Archive for December, 2012

Exposome studies will tie environmental exposure to biological triggers of disease

by Ewen Callaway Nature 491, 647 (29 November 2012) doi:10.1038/491647a 27 November 2012

Deep breath: the effects of the environment on health are being monitored.

Think of it as a benevolent Big Brother. European researchers are gearing up to monitor thousands of people by giving them smartphones to record the chemicals to which they are exposed every day.

Two projects this week announced that they had won a combined €17.3 million (US$22.4 million) from the European Commission to study the ‘exposome’ — the effects of environmental exposures on health. The researchers hope that the four-year studies will benefit public health in ways that genome research so far has not.

Genome-wide association studies, in which scientists search for genetic variants linked to disease, have failed to fully explain why some people are more susceptible than others to chronic diseases, such as type 2 diabetes. “There’s been too much emphasis on genetic factors, which contribute relatively little to disease compared with environmental factors,” says Martyn Smith, a toxicologist at the University of California, Berkeley, who is participating in the newly funded Exposomics project. Paolo Vineis, an environmental epi­demiologist at Imperial College London, leads the €8.7-million project. (more…)

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Published in GreenMedInfo
Written By:  Susan Fairbairn (nee Kirk) Susan Kirk is a freelance journalist, with a degree in journalism and TAFE qualifications in horticulture.  She has written for many different publications but lately writes extensively for Fairfax media.

Research into the effectiveness of plant essential oils as botanical pesticides continues and is being confirmed. Several products have been formulated and commercialized.  (more…)

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Reprinted from (Beyond Pesticides, December 10, 2012) and Neurobehavioral problems following low-level exposure to organophosphate pesticides: a systematic and meta-analytic review.Ross SMMcManus ICHarrison VMason O. Research Department of Clinical, Educational and Health Psychology, University College London , Gower Street, London WC1E 6BT , UK.  UCL’s systematic review, published in the journal  Critical Reviews in Toxicology


SourceAlpha Galileo Foundation [News Release]


Scientists have found that low-level exposure to organophosphates (OPs) produces lasting decrements in neurological and cognitive function. Memory and information processing speed are affected to a greater degree than other cognitive functions such as language.

The systematic review of the literature was carried out by researchers at UCL and the Open University. It is the first to attempt a quantitative evaluation of the data assimilated from 14 studies and more than 1,600 participants. The researchers used meta-analysis to obtain an overview of the literature and their findings are published in the journal Critical Reviews in Toxicology.

Long-term low-level exposure to organophosphate pesticides produces lasting damage to neurological and cognitive functions, according to the researchers at University College London (UCL). This research pulls data from 14 studies over the past 20 years, including more than 1,600 participants, in order to provide a quantitative analysis of the current literature on these dangerous chemicals. Lead author of the study, Sarah Mackenzie Ross, Ph.D., notes, “This is the first time anyone has analyzed the literature concerning the neurotoxicity of organophosphate pesticides, using the statistical technique of meta-analysis.”

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Always ask for and read the MSDS sheet on any pesticide before you allow use of the pesticide in your home, school ,workplace, or any area where young children may gather.

The MSDS sheet is your first line of defense is protecting yourself and your family from pesticide exposure which could bring adverse health consequences.The MSDS will inform  you as to the relative toxicity of the chemical pesticide.

Always use the least toxic alternative. Avoid any exposure by and to young children with any chemical pesticides.

Many pesticides are non selective and if the mode of action is a neurological affect or reproductive interference, this could affect non target species such as humans

Pesticide labels contain detailed information on how to use the product correctly and legally. Labels also contain information on potential hazards associated with the product and instructions you should follow in the event of a poisoning or spill. Following label instructions will allow you to minimize the risks and maximize the benefits.

http://npic.orst.edu/health/readlabel.html National Pesticide Information Center  npic@ace.orst.edu


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Always ask for and read the MSDS Sheet for any pesticide BEFORE it is used around you or your family. Children are particularly vulnerable to pesticide injury and poisoning. 


By clicking below, you will find fact sheets, FAQs, tips and other resources from NPIC. Browse by selecting one of many active ingredients, including common insecticides,herbicidesrodenticidesantimicrobialswood preservatives and other types of pesticides. National Pesticide Information Center  http://npic.orst.edu/ingred/specchem.html (more…)

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National Pesticide Information Center http://npic.orst.edu/health/minexp.html


Because “the dose makes the poison,” someone may get sick from exposure to just about anything if their exposure is high enough. The risk of experiencing health problems from a pesticide depends on the toxicity of the pesticide and the amount of exposure. Even very low toxicity pesticides can be hazardous if too much is inhaled, gets on the skin, or is ingested. Minimizing the amount of pesticide used, selecting lower toxicity products and using protective equipment to minimize your exposure can all help to minimize the hazards associated with using pesticides.

Tips for Minimizing Pesticide Risks:

  • Consider adopting an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) approach. This approach emphasizes prevention, sanitation and exclusion, and utilizes pesticides only as a last resort when other options have failed.
  • Review the product signal word and active ingredients, and then choose the product lowest in toxicity. Call NPIC for help comparing products.
  • Choose products with formulations least likely to lead to exposure.
  • Read the product label first. The pesticide label will list the minimum amount of protective equipment, like gloves or goggles, necessary to reduce your exposure.
  • Consider using additional protective equipment to decrease your exposure even further.
  • Make sure the pesticide label lists the specific place you intend to use the product. Using a pesticide in unlisted locations is illegal and unsafe.
  • Use the appropriate amount of pesticide for your job by following the label directions closely. Applying too much pesticide may lead to higher levels of exposure to people, pets and the environment.
  • Avoid allowing children, pets, or sensitive people in treatment areas to prevent accidental exposures during pesticide applications.
  • Consider staying out of treated areas after an application for the amount of time listed on the label directions.
  • For liquid products, consider avoiding treated areas until they have dried thoroughly and the area has been ventilated.
  • Consider keeping pets and children off treated lawns and gardens until granular pesticides have dissolved.
  • Ensure items such as food, toys, pet bowls and clothing are stored a safe distance away from any pesticide treatment.

These are just a few general tips on how to minimize pesticide risks. One of our specialists can provide you custom-tailored advice on ways to minimize the risk of your particular situation. If you have questions, consider giving us a call at 1-800-858-7378 (7:30am-3:30pm PST), or email us at npic@ace.orst.edu.

Additional Resources:

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This is a reporti on the research entitled “Lithocholic bile acid selectively kills neuroblastoma cells, while sparing normal neuronal cells” by Vladimir Titorenko,  Professor in the Department of Biology and Concordia University Research Chair in Genomics, Cell Biology and Aging  as well as  Goldberg, Alexander A. and Beach, Adam and Davies, Gerald F. and Harkness, Troy A. A. and LeBlanc, André and Titorenko, Vladimir I. (2011) 

Lithocholic bile acid selectively kills neuroblastoma cells, while sparing normal neuronal cells. Oncotarget . ISSN 1949-2553 Lithocholic acid (LCA), naturally produced in the liver during digestion, has been seriously underestimated. A study published in the journal Oncotarget shows that LCA can kill several types of cancer cells, such as those found in some brain tumors and breast cancer.

Lithocholic bile acid selectively kills neuroblastoma cells, while sparing normal neuronal cells

Aging is one of the major risk factors of cancer. The onset of cancer can be postponed by pharmacological and dietary anti-aging interventions. We recently found in yeast cellular models of aging that lithocholic acid (LCA) extends longevity. Here we show that, at concentrations that are not cytotoxic to primary cultures of human neurons, LCA kills the neuroblastoma (NB) cell lines BE(2)-m17, SK-n-SH, SK-n-MCIXC and Lan-1. In BE(2)-m17, SK-n-SH and SK-n-MCIXC cells, the LCA anti-tumor effect is due to apoptotic cell death. In contrast, the LCA-triggered death of Lan-1 cells is not caused by apoptosis. While low concentrations of LCA sensitize BE(2)-m17 and SK-n-MCIXC cells to hydrogen peroxide-induced apoptotic cell death controlled by mitochondria, these LCA concentrations make primary cultures of human neurons resistant to such a form of cell death. LCA kills BE(2)-m17 and SK-n-MCIXC cell lines by triggering not only the intrinsic (mitochondrial) apoptotic cell death pathway driven by mitochondrial outer membrane permeabilization and initiator caspase-9 activation, but also the extrinsic (death receptor) pathway of apoptosis involving activation of the initiator caspase-8. Based on these data, we propose a mechanism underlying a potent and selective anti-tumor effect of LCA in cultured human NB cells. Moreover, our finding that LCA kills cultured human breast cancer and rat glioma cells implies that it has a broad anti-tumor effect on cancer cells derived from different tissues and organisms.




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