Archive | Consumer Products

Study Renews Calls for BPA Regulation

COLUMBIA, Mo., Sept. 20 (UPI) — Researchers say women, female monkeys and female mice have major similarities in how they metabolize the estrogen-like chemical bisphenol A.

Scientists at the University of Missouri say their studies on mice have led them to renew their call for governmental regulation of the chemical found in many everyday products, a university release said Monday.

“This study provides convincing evidence that BPA is dangerous to our health at current levels of human exposure,” Frederick vom Saal, UM professor of biological sciences, said. “The new results clearly demonstrate that rodent data on the health effects of BPA are relevant to predictions regarding the health effects of human exposure to BPA.”

More than 8 billion pounds of BPA are manufactured each year and the compound can be found in many consumer products, including hard plastic items such as baby bottles and food-storage containers, the plastic lining of food and beverage cans, thermal paper used for receipts and dental sealants.

“For years, BPA manufacturers have argued that BPA is safe and have denied the validity of more than 200 studies that showed adverse health effects in animals due to exposure to very low doses of BPA,” Julia Taylor, lead author and UM associate research professor, said. “We know that BPA leaches out of products that contain it, and that it acts like estrogen in the body.”

A number of states including Connecticut, Massachusetts, Washington, New York and Oregon have passed bills to reduce exposure to BPA. Similar legislation is pending in the U.S. Congress.

Copyright 2010 United Press International, Inc. (UPI). Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI’s prior written consent.

Posted in Consumer Products, Other0 Comments

Drugs Seen As 'new' Pollutants

DENVER, Sept. 10 (UPI) — U.S. authorities say water pollution by “emerging contaminants” — antidepressants, antibiotics, birth-control pills and cosmetics — threatens public health.

Scientists who trace urban contaminants entering water supplies through human waste, bathing and flushing are concerned they may harm people, The Denver Post reported Friday.

In Colorado several years ago, Denver Water officials discovered trace amounts of antibiotics and pharmaceuticals in water sources used to supply 1.3 million metro-area residents with drinking water.

“The fact that some compounds were detected surprised us and shows that even the best watersheds are experiencing the impacts of consumer products,” Denver Water spokeswoman Stacy Chesney said.

This summer, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency teams began testing at Denver Water’s Dillon Reservoir and the South Platte and other rivers.

The EPA is making emerging water contaminants a top national research priority, agency spokesman Rich Mylott said.

Colorado, with EPA funding, is expanding a pharmaceutical take-back program launched in 2009.

Colorado is one of several states with take-back programs aimed at preventing improper disposal of harmful chemicals in sewers and trash.

“We recognize that pharmaceuticals and medications have greatly improved the health of Americans,” but we need to deal with the consequences, EPA toxicologist Kristen Keteles told the Post. “We want to do what we can — eliminate the improper disposal.”

Copyright 2010 United Press International, Inc. (UPI). Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI’s prior written consent.

Posted in Chemicals, Consumer Products, Drinking Water, Other, Water Pollution0 Comments

Scientists See Uses for Odd 'dry Water'

BOSTON, Aug. 26 (UPI) — Scientists say a substance dubbed “dry water” resembling powdered sugar could absorb and store carbon dioxide, the major greenhouse gas causing global warming.

In a presentation Wednesday at the annual meeting of the American Chemical Society, scientists hinted at additional uses, including a greener, more efficient method of jump starting the chemical reactions involved in the creation of hundreds of consumer products, and a safer way to store and transport hazardous industrial materials, ScienceDaily.com reported.

“There’s nothing else quite like it,” researcher Ben Carter said. “Hopefully, we may see ‘dry water’ making waves in the future.”

The substance earned its “dry water” nickname because it is 95 percent water and yet is a dry powder, Carter said.

Each powder particle contains a water droplet surrounded by modified silica, the material that makes up ordinary beach sand. The silica coating prevents the water droplets from combining and turning back into a liquid, he said.

The result is a fine powder that can slurp up gases like carbon dioxide or methane.

Dry water has also been shown to speed up catalytic reactions in processes used to make drugs, food ingredients and other consumer products, researchers say.

Copyright 2010 United Press International, Inc. (UPI). Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI’s prior written consent.

Posted in Consumer Products, Other0 Comments

Pool Disinfectants May Affect Health

URBANA, Ill., July 23 (UPI) — Negative health outcomes can occur when disinfection byproducts form reactions with organic matter in swimming pool water, U.S. researchers suggest.

Michael Plewa of the University of Illinois College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences, says pools require disinfection to prevent outbreaks of infectious disease, but the disinfectants may increase risk of asthma and bladder cancer.

“All sources of water possess organic matter that comes from decaying leaves, microbes and other dead life forms,” Plewa says in a statement. “In addition to organic matter and disinfectants, pool waters contain sweat, hair, skin, urine, and consumer products such as cosmetics and sunscreens from swimmers.”

These byproducts are often nitrogen-rich and may contribute to the generation of nitrogenous disinfection byproducts and when mixed with disinfectants, these byproducts may become chemically modified and converted into more toxic agents, Plewa says.

These disinfection byproducts can mutate genes, induce birth defects, accelerate the aging process, cause respiratory ailments, and even induce cancer after long-term exposures, the study says.

The researchers compared different disinfection methods. The study, published in Environmental Science & Technology, found all disinfected pool samples exhibited more genomic DNA damage than source tap water.

“The best method to treat pool waters is a combination of UV treatment with chlorine as compared to chlorination alone,” Plewa says.

Having swimmers shower and banning urination in the pool is also important, Plewa says.

Copyright 2010 United Press International, Inc. (UPI). Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI’s prior written consent.

Posted in Consumer Products, Other0 Comments

'Forensic' Cellphone Tools Needed

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va., June 28 (UPI) — Cellphones can provide valuable clues for solving crimes but the technology is complex and the current tools limited, U.S. experts say.

Data stored in a cellphone or other mobile device could be useful to law enforcement, but forensic tools to recover such data at the crime scene are only slowly becoming available, IEEE Spectrum magazine reports.

Most currently available tools are offshoots of consumer products designed to allow phone users to transfer photos, address books, ring tones and other stored information from an old phone to a new one or to a personal computer, the magazine said.

And while dedicated technologies are being developed, each new generation of cellphones brings new services, new features and sometime completely new operating systems.

With developers of forensic tools struggling to keep up, most crime investigators still have to wait for results to come back from specialist labs, the magazine said.

Copyright 2010 United Press International, Inc. (UPI). Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI’s prior written consent.

Posted in Consumer Products, Other0 Comments

New Contact Dermatitis Test Developed

MORGANTOWN, W.Va., June 1 (UPI) — U.S. scientists say they’ve created a fast, inexpensive test for chemicals that can cause contact dermatitis and one that does not require the use of animals.

The new test can determine whether chemicals in consumer products and at workplaces might cause skin allergies in people.

Itai Chipinda and his colleagues at the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health in Morgantown, W.Va., sought such a test because of rising public sentiment against the use of animals to determine whether ingredients in consumer soaps, shampoos and other products might cause skin sensitization and contact dermatitis.

Existing chemical tests use substances such as glutathione that mimic skin proteins and bond to allergy-causing ingredients. None, however, is suitable for use in detecting the critical early stages of skin sensitization, the scientists said.

Instead of glutathione, Chipinda and his team developed a test with nitrobenzenethiol as the skin protein surrogate. When used on 20 chemicals known to cause skin irritation, the test produced positive results. It produced negative results when used to test substances that usually do not produce skin sensitization.

“This simple, rapid and inexpensive absorbance-based method has great potential for use as a preliminary screening tool for skin allergens,” the researchers said.

The findings appear in the journal Chemical Research in Toxicology.

Copyright 2010 United Press International, Inc. (UPI). Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI’s prior written consent.

Posted in Animals, Chemicals, Consumer Products, Other0 Comments

BPA, Erectile Dysfunction Linked

OAKLAND, Calif., May 28 (UPI) — U.S. and Chinese researchers have linked bisphenol A in the urine to worsening male sexual function.

BPA is an organic compound commonly used in manufacturing polycarbonate plastic and epoxy resins and is now contained in a wide variety of consumer products.

The 5-year Kaiser Permanente study, published in the Journal of Andrology, linked increasing urine BPA levels with decreased sexual desire, more difficulty having an erection, lower ejaculation strength and lower level of overall satisfaction with sex life. The association was dose-dependent, the study said.

“This is the first human study to show that high urine BPA is associated with lower male sexual function,” lead author Dr. De-Kun Li of Kaiser Permanente’s division of research in Oakland, Calif., said in a statement. “Also, even among men exposed to BPA from only environmental sources — no occupational exposure and with average BPA level lower than the average observed in the American population — there were indications of an increased risk of sexual dysfunction.”

Li and colleagues examined 427 workers in factories in China and compared workers in BPA manufacturing facilities with a control group of workers in factories where no BPA was present.

Li noted the estimates in the environmentally exposed group were not statistically significant due to small sample size, but the finding may enhance the understanding of the BPA effect in human populations with low-dose environmental exposure and have important public health implications.

Copyright 2010 United Press International, Inc. (UPI). Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI’s prior written consent.

Posted in Consumer Products, Other0 Comments

Dioxins from Triclosan Are Increasing

MINNEAPOLIS, May 24 (UPI) — U.S. researchers say they’ve found increasing dioxin levels from the antibacterial agent triclosan in Mississippi River sediments.

University of Minnesota scientists said the levels of the four dioxins derived from triclosan — used in many hand soaps, and other consumer products — have risen as much as 300 percent during the last 30 years, while levels of all other dioxins have dropped by up to 90 percent.

The study by Professors William Arnold and Kristopher McNeill and researcher Jeff Buth focused on sediment core samples from Lake Pepin, an enlargement of the Mississippi River 60 miles downstream from the Minneapolis-St. Paul metro area.

The sediment cores, containing a record of pollutant accumulation in the lake for the past 50 years, were analyzed for triclosan, the four dioxins derived from triclosan, and the entire family of dioxin chemicals.

“These four dioxins only come from triclosan. They didn’t exist in Lake Pepin before triclosan was introduced,” Arnold said. “In the most current sediments, the triclosan-derived dioxins account for about 30 percent of the total dioxin mass.”

Triclosan was first added to commercial liquid hand soap in 1987, and by 2001 about 76 percent of commercial liquid hand soaps contained it, the researchers said.

The study — a collaboration with Pace Analytical Services Inc., the Science Museum of Minnesota and Virginia Tech — appears in the May 18 online edition of the journal Environmental Science and Technology.

Copyright 2010 United Press International, Inc. (UPI). Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI’s prior written consent.

Posted in Chemicals, Consumer Products, Other0 Comments

Dioxins from Triclosan Are Increasing

MINNEAPOLIS, May 24 (UPI) — U.S. researchers say they’ve found increasing dioxin levels from the antibacterial agent triclosan in Mississippi River sediments.

University of Minnesota scientists said the levels of the four dioxins derived from triclosan — used in many hand soaps, and other consumer products — have risen as much as 300 percent during the last 30 years, while levels of all other dioxins have dropped by up to 90 percent.

The study by Professors William Arnold and Kristopher McNeill and researcher Jeff Buth focused on sediment core samples from Lake Pepin, an enlargement of the Mississippi River 120 miles downstream from the Minneapolis-St. Paul metro area.

The sediment cores, containing a record of pollutant accumulation in the lake for the past 50 years, were analyzed for triclosan, the four dioxins derived from triclosan, and the entire family of dioxin chemicals.

“These four dioxins only come from triclosan. They didn’t exist in Lake Pepin before triclosan was introduced,” Arnold said. “In the most current sediments, the triclosan-derived dioxins account for about 30 percent of the total dioxin mass.”

Triclosan was first added to commercial liquid hand soap in 1987, and by 2001 about 76 percent of commercial liquid hand soaps contained it, the researchers said.

The study — a collaboration with Pace Analytical Services Inc., the Science Museum of Minnesota and Virginia Tech — appears in the May 18 online edition of the journal Environmental Science and Technology.

Copyright 2010 United Press International, Inc. (UPI). Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI’s prior written consent.

Posted in Chemicals, Consumer Products, Other0 Comments

Army Creates Ultra-strength Decontaminants

ABERDEEN, Md., April 28 (UPI) — U.S. chemists and military scientists say they have created a group of ultra-strength cleaners designed for use in the aftermath of a terrorist attack.

The researchers led by George Wagner at the Army’s Edgewood Chemical Biological Center in Maryland said the cleaners are tough enough to neutralize nerve gas, mustard gas, radioactive isotopes and anthrax. But Wagner said the cleaners are also non-toxic, based on ingredients found in foods, cosmetics and other consumer products.

The scientists charged with developing the new decontaminant said they were initially faced with several problems in that chlorine- or lye-based decontamination agents are potentially hazardous and can react with chemical weapons and materials in the environment to form new toxic substances. So if the military needed to decontaminate a large area, the runoff from such chemicals could harm people and the environment.

To solve the problem the researchers said they created the Decon Green suite of decontamination agents, all of which use peroxides as their main ingredient. Peroxides are the same substances contained in many household cleaners and whitening toothpaste.

To bolster their effectiveness, the scientists said they mix the peroxides with bicarbonates or other non-toxic bases to produce peroxyanions — highly reactive ions that can clean just about anything.

That, said the researchers, ensures chemical weapons, such as nerve gas, will completely break down.

A detailed evaluation of the cleansers appears in the journal Industrial Engineering and Chemistry Research.

Copyright 2010 United Press International, Inc. (UPI). Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI’s prior written consent.

Posted in Chemicals, Consumer Products, Engineering, Other, Toxic Substances0 Comments

No Posts in Category
Advertisement