Commentary on lead screening update from the US Preventive Services Task Force
BPA substitutes may contribute to weight gain and obesity
A recently published study from NYU School of Medicine found that two substitute chemicals for BPA- BPS and BPF- may contribute to childhood weight gain and obesity. Researched analyzed data from NHANES which measured urinary BPS, BPF, and BPA in over 1,800 children and adolescents. Over 87% of participants had detectable concentrations of BPS and 55.2% had detectable concentrations of BPF. Researchers also found that as BPS concentration increased, so did the likelihood the child was obese. Additionally, they found that BPF was significantly associated with being overweight and with abdominal obesity. Bishpenol chemicals, which mimic the hormone estrogen and can affect the endocrine system, typically enter the body through leaching out of food and beverage containers and can also be absorbed through the skin. BPS and BPF have been increasingly used as BPA has declined due to public awareness and demand.
Vaping linked to heart problems
A recently published study has linked vaping to heart problems. Vapes are small devices usually marketed as a safer alternative to smoking cigarettes and may contain flavors. The flavors used can damage blood vessel cells and increase heart disease risk, according the article. Researchers also found that amounts of nicotine in the blood of traditional smokers and people vaping were the same after 10 minutes of smoking. According to the FDA, nearly 5% of middle school students use vapes and 20.8% of high schools students use them, an increase from 11.7% in 2017.
Prenatal and early life exposures to ambient air pollution and development
A recent article found that children who live near major roads are more likely to experience developmental delays and score lower on communication tests. Researchers looked at prenatal and early childhood exposure to PM2.5 and ozone in over 5,000 kids living in New York state. Children that lived fewer than 0.3 miles from a major road were twice as likely to fail a communication test compared to children living more than a half mile away.
Prenatal and newborn pesticide exposure linked to higher risk of ASD
A new study has found that prenatal and newborn exposure to pesticides was linked to higher risk of autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The study, which included over 38,000 people, used autism registry data from California and pesticide spraying data. Researchers found that women who were pregnant and lived within a 2,000 meter radius of a highly sprayed area were 10-16% more likely to have a child diagnosed with ASD. They also found odds ratios were higher by about 30% for prenatal exposure to certain pesticides and up by 50% for exposure to certain pesticides during the first year of life.
Dr. Susan Buchanan has been actively assisting the Region 5 ATSDR, Illinois Attorney General’s Office, and residents involved with the ethylene oxide (EtO) case in Willowbrook, Illinois. Dr. Buchanan testified in front of the Illinois General Assembly panel and has spoken at numerous community meetings. Concerns about exposure to EtO arose after an ATSDR report was published stating that Sterigenics, a commercial sterilizer that uses EtO to sterilize medical equipment and other products, has been emitting levels of EtO that could be harmful to public health.
Concerns on Indoor Soccer Field Turf: Dr Buchanan Gives Statement
Dr. Buchanan was featured in the news discussing lead in Chicago’s water supply.
Region 5 PEHSU assists East Chicago, Indiana. The Great Lakes Center for Children’s Environmental Health/Region 5 PEHSU has been assisting the city of East Chicago, US EPA, and Region 5 ATSDR with the public health response to soil contamination with lead and arsenic.
See Dr. Susan Buchanan’s presentation on the health effects of lead and arsenic, given at a community meeting in East Chicago on September 24, 2016. Click this link to view the presentation (PowerPoint)