Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Researchers Craft Tool to Minimize Threat of Endocrine Disruptors in New Chemicals

Researchers from North Carolina State University, the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences and a host of other institutions have developed a safety testing system to help chemists design inherently safer chemicals and processes.

The innovative “TiPED” testing system (Tiered Protocol for Endocrine Disruption) stems from a cross-disciplinary collaboration among scientists, and can be applied at different phases of the chemical design process. The goal of the system is to help steer companies away from inadvertently creating harmful products, and thus avoid adding another BPA or DDT to the marketplace.

A paper describing the work, “Designing Endocrine Disruption Out of the Next Generation of Chemicals,” is published online in the Royal Society of Chemistry journal Green Chemistry.

“In order to reduce our exposure to endocrine disruptors, we have to ensure that new products entering the market do not contain them,” says Dr. Heather Patisaul, an associate professor of biology at NC State and co-author of the paper. “The goal of this project is to develop an effective strategy for chemists, engineers, and manufacturers to identify potential endocrine disruptors before they are used in commercial products. Identifying these types of chemicals early in the design process will ultimately help ensure that we develop the safest products possible, which benefits consumers.”

The work was conducted by biologists, green chemists and others from North America and Europe who say that recent product recalls and bans reveal that neither product manufacturers nor governments have adequate tools for dealing with endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs). EDCs are chemicals commonly used in consumer products that can mimic hormones and lead to a host of modern-day health epidemics including cancers, learning disabilities and immune system disorders.

The authors conclude that as our understanding of the threat to human health grows, the need for an effective testing strategy for endocrine disrupting chemicals becomes imperative.

Historically, chemists have aimed to make products that are effective and economical. Considering toxicity when designing new chemicals has not been their responsibility. This collaboration between fields expands the scope of both biologists and chemists to lead to a way to design safer chemicals.

There is a companion website to the paper, One can access the paper there and learn more about the TiPED system.

The paper was co-authored by researchers from NC State, NIEHS, the University of California, San Diego, the University of California, Irvine, Carnegie Mellon University, University of Texas at Austin, Virginia Commonwealth University, Advancing Green Chemistry, Louisiana Tech University, Medical University of South Carolina, University of California, Berkeley, McGill University, Oregon State University, Tufts University, the Warner Babcock Institute for Green Chemistry, the University of Texas Medical Branch, the University of Missouri–Columbia, the University of Massachusetts-Amherst and Environmental Health Sciences.


Note to Editors: The study abstract follows.

“Designing endocrine disruption out of the next generation of chemicals”

Authors: T. T. Schug, R. Abagyan, B. Blumberg, T. J. Collins, D. Crews, P. L. DeFur, S. M. Dickerson, T. M. Edwards, A. C. Gore, L. J. Guillette, T. Hayes, J. J. Heindel, A. Moore , H. B. Patisaul, T. L. Tal, K. A. Thayer, L. N. Vandenberg, J. C. Warner, C. S. Watson, F. S. vom Saal, R. T. Zoeller, K. P. O’Brien and J. P. Myers.

Published: Dec. 6, Green Chemistry

Abstract: A central goal of green chemistry is to avoid hazard in the design of new chemicals. This objective is best achieved when information about a chemical’s potential hazardous effects is obtained as early in the design process as feasible. Endocrine disruption is a type of hazard that to date has been inadequately addressed by both industrial and regulatory science. To aid chemists in avoiding this hazard, we propose an endocrine disruption testing protocol for use by chemists in the design of new chemicals. The Tiered Protocol for Endocrine Disruption (TiPED) has been created under the oversight of a scientific advisory committee composed of leading representatives from both green chemistry and the environmental health sciences. TiPED is conceived as a tool for new chemical design, thus it starts with a chemist theoretically at “the drawing board.” It consists of five testing tiers ranging from broad in silico evaluation up through specific cell- and whole organism-based assays. To be effective at detecting endocrine disruption, a testing protocol must be able to measure potential hormone-like or hormone-inhibiting effects of chemicals, as well as the many possible interactions and signaling sequellae such chemicals may have with cell-based receptors. Accordingly, we have designed this protocol to broadly interrogate the endocrine system. The proposed protocol will not detect all possible mechanisms of endocrine disruption, because scientific understanding of these phenomena is advancing rapidly. To ensure that the protocol remains current, we have established a plan for incorporating new assays into the protocol as the science advances. In this paper we present the principles that should guide the science of testing new chemicals for endocrine disruption, as well as principles by which to evaluate individual assays for applicability, and laboratories for reliability.

In a ‘proof-of-principle’ test, we ran 6 endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) that act via different endocrinological mechanisms through the protocol using published literature. Each was identified as endocrine active by one or more tiers. We believe that this voluntary testing protocol will be a dynamic tool to facilitate efficient and early identification of potentially problematic chemicals, while ultimately reducing the risks to public health.

Matt Shipman | EurekAlert!
Further information:

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Two decades of training students and experts in tracking infectious disease
27.11.2015 | Hochschule für Angewandte Wissenschaften Hamburg

nachricht Increased carbon dioxide enhances plankton growth, opposite of what was expected
27.11.2015 | Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Climate study finds evidence of global shift in the 1980s

Planet Earth experienced a global climate shift in the late 1980s on an unprecedented scale, fuelled by anthropogenic warming and a volcanic eruption, according to new research published this week.

Scientists say that a major step change, or ‘regime shift’, in the Earth’s biophysical systems, from the upper atmosphere to the depths of the ocean and from...

Im Focus: Innovative Photovoltaics – from the Lab to the Façade

Fraunhofer ISE Demonstrates New Cell and Module Technologies on its Outer Building Façade

The Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE has installed 70 photovoltaic modules on the outer façade of one of its lab buildings. The modules were...

Im Focus: Lactate for Brain Energy

Nerve cells cover their high energy demand with glucose and lactate. Scientists of the University of Zurich now provide new support for this. They show for the first time in the intact mouse brain evidence for an exchange of lactate between different brain cells. With this study they were able to confirm a 20-year old hypothesis.

In comparison to other organs, the human brain has the highest energy requirements. The supply of energy for nerve cells and the particular role of lactic acid...

Im Focus: Laser process simulation available as app for first time

In laser material processing, the simulation of processes has made great strides over the past few years. Today, the software can predict relatively well what will happen on the workpiece. Unfortunately, it is also highly complex and requires a lot of computing time. Thanks to clever simplification, experts from Fraunhofer ILT are now able to offer the first-ever simulation software that calculates processes in real time and also runs on tablet computers and smartphones. The fast software enables users to do without expensive experiments and to find optimum process parameters even more effectively.

Before now, the reliable simulation of laser processes was a job for experts. Armed with sophisticated software packages and after many hours on computer...

Im Focus: Quantum Simulation: A Better Understanding of Magnetism

Heidelberg physicists use ultracold atoms to imitate the behaviour of electrons in a solid

Researchers at Heidelberg University have devised a new way to study the phenomenon of magnetism. Using ultracold atoms at near absolute zero, they prepared a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

Fraunhofer’s Urban Futures Conference: 2 days in the city of the future

25.11.2015 | Event News

Gluten oder nicht Gluten? Überempfindlichkeit auf Weizen kann unterschiedliche Ursachen haben

17.11.2015 | Event News

Art Collection Deutsche Börse zeigt Ausstellung „Traces of Disorder“

21.10.2015 | Event News

Latest News

Siemens to supply 126 megawatts to onshore wind power plants in Scotland

27.11.2015 | Press release

Two decades of training students and experts in tracking infectious disease

27.11.2015 | Life Sciences

Coming to a monitor near you: A defect-free, molecule-thick film

27.11.2015 | Materials Sciences

More VideoLinks >>>