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New Science but Old Policies A haiku on how we reward ignorance and punish innovation Charlotte Brody, RN.

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Presentation on theme: "New Science but Old Policies A haiku on how we reward ignorance and punish innovation Charlotte Brody, RN."— Presentation transcript:

1 New Science but Old Policies A haiku on how we reward ignorance and punish innovation Charlotte Brody, RN

2 Whats the problem?Why do we think the problem has anything to do with chemicals?Why has it taken us so long to figure this out?What do we do now?

3 Whats the problem?

4 Were living longer, but were less healthy

5 Cancer mortality is going down but cancer incidence keeps going up

6 Young women may be losing their health and their right to choose to become mothers Shaping Our Legacy: Reproductive Health and the Environment. A report on the Summit on Environmental Challenges to Reproductive Health and Fertility, January 28–30, and Hormone Disruptors and Womens Health, Reasons for Concern at 30% more babies are being born premature 25 to 50% of women have fibroids 10 to 15% suffer from endometriosis Girls are developing breasts and starting their periods earlier Breast cancer went up 40% between 1973 and 1998

7 Young men may grow up to be half the man their fathers were Sperm counts down 50% over 50 years Compared with 30 years ago 46% more men get testicular cancer 76% more men get prostate cancer Shaping Our Legacy: Reproductive Health and the Environment. A report on the Summit on Environmental Challenges to Reproductive Health and Fertility, January 28–30,

8 CDC reports 6.1 million U.S. couples with infertility problems in million couples with infertility in 2002 Largest reported increase in women under 25 Barrett, Julia R., Fertile Grounds for Inquiry, EHP, November 2006 and Shaping Our Legacy Are we losing the right to reproduce?

9 The Disease Burden is worse for Blacks, Latinos and Native Americans Death from cardiovascular disease is 29% higher for African American adults and 40% higher from stroke. African American women are twice as likely to die from cervical cancer than white women. American Indians, Alaska natives, African Americans and Hispanics are at least twice as likely to have diabetes than whites.

10 Why do we think the problem has anything to do with chemicals?

11

12 Wildlife Tragedies Florida Panther

13 Human Tragedies: Minamata, Japan Chemical Plant Dumps Mercury into Bay

14 Human Tragedies: DBCP Harmful to workers who made it and the workers who used it

15 Human Tragedies:Thalidomide

16 Human Tragedies: Diethylstilbestrol (DES) Exposure to DES in the womb = Deformed uterus = Impaired fertility Increased risk of miscarriage Premature labor & birth Fibroids Cancer of the Vagina and Cervix Third Generation Effects

17 Animal Studies Predict Human Harm Vandenberg, LN, MV Maffini, PR Wadia, C Sonnenschein, BS Rubin and AM Soto Exposure to environmentally relevant doses of the xenoestrogen bisphenol-A alters development of the fetal mouse mammary gland. Endocrinology 148(1):

18 Bisphenol A in 92.6% of 2,517 NHANES participants 6 years old and older in

19 Phthalates Since 2003, in cells: Human breast cancer cells stimulated Counteract tamoxifen In lab animals: Decreased testosterone Change in mammary glands Additive harm In humans: Sperm damage More allergic symptoms In amniotic fluid Correlation with anogenital distance and mothers reported use of baby products Lower levels of thyroid hormone

20 Why has it taken us so long to figure this out?

21 Linear dose response curves dont capture the chemical problem Outdated frameworks miss low dose effects, mixtures, synergies, timing, sensitivities and other differences between people and long delays between Exposures and visible effects, including Multigenerational effects

22 Hormones: Tiny doses control communication and coordination of body tissues 300 ppt in a 143 lb. woman is equivalent to of one plain M &M

23 Two Ways to Make Hormones

24 In a factory Atrazine Bisphenol A DDT DES Dioxins PBB PCB Phthalates Two Ways to Make Hormones In a human body Estrogens Testosterone Adrenaline Insulin Thyroid Progesterone LH FSH

25 Hormone disruptors send the wrong message at the wrong time to the wrong place

26 Mixtures and synergies destroy resiliency and create disease Adapted from T. Schettlers modification of Hubbs-Tait et al. Psychological science in the public interest Genes Access to Health Care Social Support Nutrition Radiation Gene Expression Poverty Stress Racism Toxic Chemicals Infections

27 Women exposed to relatively high levels of DDT prior to mid- adolescence are 5 times more likely to develop breast cancer Cohn, BA, MS Wolff, PM Cirillo and RI Sholtz DDT and breast cancer in young women: New data on the significance of age at exposure. Environmental Health Perspectives doi: /ehp Long Delays

28 Manufactured doubt and fear prevent new science from becoming new policy

29 What do we do now?

30 Lessen stressors to create resiliency and decrease disease Adapted from T. Schettlers modification of Hubbs-Tait et al. Psychological science in the public interest Genes Access to Health Care Social Support Nutrition Radiation Gene Expression Poverty Stress Racism Toxic Chemicals Infections

31 Lower exposures we can lower Insert slide Executive Summary, CDC's Third National Report on Human Exposure to Environmental Chemicals, 2005

32 Change The Framework from Linear Dose Response Curves to a Recognition That Chemicals Work Like Pharmaceuticals Chemical Facts Mixtures and synergies Sensitive populations Timing

33 TSCA: US chemical regulation: Reward ignorance and punish innovation 81,000 chemicals registered in US in % of chemicals by volume grandfathered in without evidence of safety when TSCA become law in 1976 Definitions of unreasonable risk and least onerous control are unworkable Under TSCA, restrictions on 5 chemicals are in place, we dont know the health effects of more than 85% of these chemicals Denison, R.A., Not That Innocent and Tickner, J.A., Introduction to TSCA

34 How the FDA got the power to require proof of safety before a drug was marketed and Pomper, G.M., Ordinary Heroes and American Democracy

35 It seems so simple If you cant show that its safe then you cant sell it A closing haiku

36 Thank you.


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