Apr 3, 2009 | 13
There are some 82,000 chemicals used commercially in the U.S., but only a fraction have been tested to make sure they're safe and just five are regulated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), according to congressional investigators. But a government scientist says there's no guarantee testing actually rules out health risks anyway.
The basic premise of safety testing for chemicals is that anything can kill you in high enough doses (even too much water too fast can be lethal). The goal is to find safe levels that cause no harm. But new research suggests that some chemicals may be more dangerous than previously believed at low levels when acting in concert with other chemicals.
"Some chemicals may act in an additive fashion," Linda Birnbaum said this week at a conference held at the Columbia Center for Children's Environmental Health at Columbia University. "When we look one compound at a time, we may miss the boat."
Jan 28, 2009 | 1
Researchers have found that perfluorinated chemicals (PFCs), which are found in a variety of everyday materials from carpets to shampoo, may reduce fertility in women.
Previous studies have linked high levels of PFCs to infertility in animals, but this is the first one to show such an effect on humans, says senior study author Jorn Olsen, who heads the epidemiology department at the University of California in Los Angeles. The study is published today in the journal Human Reproduction.
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