Chemist Working in Lab

Scientists at University of California San (*42*) have detected 109 chemical compounds in a research of pregnant girls, together with 55 chemical compounds by no means earlier than reported in folks and 42 “mystery chemicals,” whose sources and makes use of are unknown. 

The chemical compounds most definitely come from client merchandise or different industrial sources. They have been discovered each in the blood of pregnant girls, in addition to their new child youngsters, suggesting they’re touring by way of the mom’s placenta. 

The research was printed on March 16, 2021, in Environmental Science & Technology

“These chemicals have probably been in people for quite some time, but our technology is now helping us to identify more of them,” stated Tracey J. Woodruff, PhD, a professor of obstetrics, gynecology and reproductive sciences at UCSF.

A former U.S. Environmental Protection Agency scientist, Woodruff directs the Program on Reproductive Health and the Environment (PRHE) and the Environmental Research and Translation for Health (EaRTH) Center, each at UCSF.  

“It is alarming that we keep seeing certain chemicals travel from pregnant women to their children, which means these chemicals can be with us for generations,” she stated. 

The scientific workforce used high-resolution mass spectrometry (HRMS) to determine human-made chemical compounds in folks.  

But, whereas these chemical compounds may be tentatively recognized utilizing chemical libraries, they must be confirmed by evaluating them to the pure chemical compounds produced by producers which are referred to as “analytical standards.” And producers don’t at all times make these out there. 

Recently, for instance, chemical producer Solvay stopped offering entry to a chemical customary for one perfluorooctanoic acid (PFAS) compound that has emerged as a alternative for phased-out PFAS compounds. The researchers have been utilizing this chemical customary to judge the presence and the toxicity of the alternative PFAS. 

“These new technologies are promising in enabling us to identify more chemicals in people, but our study findings also make clear that chemical manufacturers need to provide analytical standards so that we can confirm the presence of chemicals and evaluate their toxicity,” stated co-lead creator Dimitri Panagopoulos Abrahamsson, PhD, a postdoctoral fellow with UCSF’s PRHE.  

The 109 chemical compounds researchers discovered in the blood samples from pregnant girls and their newborns are discovered in many several types of merchandise. For instance, 40 are used as plasticizers, 28 in cosmetics, 25 in client merchandise, 29 as prescribed drugs, 23 as pesticides, three as flame retardants, and 7 are PFAS compounds, that are used in carpeting, upholstery and different functions. The researchers say it’s attainable there are additionally different makes use of for all of those chemical compounds.  

The researchers report that 55 of the 109 chemical compounds they tentatively recognized seem to not have been beforehand reported in folks:  

  • 1 is used as a pesticide (bis(2,2,6,6-tetramethylpiperidini-4-y) decanedioate) 
  • 2 are PFASs (methyl perfluoroundecanoate, most definitely used in the manufacturing of non-stick cookware and waterproof materials; 2-perfluorodecyl ethanoic acid) 
  • 10 are used as plasticizers (e.g. Sumilizer GA 80 – used in meals packaging, paper plates, small home equipment) 
  • 2 are used in cosmetics 
  • 4 are excessive manufacturing quantity (HPV) chemical compounds  
  • 37 have little to no details about their sources or makes use of (e.g., 1-(1-Acetyl-2,2,6,6-tetramethylpiperidin-4-yl)-3-dodecylpyrrolidine-2,5-dione, used in manufacturing fragrances and paints—this chemical is so little identified that there’s at the moment no acronym—and (2R0-7-hydroxy-8-(2-hydroxyethyl)-5-methoxy-2-,3-dihydrochromen-4-one (Acronym: LL-D-253alpha), for which there’s restricted to no details about its makes use of or sources 

“It’s very concerning that we are unable to identify the uses or sources of so many of these chemicals,” Woodruff stated. “EPA must do a better job of requiring the chemical industry to standardize its reporting of chemical compounds and uses. And they need to use their authority to ensure that we have adequate information to evaluate potential health harms and remove chemicals from the market that pose a risk.” 

Reference: “Suspect Screening, Prioritization, and Confirmation of Environmental Chemicals in Maternal-Newborn Pairs from San Francisco” by Aolin Wang, Dimitri Panagopoulos Abrahamsson, Ting Jiang, Miaomiao Wang, Rachel Morello-Frosch, June-Soo Park, Marina Sirota and Tracey J. Woodruff, 16 March 2021, , Environmental Science & Technology.
DOI: 10.1021/acs.est.0c05984

Authors: Joining Woodruff and Panagopoulos Abrahamsson in the research have been Aolin Wang and Marina Sirota, of UCSF; Ting Jiang, Miamiao Wang and June-Soo Park of the California Environmental Protection Agency; and Rachel Morello-Frosch of UC Berkeley. 

Funding: This research was funded by NIH/NIEHS grant numbers P30- 870 ES030284, UG3OD023272, UH3OD023272, P01ES022841, 871 R01ES027051 and by the U.S. EPA grant quantity 872 RD83543301.

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