Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Mix of endocrine disrupters a dangerous cocktail

19.02.2008
Endocrine-disrupting chemicals, which are harmless individually in small doses, can together be a dangerous cocktail. Concurrent exposure to several endocrine-disrupting substances may, among other things, result in malformed sexual organs. Risk assessments of chemical substances should therefore take potential cocktail effects into account. These are the findings of research conducted by the National Food Institute, Technical University of Denmark.

Many young men have a low sperm count and more and more boys are born with malformed sexual organs. A little less than five per cent of all Danish boys are, for example, born with hypospadias, where the opening of the urethra is on the underside of the penis. Substances disturbing the hormonal balance during the foetal development have long been suspected of being one of the causes of such birth defects.

"Several animal tests have shown that endocrine-disrupting chemicals, which have an effect on the male sex hormone testosterone, can result in such malformations in young male rats. In vitro testing and short-term animal testing have also suggested that concurrent exposure to several chemical substances can result in endocrine-disrupting effects even if exposure to each individual substance does not show any effect. We are now able to document that this is actually the case," says Ulla Hass, senior scientist at the National Food Institute, Technical University of Denmark.

Significant cocktail effects
The National Food Institute, Technical University of Denmark, has carried out comprehensive studies in which pregnant rats were exposed to a cocktail consisting of three chemicals that all inhibit the effect of the male sex hormone testosterone: The drug flutamide and the pesticides vinclozolin and procymidone.

The three chemicals were administered in doses which are harmless individually. Concurrent exposure to the three substances did, however, show significant cocktail effects. The male rats did, among other things, develop female characteristics in the form of retained nipples and severely malformed external sexual organs. Sixty per cent of the male rats were, for example, born with hypospadias.

Underestimated risk
Today, risk assessments of chemicals and establishing reference values are performed for one substance at a time although people are exposed to many different chemical substances every day.

"Our studies show that concurrent exposure to several endocrine-disrupting substances in small doses can increase the frequency of malformations such as hypospadias even though the doses are harmless individually. It is therefore not sufficient to establish reference values only by looking at one substance at a time," concludes Sofie Christiansen, PhD student at the National Food Institute, Technical University of Denmark.

"In order not to underestimate the risk of chemicals to humans, it is important to include the possible concurrent exposure of two or more chemicals in the risk assessment. To establish an adequate protection level for consumers, potential cocktail effects should be taken into account, and thus the way a chemical may interact with other chemicals," adds Ulla Hass.

Ulla Hass | alfa
Further information:
http://www.dtu.dk

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Waste in the water – New purification techniques for healthier aquatic ecosystems
24.07.2018 | Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen

nachricht Plenty of habitat for bears in Europe
24.07.2018 | Deutsches Zentrum für integrative Biodiversitätsforschung (iDiv) Halle-Jena-Leipzig

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Color effects from transparent 3D-printed nanostructures

New design tool automatically creates nanostructure 3D-print templates for user-given colors
Scientists present work at prestigious SIGGRAPH conference

Most of the objects we see are colored by pigments, but using pigments has disadvantages: such colors can fade, industrial pigments are often toxic, and...

Im Focus: Unraveling the nature of 'whistlers' from space in the lab

A new study sheds light on how ultralow frequency radio waves and plasmas interact

Scientists at the University of California, Los Angeles present new research on a curious cosmic phenomenon known as "whistlers" -- very low frequency packets...

Im Focus: New interactive machine learning tool makes car designs more aerodynamic

Scientists develop first tool to use machine learning methods to compute flow around interactively designable 3D objects. Tool will be presented at this year’s prestigious SIGGRAPH conference.

When engineers or designers want to test the aerodynamic properties of the newly designed shape of a car, airplane, or other object, they would normally model...

Im Focus: Robots as 'pump attendants': TU Graz develops robot-controlled rapid charging system for e-vehicles

Researchers from TU Graz and their industry partners have unveiled a world first: the prototype of a robot-controlled, high-speed combined charging system (CCS) for electric vehicles that enables series charging of cars in various parking positions.

Global demand for electric vehicles is forecast to rise sharply: by 2025, the number of new vehicle registrations is expected to reach 25 million per year....

Im Focus: The “TRiC” to folding actin

Proteins must be folded correctly to fulfill their molecular functions in cells. Molecular assistants called chaperones help proteins exploit their inbuilt folding potential and reach the correct three-dimensional structure. Researchers at the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry (MPIB) have demonstrated that actin, the most abundant protein in higher developed cells, does not have the inbuilt potential to fold and instead requires special assistance to fold into its active state. The chaperone TRiC uses a previously undescribed mechanism to perform actin folding. The study was recently published in the journal Cell.

Actin is the most abundant protein in highly developed cells and has diverse functions in processes like cell stabilization, cell division and muscle...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

LaserForum 2018 deals with 3D production of components

17.08.2018 | Event News

Within reach of the Universe

08.08.2018 | Event News

A journey through the history of microscopy – new exhibition opens at the MDC

27.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Smallest transistor worldwide switches current with a single atom in solid electrolyte

17.08.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Robots as Tools and Partners in Rehabilitation

17.08.2018 | Information Technology

Climate Impact Research in Hannover: Small Plants against Large Waves

17.08.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>