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Daily News Blog

Archive for the 'Epigenetic' Category


30
Apr

Meta-Analysis Catalogues Pesticides’ Adverse Impact on How Genes Function

(Beyond Pesticides, April 30, 2024) Researchers found epigenetic changes, including changes relating to “DNA methylation, histone modification, and differential microRNA expression [which ‘can alter the expression of many disease-related genes’],” in a systematic review and meta-analysis of existing literature published in Environmental Epigenetics. “Our review did provide evidence that pesticide exposure could lead to epigenetic modifications, possibly altering global and gene-specific methylation levels, epigenome-wide methylation, and micro-RNA differential expression,” researchers share in the conclusion of the study. This study is an amalgamation of various studies on epigenetic changes based on a literature review process: “Article review involved [3,529 articles found through] extensive searches across major human health databases, including PubMed, Embase, and Cochrane, and BVS (Biblioteca Virtual em SaĂşde – the Latin American Health Database). Searches covered articles published through December 2020. Considering the diverse terminologies used to describe the same epigenetic mechanism in this field, the search strategy aimed to encompass all relevant articles by combining a variety of search terms in titles and abstracts. This approach was implemented across PubMed, Embase and Cochrane databases to ensure comprehensive coverage.” Studies were not included if the participants were not considered “healthy individuals” or if the participants had “known inherent/congenital or […]

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10
Jan

Pesticides’ Role in Lower Sperm Counts and Reproductive Harm in Men Again in Science Literature

(Beyond Pesticides, January 10, 2024) Exposure to endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) negatively impacts testicular function and may cause sperm count declines over time, according to a 2022 review published in Endocrine. The findings indicate that this occurs regardless of whether exposure is prenatal (before birth) or postnatal (after birth). More recent work from October 2023 confirms the connection between male reproductive health and exposure to organophosphate and carbamate insecticides and the weed killer glyphosate—as many pesticide products containing these chemicals are classifiable as endocrine disruptors (ED). Just last year, a meta-analysis from researchers at Mount Sinai Medical Center, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and the University of Copenhagen, among others, finds that the drop in global sperm count is accelerating, dropping by 51.6 percent from 1973 through 2018. The U.S. regulatory system, under the authority of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), has not kept pace with the science and does not fully evaluate pesticides in wide use for endocrine disruption, despite a requirement in 1996 law (the Food Quality Protection Act) to begin that testing and evaluation nearly three decades ago. In 2021, Beyond Pesticides reported that the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) for EPA issued a damning report on the […]

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03
Jan

Loss of Chromosome Y in Male Farmers Genotoxic Implications for Cancer

(Beyond Pesticides, January 3, 2024) A study published in Environmental Health Perspectives finds elevated, chronic exposure to glyphosate throughout one’s lifetime increases the risk of mosaic loss of chromosome Y (loss of chromosome Y occurs to many men in some cells due to aging [mLOY]) that impacts a noticeable fraction of cells. Although the loss of this sex chromosome does not cause cell death, like the loss of autosomal chromosomes, the risk of mLOY is a biomarker for genotoxicity (the damage of genetic information within a cell causing mutations from chemical exposure, which may lead to cancer) and expansion of cellular response to glyphosate, resulting in the precursor for hematological (blood) cancers. This study is one of the first to identify sex-specific chromosome degradation, with stark evidence demonstrating links to various cancers, including non-Hodgkin lymphoma. The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has classified the glyphosate as a probable carcinogen or cancer-causing chemical. However, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) allowance of widespread use of glyphosate allows for adverse impacts, especially among vulnerable individuals, like pregnant women, infants, children, and the elderly. Glyphosate exposure levels and resulting residues in urine has been documented with recent data showing that four out of five (81.6%) […]

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12
Oct

Breast Cancer Awareness Month: Study Finds New Chemicals Associated with Breast Cancer Risk

(Beyond Pesticides, October 12, 2023) A new study published in Environment International finds novel environmental chemicals (i.e., piperidine insecticide, 2,4-dinitrophenol, benzo[a]carbazole, and a benzoate derivative) involved in developing breast cancer through various inflammation pathways. These new potential factors contribute to breast cancer and highlight the importance of employing epidemiological biomonitoring like exposome (total exposure from birth to death) to discover mechanisms involved in disease development that are otherwise overlooked. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), breast cancer is a disease that causes breast cells to grow out of control, with the type of breast cancer depending on the cells themselves. Several studies and reports, including U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) data, identify hundreds of chemicals as influential factors (either promoting or initiating) associated with breast cancer risk. Breast cancer is the most common cancer among women, accounting for 12 percent of all new annual cancer cases worldwide and causing the second most cancer-related deaths in the United States. Past studies suggest genetic inheritance factors influence breast cancer occurrence. However, genetic factors only play a minor role in the incidence of breast cancer, while exposure to external environmental factors (e.g., chemical exposure) appears to play a more notable role. One in […]

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24
Aug

Scientific Breakthrough Sheds Glowing Light on Pesticide Research

(Beyond Pesticides, August 23, 2023) Researchers are investigating a cutting-edge method to identify the impact of pesticides on reproductive health—shrinking the wait time from months to weeks. Scientists at the University of California, Davis, are developing a method for identifying harmful chemicals in pesticides with the help of glowing fish. This scientific breakthrough could revolutionize pesticide research and help prevent long-term health problems caused by exposure to these chemicals.  Pesticide exposure can cause acute and long-term health problems for the human endocrine system, the hormone system that regulates many biological processes from reproduction to blood sugar, growth, and more. Beyond Pesticides has written about the connections between EPA-registered pesticides and involuntary abortions, reproductive cancers, pregnancy loss, early-onset puberty, and more.   The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has expressed concern over the limited or missing data regarding the health effects of pesticides and food additives on infants and children, who are more vulnerable to chemical exposures. AAP has identified several compounds as being of particular concern, including bisphenols, which are commonly used in the lining of metal cans; phthalates, which are used in adhesives and plasticizers; nonpersistent pesticides, which have been addressed in a previous AAP policy statement; perfluoroalkyl chemicals (PFCs), […]

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11
Aug

Study Cites Multiple Chemical Characteristics, Strengthening Weed Killer Glyphosate Cancer Ranking

(Beyond Pesticides, August 11, 2023) Reinforcing earlier findings, a systematic review published in Chemosphere finds the popular herbicide glyphosate and its formulations (glyphosate-based formulations-GBF) exhibit five out of the ten key characteristics (KC) of carcinogens (cancer-causing chemicals). Specifically, glyphosate exhibits strong evidence of genotoxicity, epigenetic alterations (heritable changes in gene expression), oxidative stress, chronic inflammation, endocrine disruption, and disturbs gut microbiota implicated in lymphomagenesis (growth and development of lymphoma). Although organizations like the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) designate glyphosate as a probable human carcinogen, and scientific literature supports the findings on these adverse effects purported by glyphosate, the chemical remains on the U.S. market in various formulations. Glyphosate is the most commonly used active ingredient worldwide, appearing in many herbicide formulas, not just Bayer’s (formerly Monsanto) RoundupÂŽ. The use of this chemical has been increasing since the inception of crops genetically modified to tolerate glyphosate over two decades ago. The toxic herbicide readily contaminates the ecosystem with residues pervasive in food and water commodities. In addition to this study, literature proves time and time again that glyphosate has an association with cancer development, as well as human, biotic, and ecosystem harm. Therefore, advocates point to the need for national policies to reassess hazards associated with […]

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08
Sep

Ingestion of Real-World Pesticide Residues in Grain Threatens Bird Offspring More than Parents

(Beyond Pesticides, September 8, 2022) A study published in Environmental Pollution finds parental exposure to real-world, sublethal concentrations of pesticide residues on grains is a major contributor to unfavorable offspring development among foraging birds. Parents’ ingestion of grains with conventional pesticide residues, whether from contaminated or pesticide-treated seeds, results in chronic exposure that adversely affects offspring health, even at low doses. The adverse effects pesticides and other environmental pollutants have on birds are amply documented and researched. Although many studies evaluate acute or chronic health implications associated with pesticide exposure in a single generation, there is a lack of information on multi-generational impacts that can provide vital information on the fundamental survivability or fitness of bird species. Considering this study emphasizes parental exposure to environmental pollutants can have adverse consequences for future generations, it is necessary that future risk assessments for birds address these implications when implementing agricultural pesticide policies. The study notes, “[S]ublethal effects of such compounds [pesticides] on non-target species should be included in the regulation. Moreover, as agroecosystem pollution is not resulting only from pesticides, there is an urgent need to analyze cocktail effects, not only between molecules of pesticides but also between pesticides and other pollutants such as […]

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10
Mar

EPA Overlooks Glyphosate and Roundup Ingredients’ Cancer, DNA Damage, and Multigenerational Effects

(Beyond Pesticides, March 10, 2022) Glyphosate and glyphosate-based herbicides (GBH) like RoundupÂŽ induce DNA damage and alter biological mechanisms (gene regulatory microRNAs [miRNAs or miRs]) associated with cancer development. According to the study published in Toxicological Sciences, DNA damage mainly occurs through oxidative stress from GBH exposure. Moreover, DNA damage and other biological mechanisms that cause carcinogenicity (cancer) occur at doses assumed “safe” by pesticide regulators such as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Glyphosate is the most commonly used active ingredient worldwide, appearing in many herbicide formulas, not just Bayer’s (formerly Monsanto) RoundupÂŽ. The use of this chemical has been increasing since the inception of crops genetically modified to tolerate glyphosate over two decades ago. The toxic herbicide readily contaminates the ecosystem with residues pervasive in food and water commodities. In addition to this study, literature proves time and time again that glyphosate has an association with cancer development, as well as human, biotic, and ecosystem harm.  Study lead author Michael Antoniou, Ph.D., cautions, “Our results are the first to simultaneously show glyphosate and Roundup toxicity in a whole mammalian animal model system and provide a mechanism – oxidative stress – by which DNA damage has been observed in other systems, such as mammalian […]

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22
Apr

Grandmother’s Exposure to DDT Increases Granddaughters’ Breast Cancer and Cardiometabolic Disorder Risk

(Beyond Pesticides, April 22, 2021) Past maternal exposure to the pesticide dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT) during pregnancy can increase the risk of breast cancer and cardiometabolic disorders (e.g., heart disease, obesity, diabetes) up to three successive generations, according to a new study published in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention. Although previous studies highlight early life or in utero exposure to DDT increasing breast cancer risk later in life, this study is the first to note generational effects on grandchildren’s health. DDT continues to adversely affect the health of the U.S. population, nearly 50 years after its ban. However, this ban is not global, as many countries still use or manufacture the chemical compound. Furthermore, residues of DDT metabolite, DDE, continue to readily contaminate food and water worldwide. Therefore, studies like these highlight the need to investigate how first-generation pesticide exposure can impact future generational health in order to prevent adverse health outcomes, especially during sensitive developmental periods (i.e., in utero, infancy/childhood). The study researchers note, “Discovery of actionable biomarkers of response to ancestral environmental exposures in young women may provide opportunities for breast cancer prevention.” To assess the association between multi-generational health risks and chemical exposure, researchers used the Public Health Institute’s Child […]

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02
Jul

Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals, Including Pesticides, Have a Multi-Generational Impact on Commercially Beneficial Inland Silverside Fish

(Beyond Pesticides, July 2, 2020) Exposure to low levels of endocrine-disrupting chemicals commonly in waterways, including pesticides, can impact future generations of major commercial fish, despite no direct exposure to the chemicals, according to research published in the journal Frontiers in Marine Science by Oregon State University (OSU) researchers. Many studies assess the acute or chronic health implications associated with endocrine disruptors on a single generation but lack information on multi-generational impacts that can provide vital information on the fundamental survivability or fitness of many species. This study highlights the significance of understanding the implications of endocrine disruptors, even at low levels of exposure, as parental exposure can have adverse epigenetic consequences for future generations. Kaley Major, a Ph.D. fellow at Oregon State University (OSU) and lead research author, explains, “What t[his] gets at is something your grandparents may have come into contact within their environment can still be affecting the overall structure of your DNA in your life today.” Endocrine disruptors are xenobiotics (i.e., chemical substances like toxic pesticides foreign to an organism or ecosystem). Past research shows exposures to endocrine-disrupting chemicals can adversely impact human, animal—and thus environmental—health, by altering the natural hormones in the body responsible for […]

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