Exposure to BPA potentially induces permanent reprogramming of painted turtles’ brains

Read the full story in Science Daily.

BPA is a chemical that is used in a variety of consumer products, such as food storage containers and water bottles. In previous studies, researchers determined that BPA can disrupt sexual function and behavior in painted turtles. Now, the team has identified the genetic pathways that are altered as a result of BPA exposure during early development.

Webinar: Highly Fluorinated Chemicals: A Sticky Issue

Wednesday, April 19, 2017 at 11:00 AM Pacific / 2:00 PM Eastern
Register at http://greensciencepolicy.org/webinar-highly-fluorinated-chemicals-a-sticky-issue/

Learn about highly fluorinated stain and water repellant chemicals in this one-hour webinar: the products and materials in which they are used, why they can be harmful, and what can be done about it. Leaders in the field will share their expertise on this persistent and potentially toxic class of chemicals. These engaging talks were presented at February 2017 Green Science Policy meetings.

Researchers track perfluorinated chemicals in the body

Read the full story from the University of Notre Dame.

They are the chemicals that made consumers think twice about using nonstick cookware. New research in the journal Environmental Science & Technology Letters shows scientists have developed a method to track perfluorinated alkyl substances (PFAS) in the body. PFAS are potentially toxic chemicals found in stain-resistant products, nonstick cookware, fire-fighting foams and — most recently — fast food wrappers.

Cattle Associated Antibiotics Disturb Soil Ecosystems

Read the full story from Virginia Tech.

Manure from cattle administered antibiotics drastically changes the bacterial and fungal make-up of surrounding soil, leading to ecosystem dysfunction, according to a Virginia Tech research team.

The team analyzed soil samples from 11 dairy farms in the United States, and found that the amount of antibiotic resistant genes was 200 times greater in soil near manure piles compared with soil that wasn’t.

Furthermore, microbes with greater antibiotic-resistance showed higher stress levels. Their findings were published March 29 in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B.

New flame retardant threat documented in Great Lakes

Read the full story in Great Lakes Echo.

A flame retardant has been discovered in sediment of the Great Lakes for the first time, and researchers say it may be here to stay.

Researchers sampled sediment from lakes Michigan, Ontario and Superior to track organophosphate esters, a group of chemicals that are used as flame retardants.  All three locations showed that the concentration of one of them—TCPP—has increased rapidly since 2000. It has replaced a more toxic flame retardant that was phased out.

Full research article: Dandan Cao, Jiehong Guo, Yawei Wang, Zhuona Li, Kang Liang, Margaret B. Corcoran, Soheil Hosseini, Solidea M. C. Bonina, Karl J. Rockne, Neil C. Sturchio, John P. Giesy, Jingfu Liu, An Li, and Guibin Jiang (2017). “Organophosphate Esters in Sediment of the Great Lakes.” Environmental Science & Technology 51 (3), 1441-1449.
DOI: 10.1021/acs.est.6b05484

Abstract: This is the first study on organophosphate ester (OPEs) flame retardants and plasticizers in the sediment of the Great Lakes. Concentrations of 14 OPEs were measured in three sediment cores and 88 Ponar surface grabs collected from Lakes Ontario, Michigan, and Superior of North America. The sum of these OPEs (Σ14OPEs) in Ponar grabs averaged 2.2, 4.7, and 16.6 ng g–1 dw in Lakes Superior, Michigan, and Ontario, respectively. Multiple linear regression analyses demonstrated statistically significant associations between logarithm concentrations of Σ14OPEs as well as selected congeners in surface grab samples and sediment organic carbon content as well as a newly developed urban distance factor. Temporal trends observed in dated sediment cores from Lake Michigan demonstrated that the recent increase in depositional flux to sediment is dominated by chlorinated OPEs, particularly tris(2-chloroisopropyl) phosphate (TCPP), which has a doubling time of about 20 years. Downward diffusion within sediment may have caused vertical fractionation of OPEs over time. Two relatively hydrophilic OPEs including TCPP had much higher concentrations in sediment than estimated based on equilibria between water and sediment organic carbon. Approximately a quarter (17 tonnes) of the estimated total OPE burden (63 tonnes) in Lake Michigan resides in sediment, which may act as a secondary source releasing OPEs to the water column for years to come.

Exposure to Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals can Adversely Affect Brain Development

Read the full story from the Health and Environment Alliance (HEAL).

Findings published today provide evidence that exposure to endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) causes changes in thyroid hormone signalling, which disturbs brain development.

The results are published by Nature in a peer-reviewed paper in Scientific Reports entitled “Human amniotic fluid contaminants alter thyroid hormone signalling and early brain development in Xenopus embryos”.

ISTC Sustainability Seminar: Microplastics in the Aquatic Environment

March 16, 2017 , noon-1pm CST
In person at the Illinois Sustainable Technology Center (1 E. Hazelwood Dr., Champaign) or online at https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/5431323938809870850

Presented by Sarah A. Zack – Pollution Prevention Extension Specialist, Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant (IISG) and University of Illinois Extension.

The ecosystem impact of microplastics, a type of land-based marine debris that includes particles less than 5 millimeters in size, is of growing interest in the Great Lakes and other inland waters. Microplastic pollution in freshwater systems is still an emerging science and researchers have just begun to describe its scope, abundance, and distribution. There is still much to be learned about its long-term effects, including impacts to aquatic food webs. Since 2012, Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant (IISG) has been working to conduct and fund research and educate the public about microplastic pollution. IISG is dedicated to supporting continued research on emerging contaminants such as microplastics, and recognizes that there is a need for more information to determine the long-term effects of this pollution on Midwestern lakes and rivers. This seminar will discuss freshwater microplastic sources and types, relevant chemical and physical properties, and potential impacts, as well as provide an overview of the work done by IISG to address this emerging contaminant.