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New Studies Show Heightened Toxics Risks in Newborns: Enviroblog

From enviroblog (with a tip of the hat to DailyKos):
Newborn babies are more intensely exposed than previously documented to contamination by bisphenol A (BPA), a synthetic estrogen and ubiquitous plastic component, according to two new studies published by Environmental Health Perspectives, the journal of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences. The studies offer new and serious insights into the harm caused by BPA, an industrial chemical found to disrupt the endocrine system, to diminish brain and neurological activity and to cause permanent damage to the reproductive systems of young lab animals. In a pioneering December 10, 2008, study entitled “Exposure to Bisphenol A and other Phenols in Neonatal Intensive Care Unit Premature Infants,” a team led by Antonia M. Calafat of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention tested the urine of 41 premature infants being treated in two Boston-area hospital neonatal intensive care units for the presence of BPA and other plastic chemicals. The scientists detected BPA in the urine of every infant, with a median level of 28.6 micrograms per liter, nearly 8 times the median level (3.7 micrograms per liter) found by CDC in children 6 to 11 in the general population. The most alarming finding: the infant with the most severe exposure to BPA had a total urinary concentration of 946 micrograms per liter, 256 times greater than levels in older children tested by the CDC. The preemies’ BPA readings are even more striking when compared to other CDC data showing that adults in the general U.S. population have a median BPA urine level of 2.7 micrograms per liter. By that standard, the infants’ median BPA level was 10 times that of adults; the child with the highest reading had a body burden 350 times that of the median adult level. […] A second ground-breaking study, “Predicting Plasma Concentrations of Bisphenol A in Young Children,” published in EHP in November 2008 and authored by Canadian scientists Andrea N. Edginton of the University of Waterloo School of Pharmacy and Len Ritter of the Department of Environmental Biology at the University of Guelph, used a mathematical model to predict that a newborn exposed to the same amount of BPA as an adult, per pound of body weight would have 11 times more of chemical in its bloodstream. The reason: an infant’s immature body is less able to detoxify and excrete the chemical, so some ingested BPA lingers longer in the baby’s blood. […] Under the Bush administration, FDA leaders have resisted pressures from scientists and health and consumer advocates to order BPA removed from food packaging, including baby formula containers, baby bottles and kid-friendly foods such as canned soup, ravioli and vegetable. Last fall, the FDA Science Board issued a blistering critique of that stance, but the agency insisted that more study was necessary and delayed regulatory action. The agency has initiated a separate review of BPA exposures from medical devices, but so far, no results are in. Read the whole article here.


10 Books to Curl Up With This Winter

William Wordsworth was right when he said, “Nature never did betray the heart that loved her.” Nevertheless, the cold, dark days of winter can still get the best of even Nature’s most tenderhearted admirer. What’s one to do? We here at Chelsea Green have concocted the perfect cabin fever remedy with our suggested winter reading […] Read More..

Top 8 Chelsea Green Books the Self-Styled Oregon Militia Should Read

The ongoing armed militia occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon is showing no signs of ending — so, rather than send them snacks, or sex toys, we had an idea: Send them a book! Better yet, send them several Chelsea Green books. Don’t worry, we’ve picked five key titles that we think […] Read More..

Tracing the History of Cheddar with Cheesemonger Gordon Edgar

Cheddar is the world’s most ubiquitous and beloved cheese. You can find it nearly everywhere from macaroni and mousetraps to McDonald’s and mansions. Any cheese with so many fans has a story to tell, and Gordon Edgar is just the cheesemonger to tell it.In his book, Cheddar, Edgar traces the unexplored history of America’s most iconic cheese. Traveling […] Read More..

Winter Survival Tips From Mat Stein

Now that temperatures have started to dip below freezing and most folks living in colder climates have witnessed their first snow flurries of the season, it’s time to get serious about winter preparedness. Make sure you are ready for stormy weather and extreme cold on your next road trip with these winter driving tips from […] Read More..

A Book for the Fruit Nerd on Your Holiday Gift List

Have a fruit enthusiast on your holiday shopping list this year? Then give the gift that Booklist calls, “a thorough investigation of one wonderful fruit”—The Book of Pears by Joan Morgan.Sure cherries, plums, peaches, and other fruits have their unique qualities, but nothing quite compares to the pear’s luscious texture, richness of taste, and fragrance reminiscent […] Read More..
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