Scientists from Duke University in North Carolina have identified yet another major threat to human health posed by the plastics chemical bisphenol-A (BPA). According to new research, babies exposed to BPA in utero, or during their developmental stages in the womb, could experience inhibited central nervous system development, which in turn could set them up for future stricken with neurodevelopmental problems.
Because it mimics the actions of estrogen, BPA is already known to interfere with the body’s endocrine system, causing a host of potential problems ranging from behavioral and weight abnormalities to reproductive and immune disorders. And while awareness of BPA’s dangers is on the rise all across the globe, there is still a minimal understanding as to how BPA exerts these negative effects, including how the chemical interferes with proper nervous system development.
A few years ago, manufacturers of water bottles, food containers, and baby products had a big problem. A key ingredient of the plastics they used to make their merchandise, an organic compound called bisphenol A, had been linked by scientists to diabetes, asthma and cancer and altered prostate and neurological development. The FDA and state legislatures were considering action to restrict BPA’s use, and the public was pressuring retailers to remove BPA-containing items from their shelves.
The industry responded by creating “BPA-free” products, which were made from plastic containing a compound called bisphenol S. In addition to having similar names, BPA and BPS share a similar structure and versatility: BPS is now known to be used in everything from currency to thermal receipt paper, and widespread human exposure to BPS was confirmed in a 2012 analysis of urine samples taken in the U.S., Japan, China and five other Asian countries.
New report by the American Academy of Paediatrics shows that boys as young as nine are showing signs of maturity
The study covered a large sample. It looked at more than 4,000 boys in 41 US states aged six to 16 years. Based on the so-called Tanner stages of development – a technique doctors use to measure stages of puberty – genital changes in boys started around the age of 9 or 10, and pubic hair appeared between age 10 and 11 and a half, on average.
In the late 1980s, Marcia Herman-Giddens was working in a paediatric clinic at Duke University Medical Centre in North Carolina when she noticed a puzzling phenomenon. More and more girls aged eight or nine who visited the clinic had started to sprout pubic hair and breasts. At the time, medical orthodoxy held that the average age of puberty for girls in the west was over 11. The numbers of under-10s that Herman-Giddens was seeing did not fit with this scenario. She began collecting data that eventually produced a study with the American Academy of Pediatrics that studied 17,000 girls and found that the average age of breast-budding among white girls was 9.9 years while for black girls it was 8.8.
The discovery was hugely controversial. Many doctors refused to accept the fact that more and more girls had begun to mature sexually before they had reached the age of 10. “The Lolita syndrome [the prurient fascination with the sexuality of young girls] created a lot of emotional interest,” recalls Herman-Giddens, now at the University of North Carolina. “As a feminist, I wish it didn’t.”
Today most doctors accept that the age of onset of puberty is dropping steadily. Many studies have showed this to be the case for girls, and new research carried out by Herman-Giddens, and published by the American Academy of Pediatrics, has found the same for boys. The age of onset of biological adulthood continues to plunge. Consider the statistics provided by German researchers. They found that in 1860, the average age of the onset of puberty in girls was 16.6 years. In 1920, it was 14.6; in 1950, 13.1; 1980, 12.5; and in 2010, it had dropped to 10.5. Similar sets of figures have been reported for boys, albeit with a delay of around a year.
What do latchkey kids, college students, and busy parents have in common? Well, one thing is that they save valuable time and money by cooking with canned foods. The bad news? Tagging along with these foods is a hefty dose of bisphenol A.
According to a past study conducted by the nonprofit Consumers Union, 18 of 19 canned foods contained 22 micrograms of BPA per serving—116 times more than the ‘daily recommended limit.’ Progresso, Del Monte, Campbell’s, Annie’s, and Hormel soups took the BPA lead. Unfortunately, BPA still continues to taint food cans today.
BPA Affects Fertility
Researchers have linked BPA consumption to hyperactivity, aggression, depression, obesity, diabetes, heart disease, various cancers, and reproductive difficulties including Anogenital distance. Males with short AGD have been found to have 7 times the chance of being sub-fertile. This is a troubling statistic given that prenatal BPA exposure through parental consumption is associated with shortened AGD. Continue reading »
Ever notice when you meet someone who eats mainly organic, who works out often, is financially stable and always in that “sharing” mode, that no matter what happens around them, they stay in that “gear,” that energetic and positive attitude just stays illuminated and seems to levitate over the negativity? Some people just seem to reach their potential every day, in almost every way. If you haven’t noticed this, start paying attention, because they’re out there, and they are loving life. There is also a reason many people never reach their potential in life, never finalizing that idea that would have made them wealthy, and they’re just kind of “getting by,” not really applying themselves or making the most of their opportunities and gifts. (http://www.fi.edu/learn/brain/exercise.html/)
Believe it or not, a fairly rigid diet of organic food, drinks, herbs, vitamins, minerals, Dead Sea salts and natural spring water enables human beings to reach their ultimate HEALTH POTENTIAL and use more than 15 percent of their BRAIN each day. (http://skeptics.stackexchange.com)
Most people who do not consume these foods, supplements and spring water daily often use the same excuse when confronted with the organic choice: “It’s too expensive.” This is simply NOT TRUE. Organic food is only more expensive when you shop at stores which either cater to processed food lovers or high end organic/health supply stores. Many mid-size grocers like Trader Joes and local farmer’s markets are quite reasonable, and even Whole Foods offers many organic items at the same prices you would find the “bad” foods at if shopping the big chain grocers like Farm Fresh, Food Lion and Kroger. Continue reading »
Groundbreaking new science reveals that the harmful effects of exposure to synthetic chemicals are passed from generation to generation via “epigenetics,” causing measurable damage to future generations even if those offspring are never exposed to the original chemical. The phenomenon of “Epigenetic Transgenerational Inheritance” (ETI) has now been demonstrated in live animals, and if the implications of this research are fully understood, it would force human civilization to radically rethink its widespread use of synthetic chemicals in agriculture, medicine, food, construction materials, personal care products and elsewhere.
The research, led by Dr. David Crews (and including colleagues Michael Skinner, Ross Gillette and others), is entitled, “Epigenetic transgenerational inheritance of altered stress responses” and is published in the journal PNAS (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America) (http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2012/05/15/1118514109.abstract).
There is an ongoing and unusual trend that is steadily becoming more recognized by the public. Why are girls going into puberty at such young ages? Furthermore, what are the causes and implications of this strange new trend?
Girls as young as 7 are now beginning to undergo body changes that their mothers hadn’t experienced until years later. At this rate, by the time that they’ll be taught about puberty in the school curriculum, they will have already finished it. This trend is so puzzling, and yet slowly is becoming considered an inevitable “new norm” rather than being highlighted as an aggravated health condition.
Toxic BPA is featured in the vast majority of plastics used commercially today. This chemical has the property of mimicking estrogen when leeched into the body. The delicate hormonal balance in the developing human body is being offset by the introduction of BPA and other chemicals into an average child’s life. Nearly out of the womb, children who are given plastic toys, pacifiers or bottles all come under the influence of this hormone disruption incredibly early.
In girls, this disturbance accelerates their growth rate, setting off puberty at much younger ages. In boys, this can retard their growth and stop them from reaching full maturity altogether. The damage also carries into adulthood, causing a number of health problems associated with hormonal imbalance including breast cancer. The average person has looked at this recent phenomenon and dismissed it due to the lack of information, combined with the incredible subtlety with which the chemical culprits have been woven into daily life.
Bishphenol a (BPA), the headline-topping chemical commonly found in plastics, cans, and food packaging has been tied to yet another negative condition — adversely affecting male genital development and subsequently targeting fertility rates. If you have been following the latest BPA research, then it should be no surprise to you that BPA has been repeatedly linked to diabetes, breast cancer (with over 130 total studies), hyperactivity and depression, and countless other conditions.
BPA alters Anogenital distance, heavily tied to fertility in men
The study, which involved the World Health Organization Collaborating Center for Research in Human Reproduction, examined the effect of BPA on Anogenital distance (AGD). AGD is the distance between the genitalia and the anus, and is biologically very important. AGD has been linked to fertility in males, making the affect of BPA on the male reproductive system quite significant. Linked to both semen volume and sperm count, men with an abnormally short AGD (lower than the median around 52 mm (2 in) have seven times the chance of being sub-fertile as compared to those with a longer AGD.
Researchers examined 153 boys, 56 with parental occupational exposure during pregnancy and 97 without. After factoring in the weight and age of the boys using regular linear regression, the study found that parental occupational exposure to BPA during pregnancy was associated with shortened AGD in male offspring. What this means is that those who were exposed to high levels of BPA during pregnancy were found to birth offspring with AGD defects. But what about those who do not deal with BPA exposure through their occupation?
Ever wonder what’s really in the food sold at grocery stores around the world? People keep asking me, “What ingredients should I avoid?” So I put together a short list that covers all the most toxic and disease-promoting ingredients in the food supply. These are the substances causing cancer, diabetes, heart disease and leading to tens of billions of dollars in unnecessary health care costs across America (and around the world).
If you want to stay healthy and out of the hospital, read ingredients labels and make sure you avoid all these ingredients:
Acrylamides – Toxic, cancer-causing chemicals formed in foods when carbohydrates are exposed to high heat (baking, frying, grilling). They’re present in everything from bread crusts to snack chips, and because they aren’t intentional ingredients, acrylamides do NOT have to be listed on labels. Continue reading »
Yale 360: The ecologist David Skelly has found that pollution is leading to limb deformities and the creation of “intersex” frogs
A frog floats with cranberries awaiting harvest on a cranberry bog in Wareham, Massachusetts Photograph: Charles Krupa/AP
For the last two decades, strange things have been happening to frogs. Some frog populations have high rates of limb deformities, while others have high incidences of what is known as “intersex” — traits associated with both males and females, such as male frogs whose testes contain eggs.
David K. Skelly, professor of ecology at the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies, set out to discover what was causing these deformities, which some researchers were attributing to the use of an agricultural pesticide called atrazine. Skelly launched an experiment in ponds throughout Connecticut, studying frogs in four landscapes: forests, agricultural areas, suburbs, and cities. And what he found was surprising — the highest rates of deformities were not occurring in and around farmlands, but in cities and suburbs.