatic sites, and agricultural crops, was detected in 66% of participants.

- Higher amounts of 2,4D in urine were associated with lower neurobehavioral performance in the domains of attention and inhibitory control, memory and learning, and language.

- Glyphosate concentration in urine was associated with lower scores in social perception only, while DEET metabolites were not associated with neurobehavioral performance.

"Hundreds of new chemicals are released into the market each year, and more than 80,000 chemicals are registered for use today," said Suarez. "Sadly, very little is known about the safety and long-term effects on humans for most of these chemicals. Additional research is needed to truly understand the impact."

Briana Chronister et al, Urinary glyphosate, 2,4-D and DEET biomarkers in relation to neurobehavioral performance in Ecuadorian adolescents in the ESPINA cohort, Environmental Health Perspectives (2023)
https://ehp.niehs.nih.gov/doi/10.1289/EHP11383
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kassy

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Re: Persistent chemical pollution
« Reply #49 on: October 26, 2023, 09:42:06 PM »
PFAS chemicals in water and consumer goods linked to rising thyroid cancer rates

A study published in the journal eBioMedicine finds that exposure to per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances can increase the risk of thyroid cancer in human populations.

The Rising Threat of Thyroid Cancer
The global incidence and mortality rates of thyroid cancers have increased significantly in recent decades. There has been an average of 3.6% increase in thyroid cancer incidence per year in the United States between 1974 and 2013. A similar induction has been observed in China, Italy, and Turkey. Among 10 – 19-year-olds in the United States, about a 4.4% increase in the incidence rates of differentiated thyroid cancers (follicular and papillary thyroid cancers) per year has been reported between 1998 and 2013.

...

Study design
A total of 88 adult thyroid cancer patients with plasma samples collected at or before the cancer diagnosis were enrolled in the study. Among these patients, 74 had papillary thyroid cancer. The control study population included 88 healthy individuals who were pair-matched on age, sex, ethnicity, body mass index, smoking status, and year of sample collection.

Plasma samples collected from the patients were analyzed by liquid chromatography-high resolution mass spectrometry to detect eight types of PFAS.

Key Findings and Their Implications
The correlation analysis between PFAS exposure and thyroid cancer risk revealed a 56% induction in the rate of thyroid cancer diagnosis per doubling of linear PFOS intensity in the entire study population. However, no significant association was observed between the other seven PFAS and thyroid cancer diagnosis rate.

Considering the patients with papillary thyroid cancer, a similar positive association was observed between linear-PFOS intensity and thyroid cancer diagnosis rate

...

https://www.news-medical.net/news/20231025/PFAS-chemicals-in-water-and-consumer-goods-linked-to-rising-thyroid-cancer-rates.aspx
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