If you are like me, when you go to the store to buy shampoo, deodorant, or face wash, you don’t think too deeply about your choice. However, as a first year graduate student studying toxicology, I’ve become more interested in the ingredients in the products that I use.Read More
To ban or not to ban? That is the question regulatory agencies should be prioritizing regarding the widely used chemical, Bisphenol A, or BPA. Both non-profit agencies and industry are debating notable safety claims of this ubiquitous chemical, yet it still remains on the market, so what gives?Read More
Want to hear something scary?
The average North American spends 90% of their time indoors, and we Canadians can spend up to 98% of our time indoors during the winter. This isn’t an inherently bad thing; the outdoors can be a bit harsh sometimes (just ask any Winnipegger how their February was!), but just because the indoor environment is warm and cozy, doesn’t mean it can’t be harsh, too. The home can be a risky place, and sometimes that risk presents a dilemma, such is the case with fire and flame retardants.Read More
Phthalates. The word doesn’t exactly roll easily off your tongue, and it conveys no meaning beyond the rather unusual spelling. When I look at it, I always think that I’ve put in too many h’s. Are there two….four? It does, however, catch the eye and pulls attention back to it. By the time you’ve spent thirty seconds on the pronunciation, you start to wonder about its meaning. Besides being a word that could bring even the most confident thirteen year old speller to his or her knees, it represents an important class of compounds that pose an interesting toxicological problem. Phthalates show toxicity, but are found abundantly in consumer products, cosmetics and plastics. We have tested for their effects, and we know a lot about them, but we can’t quite put enough of a case together to run these phthalates out of town, torches burning, pitchforks in the air – despite the best efforts of a few groups.Read More
Found in a wide range of consumer products including Teflon coated cookware, textiles, paints, fire-retardant foams, stain-guard, lubricants, and food packaging, perfluorinated compounds (PFCs) have emerged as a persistent pollutant. Not only do these compounds contaminate the environment, they also are a concern for human health.Read More
When my supervisor first suggested phthalates for the basis of my thesis work, the word ‘phthalate’ held no meaning to me - let alone how to pronounce the name (pronounced ‘thall-ates’). But over these past two years my relationship with phthalates has changed from moments of joy at conferences, to moments of agony late at night debugging statistical programs. Today, I am thankful for studying these pesky little plasticizers because they have given me tools to stop counting calories, and start counting chemicals - let me explain.Read More
I would like to invite some familiar (yet infamous) faces to this listen in on this conversation. Some acquaintances appearing on the guest list include DDT and neonicotinoids (widely used insecticides), bisphenol A (found in drinking bottles), and flame retardants such as PBDEs (added to children’s pajamas and other potentially flammable materials around the home).Read More