CBCBisphenol A linked to sterility in roundworms.

The controversial chemical bisphenol A can render roundworms sterile, kill their embryos, and damage their chromosomes, according to a new lab study. The findings are sure to re-ignite debate over the health safety of the chemical commonly known as BPA, which is widely used in such consumer products as hard plastic toys, bottles and food container linings. Geneticists at the Harvard Medical School found that in roundworms exposed to BPA, some DNA repair processes were impaired in the very cells that are essential for the formation of sperm and eggs. Exposure to the chemical also damaged chromosomal integrity and led to cell death, the authors found. While chromosomes in the control group of roundworms appeared normal, the chromosomes in the group exposed to BPA were frayed and fragmented. That led to embryo death and less fertile worms. More . . .

Nature: A warming earth could mean stronger toxicants.

Global warming may be making pesticide residues, heavy metals and household chemicals more dangerous to fish, wildlife and, ultimately, humans, scientists warn. At the North American branch of the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry’s 31st annual meeting in Portland, Oregon, on 8 November, environmental chemists warned that complex interactions between chemistry and climate change might be making chemicals more toxic and the environment more susceptible to damage. For example, Erin Mann, a PhD student studying environmental chemistry at the University of Toronto in Scarborough, Canada, said that melting sea ice in the Arctic Ocean exposes more seawater to the atmosphere, which may make it easier for toxic chemicals in arctic waters to escape into the air. “So global warming could produce more air pollution in the arctic,” she said. More . . .

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