Panel supports six disinfection byproducts as potential carcinogens

Read the full story in Environmental Factor.

A panel of scientific experts, convened June 24 by the National Toxicology Program (NTP), recommended that six chemical compounds known as haloacetic acids (HAAs) be classified in the Report on Carcinogens as reasonably anticipated to be carcinogens. HAAs are byproducts created when chlorine, chloramine, or chlorine dioxide are used to disinfect drinking water.

Substitution of PFAS chemistry in outdoor apparel and the impact on repellency performance

Philippa J.Hill; MarkTaylor; Parikshit Goswami; Richard S.Blackburn (2017). “Substitution of PFAS chemistry in outdoor apparel and the impact on repellency performance.” Chemosphere 181, 500-507. Online at


  • First study to compare PFAS and non-fluorinated repellent finishes for apparel.
  • PFAS chemistry for water repellency is over-engineering in outdoor apparel.
  • Significant benefits by switching to non-fluorinated finishes.
  • PFOA and PFOS can be minimized and eliminated from human and environmental exposure.

CA: Effective July 1, 2017: Children’s Foam-Padded Sleeping Products with TDCPP or TCEP as a Priority Product

The proposal to list Children’s Foam-Padded Sleeping Products containing TDCPP or TCEP as a Priority Product went into effect on July 1, 2017. Manufacturer’s who make this product (see final regulations text for full description of the Priority Product) have sixty (60) days from the effective date of the Regulation to notify the Department that they are a Responsible Entity. To submit a Priority Product Notification, register on the Safer Consumer Products Information Management System, CalSAFER, and submit a notification.

A primary goal of DTSC’s Safer Consumer Products program is to reduce people’s exposure to toxic chemicals in consumer products. When we look at different products available in the marketplace, we think about how and where people are exposed to the chemicals in those products. We pay particular attention to chemicals that might harm infants and children. If research studies show that particular chemicals in a product could cause health problems, we can list that product as a Priority Product. Companies that make and sell the product will have to try to make the product safer for consumers.

After a thorough review of the research, DTSC determined that children may be at risk for adverse health effects if they use or are near children’s foam-padded sleeping products that contain the chemical flame retardants TDCPP or TCEP. We are proposing to list this Priority Product with the goal of reducing children’s exposure to these particular toxic chemicals.

Re-evaluating the Significance of Estrone as an Environmental Estrogen

Gerald T. Ankley, David Feifarek, Brett Blackwell, Jenna E. Cavallin, Kathleen M. Jensen, Michael D. Kahl, Shane Poole, Eric Randolph, Travis Saari, and Daniel L. Villeneuve (2017). “Re-evaluating the Significance of Estrone as an Environmental Estrogen.” Environmental Science & Technology 51 (8), 4705-4713. DOI: 10.1021/acs.est.7b00606

Abstract: Studies worldwide have demonstrated the occurrence of feminized male fish at sites impacted by human and animal wastes. A variety of chemicals could contribute to this phenomenon, but those receiving the greatest attention in terms of research and monitoring have been 17β-estradiol (β-E2) and 17α-ethinylestradiol, due both to their prevalence in the environment and strong estrogenic potency. A third steroid, estrone (E1), also can occur at high concentrations in surface waters but generally has been of lesser concern due to its relatively lower affinity for vertebrate estrogen receptors. In an initial experiment, male fathead minnow (Pimephales promelas) adults were exposed for 4-d to environmentally relevant levels of waterborne E1, which resulted in plasma β-E2 concentrations similar to those found in reproductively active females. In a second exposure we used 13C-labeled E1, together with liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry, to demonstrate that elevated β-E2 measured in the plasma of the male fish was indeed derived from the external environment, most likely via a conversion catalyzed by one or more 17β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenases. The results of our studies suggest that the potential impact of E1 as an environmental estrogen currently is underestimated.

Endocrine Society Urges European Parliament to Improve Transparency Surrounding Implementation of Flawed EDC Criteria

Read the full story from the Endocrine Society.

Earlier this week, Member States of the European Union voted in favor of draft criteria to define endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs). The Endocrine Society is extremely concerned that the criteria will fail to identify EDCs that are currently causing human harm and will not secure a high level of health and environmental protection. The world’s largest organization of endocrinologists is therefore urging the European Parliament to improve transparency surrounding the process for implementing the criteria and to engage endocrine scientists in further decision-making steps.

Sunlight surprise raises cadmium pollution risk

Read the full story in Chemical & Engineering News.

Even though cadmium is considered a probable human carcinogen by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, it is still used to give some plastics and ceramics red, orange, or yellow hues. That’s because organic pigments are unstable at the high temperatures used to make these products, and pigments like cadmium red are thought to be relatively inert in the environment on account of their reportedly low solubility in water.

That belief has been turned on its head by a new study showing that in sunlight, a commercially available cadmium red pigment rapidly dissolves in water, releasing the toxic metal (Environ. Sci. Technol. 2017, DOI: 10.1021/acs.est.7b00654).

Polymer network captures drinking water contaminant

Read the full story in Chemical & Engineering News.

Long-chain perfluorinated chemicals contaminate millions of Americans’ drinking water. These compounds are a legacy of industrial pollution and the use of firefighting foam at military bases and airports; they persist in the environment because of their strong carbon-fluorine bonds. Now scientists have designed a cross-linked polymer that might more effectively remove one of the more prevalent and harmful of these compounds, perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) (J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2017, DOI: 10.1021/jacs.7b02381).