Allison Tracy is a Chemicals Policy Fellow. EDF Health Scientist Dr. Jennifer McPartland and Senior Scientist Dr. Richard Denison contributed to this post.
When you’re standing at the kitchen counter this holiday season wrestling with the nebulous world of weight gain, think about synthetic chemicals. A good number of them are in you. And studies show that some of them are pretty busy in there, interacting with various biological systems – including your metabolism.
But they’re not the only show in town. Microbes are busy in your gut doing important things like digesting food and degrading harmful compounds. But could they also influence the size of your love handles? New science suggests that these microbes—in concert with certain chemicals—may have just this effect.
It is becoming increasingly clear that it’s not just your genes and your self control that determine your risk for obesity and related complications like diabetes. Environmental factors are a big part of the equation, and those factors just might extend to synthetic chemicals to which you’re exposed, such as the flame retardants in your furniture and the plasticizers in food can linings. Read More
Jennifer McPartland, Ph.D., is a Health Scientist. Richard Denison, Ph.D., is a Senior Scientist.
Parts in this series: Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4
This is the fourth in a series of blog posts on new approaches that federal agencies are exploring to improve how chemicals are evaluated for safety. In this post, we’ll discuss a number of current limitations and challenges that must be overcome if the new approaches are to fulfill their promise of transforming the current chemical safety testing paradigm. Read More
Jennifer McPartland, Ph.D., is a Health Scientist.
My colleague Richard Denison at EDF ended his last blog post asking, “The new study [Environmental Chemicals in Pregnant Women in the US: NHANES 2003-2004] leaves me with one question: How many more such wake-up calls do we need before our government enacts policies to ensure the safety of chemicals to which we are exposed?”
Maybe this will help shake us awake! The obesity epidemic in the United States is increasing at alarming rates. So too is an associated disease, type 2 diabetes. Researchers have attributed 70% of the risk associated with developing type 2 diabetes with being overweight or obese, a risk that increases by 4.5% for every 2.2 pounds of weight gained over 10 years.
A healthy diet and hitting the gym should keep these diseases at bay, right? Certainly proper nutrition and exercise are good and important habits for controlling our weight and maintaining overall health. But what if, despite all such efforts, there are contributing factors outside of our control, and even outside of our genetic makeup? And what if those potential factors are found in us, on us, and all around us?
New research suggests that chemicals found in our environment and in everyday products may play a significant role in packing on the pounds. Read More