From: Alan Hall <oldeddoc**At_Symbol_Here**GMAIL.COM>
Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] Chemical Safety headlines from Google (10 articles)
Date: Wed, 1 Mar 2017 09:25:39 -0600
Reply-To: ACS Division of Chemical Health and Safety <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**PRINCETON.EDU>
Message-ID: CALDugaYQDBaRZsJ41zJfVf9KQfM6AV93PkYY_VH7Ns9byn4+fA**At_Symbol_Here**
In-Reply-To <15a8a4a4373-54e9-510a**At_Symbol_Here**>

Monona et al,

I am very tempted to stay out of this debate, but 2 cents worth.

The "Law of Unintended Consequences" can basically be understood as that when well-meaning folks try to rectify a real of perceived problem, the remedy is worse than the problem initially was or at least doesn't make things any better. Here's a short version of one in which I have had some involvement over the past several years.

In the not-too-distan tpast, it was noted tha tin West Bengal, India, and other nearby regions, the local population obtained their drinking/cooking water from the Ganges river. Because there ws no adequate sanitary treatment for human and animal wastes, the water was very often polluted with waterborne infectious disease-czausing organisms. Cholera, for example,resulted in a very high incidendence of childhood deaths and significant disease and disability amongst adults. There were many others, but this is a good example.

Well-meaning NGOs such as UNICEF raised money for what seemed to be a simple solution. It would have cost more than the Gross Domestic Product of the effected regions to try and clean up the river. However,drilling tube wells into rather shallow aquifers to proved "clean" (e.g.,pathogen-free) drinking water was relatively inexpensive.

The unintended consequence which no one knew at the time,was that these aquifers contain the highest concentrations of anturall-occuring arsenic compounds of about anywhere on earth. This resulted in an epidemic of chronic arsenic poisoning that effected around 200-300 Million persons. One of my colleagues who went to investigate showed pictures similar to those shown in AIDS victims in Africa, of familes of whom only1-2 persons were still living and who themselves had the stigmata of multiple cancers well-known to be caused by chronic arsenic exposure. One inexpensive solution was to test these wells land paint the pump handle red and warn the populace not to use the water from them.. Naturally, the local populace thought the water from the red-painted wells tasted "sweeter"and used it preferentially. While there are ways to reduce the arsenic content to "acceptable" levels (he right amount,of course,is none), they are all so expensive that it is unlikely that they will be used frequently if at all.

A simple example of a well-intentioned fix to a real and significant problem that just went badly wrong.

Personally, after all the hub-bub about "endocrine effectors" in past years,other than such things as DES medication many years ago (one that was very real and very tragic), ther
is frankly little if any evidence in humans that this is a real clinical problem. Others will of course think otherwise.

I am reminded of a mother who cornered me at some scientific congress somewhere and vociferously stated that she did not want her children exposed to "chemicals" I asked her if she wanted them to stop breathing even non-polluted air? Naturally, she didn't get it. EVERYTHING is chemicals including every part of us.

Alan H. Hall, M.D.
Medical Toxicologist

On Wed, Mar 1, 2017 at 8:33 AM, Monona Rossol <0000030664c37427-dmarc-request**At_Symbol_Here**> wrote:
I can't believe people still think these are "unintended" consequences. The chemicals are in the same class. All the bisphenols can probably do some endocrine disrupting.

It has been known since the PCBs were first substituted by PBBs in the 1970s. (polychlorinated biphenyls --> polybrominated biphenyls.) And then the cunning industrial chemists stuck an oxygen molecule in between the two phenyls and feigned surprise when the polybrominated biphenyl ether fire retardants turned out to have toxic effects.

We should all give them a great big "DUH" and make sure no student leaves their first organic chemistry class without FULLY understanding this substitution game.

Tags: us_MO, public, discovery, environmental, other_chemical

Talk about unintended consequences. A compound called BPA is being phased out of plastic packaging due to fears it may disrupt our hormones - but a replacement for it may be just as harmful.

BPA, or bisphenol A, is often found in disposable water bottles and babies' milk bottles and cups. Small amounts can dissolve into the food and drink inside these containers.

This is a concern because a host of studies have shown that BPA can mimic the actions of oestrogen, binding to the same receptor in the body. Oestrogen is normally involved in breast development, regulating periods and maintaining pregnancies. Animals exposed to BPA develop abnormal reproductive systems, but it is unclear if people are exposed to high enough doses to be affected.

Due to public pressure - and bans in a few countries - many manufacturers have started replacing BPA. One substitute, fluorene-9-bisphenol, or BHPF, is already widely used in a variety of materials.

But Jianying Hu of Peking University in Beijing and her team have found that BHPF also binds to the body's oestrogen receptors. Unlike BPA, it does this without stimulating them, instead blocking their normal activity.. In tests on female mice, BHPF caused the animals to have smaller wombs and smaller pups than controls, and in some cases miscarriages.

If BHPF binds to the same receptor in humans, it has the potential to cause fertility problems. "That's pretty scary," says Frederick vom Saal of the University of Missouri.

Monona Rossol, M.S., M.F.A., Industrial Hygienist
President: Arts, Crafts & Theater Safety, Inc.
Safety Officer: Local USA829, IATSE
181 Thompson St., #23
New York, NY 10012 212-777-0062

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