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Green scientists propose safety testing system for development of new chemicals
Date:12/7/2012

PITTSBURGHA group of scientists from North America and Europe, including Carnegie Mellon University's Terry Collins, has developed a five-tiered testing system that manufacturers can use to ensure that the chemicals and consumer products they produce are free of harmful endocrine disrupting chemicals like BPA or DDT. Their study, "Designing Endocrine Disruption Out of the Next Generation of Chemicals," will be published in the January 2013 issue of the Royal Society of Chemistry journal Green Chemistry, and is currently available online.

Endocrine disrupting chemicals, which are commonly used in consumer products, can mimic hormones and lead to a host of modern-day health epidemics including cancers, learning disabilities and immune system disorders. The new testing system can help manufacturers avoid creating products that contain the harmful chemicals.

"Endocrine disrupting chemicals are a clear and present danger to the welfare of all living species," said Collins, the Teresa Heinz Professor in Green Chemistry and director of the Institute for Green Science at CMU. "It is important for people everywhere and especially for future generations that we strive to design chemicals that are not endocrine disruptors themselves and materials that are inherently free of endocrine disruptors."

Historically, chemists have endeavored to create products that are both effective and economical, but rarely have they been asked to consider the product's potential toxicity, particularly developmental toxicity. This has led to consumer products that unintentionally contain harmful chemicals like endocrine disruptors, and to the subsequent replacement of these products. One of the most recent examples is the discovery of BPA in popular baby products.

The 23 authors of the current study, who are chemists, biologists and environmental health scientists, say that recent product recalls and bans indicate that product manufacturers
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Contact: Jocelyn Duffy
jhduffy@andrew.cmu.edu
412-268-9982
Carnegie Mellon University
Source:Eurekalert

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