Endocrine News Podcast 23 : EDCs and the EU

Endocrine News Podcast
By Caitlin R. Ondracek


Caitlin talks about the European Union’s recent resolution on endocrine-disrupting chemicals. She is joined by Rémy Slama, PhD, an environmental epidemiologist and senior investigator at INSERM, France’s National Institute of Health and Medical Research, and Barbara Demeneix, PhD, professor in the Comparative Physiology Laboratory within the Natural History Museum in Paris.

>> Listen to the podcast

Contestado na Europa e nos EUA, agrotóxico que reduz QI de crianças é liberado no Brasil

RFI Brasil
Por Lúcia Müzell

Segundo especialistas, ele deixa traços nos alimentos e, no organismo humano, causa danos como distúrbios hormonais, deficiência mental irreversível nos fetos e diminuição de até 2,5 pontos de QI (quociente de inteligência) das crianças. O clorpirifós é um agrotóxico que surgiu para substituir o devastador DDT na agricultura e é usado há mais de 50 anos – mas é cada vez mais contestado pelos efeitos nocivos à saúde e ao meio ambiente.

O produto combate larvas e insetos e foi banido de oito países europeus. A sua licença para a utilização agrícola na União Europeia se aproxima do fim e o prazo, janeiro de 2020, levantou o debate sobre a pertinência de renovar a autorização. Segundo o jornal francês Le Monde, a Comissão Europeia estuda a possibilidade de não validar a permissão.

Uma das maiores especialistas em perturbadores hormonais do mundo, a pesquisadora Barbara Demeneix, do Laboratório de Evolução dos Reguladores Endócrinos de Paris, avalia que, se for concretizada, a medida já virá tarde.

“Nós esperamos muito que seja proibido na Europa, depois de tantos estudos não só sobre o impacto nas crianças, mas também no meio ambiente”, sustenta Demeneix. “Uma pesquisa incrível mostrou os efeitos desse químico nos peixes-corais. O estudo foi muito claro em demonstrar o quanto o clorpirifós afeta os hormônios da tireoide, portanto o desenvolvimento de todos os vertebrados. Está claro que há impactos não só no homem, como na biodiversidade.”

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Eye on France: Children clobbered by chlorpyrifos!

RFI English
Michael Fitzpatrick

After glyphosate, the cancer-inducing weedkiller, the French papers look at chlorpyrifos, a commonly used pesticide suspected of pillaging our children’s IQs.

Chlorpyrifos is a pesticide which has been sprayed on European farms for the past half century, despite a staggering weight of scientific evidence suggesting that exposure to the stuff dramatically reduces the IQ of children. It also kills greenfly and caterpillars, which is why farmers like it so much.

Unfortunately, chlorpyrifos survives on our spinach leaves, lettuce, potatoes and oranges. It is to be found in our kids’ urine, and in the umbilical cords of pregnant women.  Since 1965, evidence has been accumulating that this neurotoxin causes irreversible brain damage in youngsters, knocking 13 million points off the IQ of Europe’s children every year, and causing nearly 60,000 cases of mental deficiency.


Chlorpyrifos – Barbara Demeneix: “Detrimental effects on IQ”

Investigative Reporting Denmark
Stéphane Horel

©Investigative Reporting Denmark 

The Cross-border investigation on chlorpyrifos was initiated by Investigative Reporting Denmark and Danwatch, and made in collaboration with journalists from Knack in Belgium, Le Monde in France, Dagbladet in Norway, Newsweek in Poland, Ostro in Slovenia, El Confidential in Spain and The Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting in US. The investigation was supported by Journalismfund.eu.

Barbara Demeneix : “Detrimental effects on IQ”

“The scientific evidence clearly shows that prenatal exposure to chlorpyrifos has detrimental effects on IQ and brain cortex thickness. Chlorpyrifos is toxic for the central nervous system, i.e. neurotoxic, and it is an endocrine disruptor, notably of thyroid signalling. Chlorpyrifos can thus interfere with brain development.”

“In 2012, it was shown that brain cortex thickness is significantly reduced as a result of prenatal chlorpyrifos exposure. Recently, French researcher Vincent Laudet has demonstrated unequivocally that chlorpyrifos is a thyroid disrupting chemicals. One can wonder why it has not already been banned.”

>> Read more

>> Read the Cross-border investigation

Is air pollution ruining your memory?

The Telegraph
By Harry de Quetteville

air pollution.jpg


I have a little gadget on my kitchen shelf. It measures levels of a particle known as PM2.5 – the tiny, invisible, sooty bits of combustion that are key culprits in the air pollution health crisis.

Produced by diesel and petrol fumes, log burners and even conventional ovens, PM2.5s are small enough to make it deep into the lungs and from there into the bloodstream. They’ve been linked to diseases ranging from cancer to high blood pressure and, as the World Health Organisation (WHO) puts it, “increased mortality or morbidity”.

When I pop two slices of bread into the toaster for my six and four year old, the monitor goes bananas. The PM count in micrograms per cubic metre races up from 9 or 10 into the hundreds.

« “There’s so much data on air pollution on working memory and your capacity to think. […] It’s not just traffic. All volatile compounds, like pesticides found in rural areas, can be included.” Barbara Demeneix

>> Read the article

Endocrine disruptors drop the curtain on this European Parliament

Par Gerardo Fortuna

Plenary Session © European Union 2019 – Source : EP – Marc DOSSMANN

On Thursday (18 April), the European Parliament adopted a non-binding resolution asking the European Commission to ensure a higher level of protection against endocrine disruptors (EDCs) by making a legislative proposal on the matter no later than June 2020.

It passed with 447 votes in favour, 14 against and 41 abstentions, and was actually the last text to be dealt with by this Parliament.

MEPs proposed treating EDCs or potential EDCs on an equal footing with substances classified as carcinogenic, mutagenic or toxic for reproduction, the so-called CMR substances prohibited in EU cosmetics legislation.

>> Read the full article

Wir waren mal schlauer

Die Ziet
Von Nataly Bleuel,  Nike Heinen und Tanja Stelzer

Intelligenzquotient: Mit einem IQ von unter 85 gilt man als unterdurchschnittlich, über 115 als überdurchschnittlich intelligent.Mit einem IQ von unter 85 gilt man als unterdurchschnittlich, von über 115 als überdurchschnittlich intelligent. © Jewgeni Roppel

Lange stieg der IQ in Industrienationen, seit einigen Jahren aber sinkt er. Die Gründe dafür haben Sprengkraft für Gesellschaften – und viele Leser interessiert.

>> Lesen sie mehr

Chemicals used to make everyday items linked to brain disorders in children, study finds (The Independent)

The Independent
By May Bulman

Exposure to chemicals used to manufacture everyday items such as cosmetics, furniture and plastics could be linked to brain development disorders in children, a medical review has found.

A report published in Endocrine Connections found that a number of common chemicals can interfere with thyroid hormone actions – which are essential for normal brain development of children – in pregnant women.

>> Read the full article


© Getty

Reference: Bilal B Mughal, Jean-Baptiste Fini, Barbara Demeneix. Thyroid disrupting chemicals and brain development: an update. Endocrine Connections, 2018; EC-18-0029 DOI: 10.1530/EC-18-0029 

TV documentary shows how EDCs are affecting our brains (HEAL Press Release)

Health and Environment Alliance (HEAL)

Brussels, 7 November 2017 – Exposure to endocrine disrupting chemicals may explain the fall in IQ and the explosion in mental development problems in children that have taken place over the past 20 years.

The French TV documentary, “Demain, tous crétins?” (Brains in danger?), which makes the case for this worrying proposition, is due to be screened on the French and German television channel, Arte at 22.35 pm (CET) on 11 November 2017. (1)

Until now, exposure to endocrine – or hormone – disrupting chemicals (EDCs) has most often been associated with falling fertility rates and increases in certain cancers. In this 56-minute feature film, scientists show why they are convinced that exposure to chemicals is disturbing normal brain development in children, especially during the first three months of life in the womb.

>> Read the full press release

Toxic Cocktail: Webinar on June 21, 2017

June 21, 2017
1:00 pm US Eastern Time


Because pregnancy, especially early pregnancy, is a highly sensitive period for effects of drugs on the developing fetus, there are warnings to avoid taking any unnecessary medication during those critical nine months. The unfortunate irony is that today, all pregnant women are unwittingly exposed to a complex combination of chemicals, as are the fetuses and babies developing in their wombs, and this exposure is occurring from conception onward. Many of these chemicals interfere with hormone signaling and act as endocrine disruptors. Today we are also witnessing documented decreases in IQ and unexplained increases in neurodevelopmental disease, such as Autism Spectrum Disorder and Attention Deficit/ Hyperactivity Disorder.

Join us on Wednesday, June 21, 2017 at 10:00am Pacific/1:00pm Eastern as Dr. Barbara Demeneix discusses the effects of chemicals that disrupt thyroid hormone, a crucial hormone needed for optimal brain development both before and after birth. She will synthesize the results from epidemiological and experimental studies linking the increasing numbers of chemicals affecting thyroid signaling with IQ loss and/or neurodevelopmental disease. This work is largely based on recent research that forms the foundation for her latest book from Oxford University Press: Toxic Cocktail: How Chemical Pollution is Poisoning our Brains.

This teleconference call is one in a monthly series sponsored by the Collaborative on Health and the Environment’s EDC Strategies Partnership. The call will be moderated by Genon Jensen, Executive Director of Health and Environment Alliance.

>> More information on Collaborative on Health and the Environment’s website
>> Register here

Identification of Endocrine Disruptors – Open Letter to the EU Ministers of Environment, Health and Agriculture and EU Health Commissioner

Subject: Open Letter to the EU Ministers of Environment, Health and Agriculture and to the EU Health Commissioner regarding the identification of Endocrine Disruptors in the EU. Date: 6 Apr 2017.

>> Read the open letter

“History is the sum total of things that could have been avoided”. These words of Konrad Adenauer, a founding father of the European Union, are especially pertinent today. For the last four years the European Union has been wrangling over the definition of endocrine disruptors, thereby blocking the application of long-standing European legislation on these chemicals, including the Pesticides (Plant Protection Product) and Biocides regulations, designed to limit their health and environmental impacts. However, as early as 2002 the World Health Organization (WHO) proposed a definition of endocrine disruptors. Here we call on the EU’s Environment, Health and Agriculture Ministers and on the Health Commissioner to heed the scientific community not to attempt bending scientific definitions for political or economic purposes. In practice this implies to abandon the derogation that would not allow pesticides and biocides developed in order to affect target organisms via their endocrine systems to be recognized as endocrine disruptors.

First signatories: Rémy Slama (Environmental Epidemiologist, Inserm, France), Barbara Demeneix (Endocrinologist, Museum National d’Histoire Naturelle, France), Jean-Pierre Bourguignon (Pediatric Endocrinologist, Belgium), Andreas Kortenkamp (Toxicologist, Brunel University, UK), Andrea Lenzi (President of the Italian Society of Endocrinology, Sapienza University of Rome, Italy), Giancarlo Panzica (Neuro-endocrinologist, University of Turin, Italy), R. Thomas Zoeller (Endocrinologist, Amherst University, USA), Leonardo Trasande (Environmental Epidemiologist, New-York University, USA), Russ Hauser (Environmental and reproductive epidemiologist, Harvard University, USA), Richard Ivell (Endocrinologist, Nottingham University, UK), Ezio Ghigo (Past president of the Italian Society of Endocrinology, University of Turin, Italy), Martine Vrijheid (Environmental Epidemiologist, ISGlobal, Spain), Cécile Chevrier (Environmental Epidemiologist, Inserm, France), Merete Eggesbø (Environmental Epidemiologist, NIPH, Norway), Joseph Braun (Environmental epidemiologist, Brown University, USA), Ana Soto (Endocrinologist, Tufts University, USA), Carlos Sonnenschein (Tufts University, USA).