Monthly Archives: November 2017

Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA)

PFOA is a synthetic persistent chemical, which is widely used in commercial and industrial manufacturing such as prominent consumer goods of non-stick cookware (Teflon), waterproof carpets, breathable clothing (Gore-Tex), filtration in water treatment processes, microwave popcorn bags and latex printing inks. PFOA persists indefinitely into the airwater, and soil as a toxicant and carcinogen. Once it is in the environment, our food and beverages are further exposed particularly fish, and sea food (i.e. shrimps, mussels, clams, and oysters).

PFOA,  its salts and PFOA-related substances (C8-chemistry) are identified as persistent, bioaccumulative, toxic and will be banned from 4 July 2020 in the European Union (EU Regulation under Entry 68 of Annex XVII of REACH). Until this regulation is implemented, there have been and are still cases where the exposure of PFOA are associated with increased risk of diseases such as below:

It is found that the greatest portion of the chronic exposure to PFOS are likely to result from the intake of contaminated foods, including drinking water. This is followed by the ingestion of dust and inhalation of air. Therefore, the most adequate starting point is eliminating the exposed foods and beverages as well as other related consumer products, and contacting producers and organisations to follow up the regulations to occur.

Endometriosis

Endometriosis -which I refer to as “the loud silent disease,” because despite painful symptoms it is usually not diagnosed– is the development of uterine-lining tissue outside the uterus commonly on ovaries, fallopian tubes, tissue lining the pelvis and rarely in liver, lung and on surgical scars. With an estimated prevalence of 10% in women, each menstrual cycle affects the endometrial tissue to thicken, break down and bleed causing inflammation, scarring and eventually abnormal adhesion outside uterus.

Symptoms may include commonly painful periods (dysmenorrhea), chronic pelvic pain, dyspareunia (painful sexual intercourse), heavy/irregular bleeding and infertility (25-50% of women with endometriosis) leading to considerable loss of quality of life in physical, mental, and social well being. While the aetiology and pathogenesis are unclear, the scientific literature available (PubMed, MEDLINE, Europe PMC, Cochrane Library, EMBASE, MEDLINE, ScienceDirect) on the diagnosis and treatment of endometriosis provide both awareness and future progress.

The current therapies are invasive and primarily treat the symptoms of endometriosis with short-term benefit due to recurrence of pain and disease progression. We require new medical therapies understanding the etymology, exploring preventative methods, and personalising treatment options such as:

It seems that the dietary treatment of endometriosis with lifestyle changes is based on the facts, and offers only positive side effects.

Bisphenol A (BPA)

Bisphenol A, commonly referred to as BPA, is a synthetic estrogen (xenoestrogen) that is used in the chemical industry to manufacture plastics. BPA, which is used in numerous commercial products such as laptops, cell phones, baby bottles, water main pipes, laboratory and hospital equipment, food storage containers (water bottles and food/soda cans) is discovered to be toxic with harmful effects on both environment and human body.

A comprehensive literature search about the relationship between BPA and health effects in humans was published in 2013 providing support that environmental BPA exposure can be harmful to humans, especially in regards to behavioural and other effects in children.

Highlighted evidences raise concerns of BPA implications in diseases below:

What are we supposed to do? Even with a few simple changes of habits in food&drink shopping, we can drastically reduce our exposure.

Glyphosate

Glyphosate is a pesticide that is used in agriculture, horticulture and in some non-cultivated areas to control plants. Regardless of the fact that our health is under threat, the human exposure to this pesticide is increasing as the Environmental Sciences Europe study in 2016 presents. It leaves incremental residues in the air, water and soil with probable adverse effects on environment and ecosystem too.

Glyphosate was classified in 2015 as a “probable human carcinogen” based on increased prevalence of rare liver and kidney tumors in chronic animal feeding studies by the International Agency for Research on Cancer. Recently, the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) has determined that glyphosate (CAS No. 1071-83-6) cause cancer.

Researchers now link the glyphosate to cancer, autism, organ damage, Alzheimer’s disease, infertility and autoimmune diseases below:

We can build a healthy future by refusing to incorporate the chemical products like glyphosate into our farming system and supporting sustainable organic farming practices.