Chemical lab

Thousands of chemicals are officially registered every day.

Eight societies from the fields of genetics, reproductive medicine, endocrinology, developmental biology and others have written a letter in the journal Science to say that some 12,000 new chemicals are registered with the American Chemical Society daily.

While only a fraction of them make it into the environment, the US Food and Drug Administration and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) still don’t have all the pertinent information about the types of chemicals that are produced in large quantities.
According to the Health and Medicine News article, the letter states, “The need for swifter and sounder testing and review procedures cannot be overstated.”

The scientists urge the top two federal regulators to evaluate more than the toxicity of chemicals with the help of a variety of experts, who can help interpret available data to determine how the chemicals are affecting humans. They suggest enlisting the help of geneticists, developmental and reproductive biologists and clinicians.

Chemical testing lags behind

“As things stand now,” the article quotes Patricia Hunt, a professor in the Washington State University School of Molecular Biosciences and corresponding author of the letter, “things get rapidly into the marketplace and the testing of them is tending to lag behind.”
The scientists are especially concerned about chemicals like the plasticizer bisphenol A (BPA) and others that mimic the effects of hormones.

“Hormones control everything — our basic metabolism, our reproduction,” she said. “We call them endocrine disruptors. They’re like endocrine bombs to a certain extent because they can disrupt all these normal functions.”

Because of growing health concerns, BPA has been widely outlawed in children’s food containers, bottles and drinking cups, but they are still exposed to a wide variety of chemicals in products, water and air.


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