Wednesday, January 2, 2013

US Chemical Regulations Do NOT Currently Address Endocrine Activity

This article in Environmental Health Perspectives describes new sensitive tests being developed to study the effects of endocrine-disruptors.

Endocrine disruptors are chemicals that impact the complex chemicals of our body's endocrine system. Endocrine disruptors have been found to have big negative effects in low doses on developing mammals.

The Environmental Health Perspectives article discusses a new protocol and explains that is is very much in demand to identify the most harmful endocrine disruptors. The article states that US chemical regulations do not currently address endocrine activity!

That is amazing because stable endocrine activity in developing beings - embryos, fetuses, infants, toddlers, preschoolers, middle-schoolers, and adolescents is absolutely critical for healthy growth!

Here is an excerpt from the article:

Tiered Protocol for Sussing Out Endocrine Disruption Kellyn S. Betts

[Excerpted] A team of experts in biology, chemistry, and toxicology has developed a protocol to help industrial scientists detect endocrine-disrupting tendencies early in the chemical development process.1 What sets the Tiered Protocol for Endocrine Disruption (TiPED) apart from the protocols typically used to assess product safety is its incorporation of what the authors believe to be the best assays for detecting effects on the endocrine system. TiPED offers industry what coauthor John Warner, president of the Warner Babcock Institute for Green Chemistry, calls an “à la carte palette of assays . . . that have been vetted by the environmental health community.”

The protocol was inspired by demand from consumers for safer materials, as well as from chemists and companies wishing to meet that demand, according to the authors. It starts with the fastest, simplest, cheapest tests and progresses to increasingly complex, expensive assays to identify endocrine activity—an issue the authors say is not currently addressed by U.S. chemical regulations....

Majia here: One of the benefits of this new system is that it better mimics real-world contingencies that can affect how chemicals interact

Coauthor Pete Myers, CEO and chief scientist for the nonprofit Environmental Health Sciences, explains that the computational and receptor-based assays recommended in the first three tiers all make assumptions about the mechanism of endocrine disruption, whereas live-animal assays recommended in tiers 4 and 5 are designed to catch endocrine-disruption activity via mechanisms that are not yet identified. “If you’ve made it through a series of assays, all of which turn up negative, and the material has potential economic value, you will be more willing to do the more intensive and expensive assays,” he says.

Majia here: I just hope live animal assays involve no pain or distress to animals. Its not clear from the article.

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