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Posts Tagged ‘plastics’

Just One Word: “Plastics!”

Posted by feww on March 10, 2010

Just 3 more words: “Permanent fertility defects”

Exposure to BPA may cause permanent fertility defects, Yale researchers say

Remember the famous lines from The Graduate?  “I just want to say  one word to you! Just one word: Plastics!”

Isn’t it wonderful just how many uses we have found for plastics since the Graduate was screened in 1967? Plastics are now so ubiquitous even our oceans are filed with them!

Now Researchers at Yale School of Medicine say that “exposure during pregnancy to Bisphenol A (BPA), a common component of plastics, causes permanent abnormalities in the uterus of offspring, including alteration in their DNA. The findings were reported in the March issue of Journal of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB J.).”

The study shows that BPA exposure permanently affects sensitivity to estrogen, says the study Led by Hugh S. Taylor, M.D., professor in the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology & Reproductive Sciences at Yale said.

“Taylor and his team used two groups of mice, one exposed to BPA as a fetus during pregnancy and another exposed to a placebo. They examined gene expression and the amount of DNA modification in the uterus. They found that the mice exposed to BPA as a fetus had an exaggerated response to estrogens as adults, long after the exposure to BPA. The genes were permanently programmed to respond excessively to estrogen.” A report said.

“The DNA in the uterus was modified by loss of methyl groups so that it responded abnormally in adulthood,” said Taylor. “The gene expression was permanently epigenetically altered and the uterus became hyper-responsive to estrogens.”

The exposure to BPA as a fetus is carried throughout adulthood, Taylor said. “What our mothers were exposed to in pregnancy may influence the rest of our lives. We need to better identify the effect of environmental contaminants on not just crude measures such as birth defects, but also their effect in causing more subtle developmental errors.”

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Citation: The FASEB Journal (Journal of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology) Vol. 24, Issue 3 (March 2010)

Posted in Bisphenol A, BPA, permanent fertility defects, sensitivity to estrogen, The Floating Toxic Garbage Island | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

The Floating Toxic Garbage Island

Posted by feww on April 10, 2008

WILD FACTS SERIES: North Pacific Gyre

A patch of garbage dubbed the Great Pacific Garbage Patch floats in the middle of the Pacific Ocean in North Pacific Gyre. Depending on the source, the size estimate of the patch varies from the size of Texas to twice as large as the continental United States.

  • About 46,000 pieces of plastic float on each square mile of sea (Source: telegraph.co.uk)
  • Researcher Dr Marcus Eriksen believes the Great Pacific Garbage Patch stretches from about 500 nautical miles off the coast of California, across the Northern Pacific to near the coast of Japan.
  • According to the Independent newspaper 100 million tons of plastic garbage float in the North Pacific Gyre.


The North Pacific Gyre (top, center)is one of five major oceanic gyres. (Image Credit: NOAA)

Following are links to a series of short videos by VBS.TV.


Marine debris on the Hawaiian coast (Image Credit: NOAA)

Related Links:

An Interesting animation of how the garbage entering the ocean is caught by the gyre.

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Posted in Bisphenol A, california, Hawaii, infertility, Pacific Ocean, plastic bags, polyethylene, PVC, Water pollution | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 9 Comments »