Phthalates

The New York Times really stepped in some cheesy goo yesterday.

An article on the "dangers" of macaroni and cheese was so insanely wrong that it's hard to believe it was in the paper at all. 

The author was Roni Caryn Rabin who, although not a scientist, has written about health issues for more than 20 years. And she has done a lot of fine work. But this article was so deeply flawed and filled with scare tactics that it comes across as little more than an anti-chemical screed against a group of ubiquitous chemicals called phthalates.

I understand that screeds sell papers, especially when they are written about a group of chemicals with hard to pronounce...

Now that I'm in the second trimester, I'm starting to think about baby bottles, sippy cups, and all that fun stuff. But all the options online leave me thinking I don't have much choice when it comes to BPA-free bottles. And I don't mean lack there of. 

BrainhurtsSo, if you take literally what Patricia Hunt, Ph.D. and colleagues reported in the new issue of the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, you could only conclude that two chemically unrelated, so-called endocrine disruptors, alone were costing the EU $1.63 billion in female reproductive disorders. That is, unless they neglected to add the VAT, in which case it will be more.

This paper is SO weak. It contains more speculation than whether Jon Snow will return to season six of Game of Thrones.

Since I have only a limited time on Earth,  and if I want...

Blue Ribbon Panel:PhthalatesWe here at the American Council on Science and Health have often very often, in fact taken issue with the academic pursuits published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives. On the whole, its conclusions tend toward the chemophobic and alarmist, raising concerns over hypothetical and imaginary risks of environmental chemicals based on outrageously flawed studies.

So it is with an extra measure of satisfaction that we now describe not one, but two, studies apparently...

The latest: ACSH Advisor Dr. C.S. Prakash receives the 2015 Borlaug CAST (Council for Agricultural Science and Technology) Communicator Award, blood DNA test could detect cancer tumors, and CSPC watchdog puts agency to task for shoddy science.

duckyIn an article in The Hill, former Consumer Product Safety Commission member (2005-13, Acting Chair 2006-9) Nancy Nord calls it like it is regarding the shoddy, biased job the CPSC did in evaluating potential human risks from a commonly used phthalate, DINP. Hear her dismay in the title, Using poor science and stale data to support flawed policy. Not much more needs to be said in criticizing the abysmal tactics the commissioners employed to avoid the scientific...

The American Council on Science and Health consulted the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) on the plasticizer chemical known as diisononylphthalate (DINP) regarding its Chronic Hazard Advisory Panel (CHAP) report and the resulting proposed "Prohibition of Children's Toys and Child Care Articles Containing Specified Phthalates," published in the Federal Register on December 30, 2014.

The full letter after the decision is included below:

March 8th, 2015

Elliot F. Kaye, Chairman

U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission

4330 East West Highway

Bethesda, MD 20814

Dear Chairman Kaye:

The American Council on Science and Health (ACSH) wishes to express our deep disappointment in the conclusions of the U.S. Consumer...

Screen Shot 2014-03-17 at 3.11.19 PMThe Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) consists of five appointees charged with protecting the public from unreasonable risks of injury or death associated with the use of the thousands of types of consumer products under the agency s jurisdiction ¦such as toys, cribs, power tools, cigarette lighters, and household chemicals. You would think they would be acting in the interests of consumers, yet...

10.The Food Babe attacks ingredient found in Subway bread

989040_22128307The chemical azodicarbonamide is used in baking as a dough conditioner, meant to improve the strength and workability of the dough, as well as to increase the speed at which the dough rises. It is a common ingredient in bread. Azodicarbonamide is generally recognized as safe (GRAS) by the U.S. FDA, and is thus considered safe to be added to foods.

The scare:

Earlier this year, Subway made the decision to remove azodicarbonamide from its bread in response to a petition started by food blogger Vani Hari, known to her many...

PrenatalChem-150x180Where have we seen this before? Oh yes, frequently: numerous activist groups and academics seeking publicity and/or NIH/NIEHS grants feel the urge, every so often, to take a shot at our most disfavored class of chemicals: phthalates. Here we go again.

A group based at the Columbia/Mailman School of Public Health was fortunate enough to receive one of those into the future NIH/NIEHS mega-grants to follow a cohort of pregnant women and their progeny around for two decades or longer and try to correlate various environmental influences with health-related outcomes. They have published intermittent reports of...