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2013 News

Consumer Products giants are removing triclosan and other harmful chemicals from their products

Wednesday, September 04, 2013

By the end of 2014, Procter & Gamble will eliminate triclosan from its personal care and other household products.  Johnson & Johnson states that they, too, are looking to phase out triclosan from their adult products by the end of 2015-- their beauty and baby care products already do not contain triclosan.

Triclosan is an antibacterial ingredient used to prevent the growth of germs. It is also a chemical of concern that the UC Davis Superfund Research Program studies to better understand its potential health effects. Scientists from our Program found that triclosan impairs muscle function in fish and mice and stated the results they found show “strong evidence that triclosan could have effects on animal and human health at current levels of exposure.”

Other chemicals targeted for removal include parabens, 1,4-dioxane, formaldehyde-releasing perservatives, and phthalates. You can read more related topics here: Campaign for Safe CosmeticsBeyond Pesticides

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Candace (Spier) Bever helped secure funding for international meeting

Thursday, August 01, 2013

SRP Research Translation Core Leader, Candace (Spier) Bever, Ph.D. along with Co-PI Dr. Myrto Petreas from the CA Department of Toxic Substances Control, has received a NIEHS conference funding award (R13) to help support the upcoming 6th International Flame Retardant Symposium.  The symposium will be held in San Francisco, from April 6th to the 10th.  The symposium will bring together many of the world's experts in both the science and policy involving the use, regulations, and harm of flame retardants.  This award will help support student presenters who have been recognized for their contribution and advancement to the field of flame retardant research - ranging from toxicology to policy and all the chemistry in between.  This award will also highlight the Superfund Research Program, which is a network of university grants administered by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, an institute of the National Institutes of Health.


Trainees Provide a Science Demonstration for a Local Elementary School

Wednesday, May 08, 2013

UC Davis Superfund Enthusiasts, including Investigators, Trainees, and Staff, participated in César Chávez Elementary (K-6) School's Biannual Science Fair called Festival de Ciencias 2013. The UC Davis Superfund Team presented an interactive exhibit which allowed the students to see an oil spill and construct sorbent booms to clean it up. Much to the children's surprise, the booms were nylon stockings stuffed with dog hair. The demonstration showed how effective this material was in cleaning up oil spills and helped lead discussions of other technologies used in oil spill clean up. Further discussions ensued regarding how oil spills are harmful to the environment and wildlife.


Superfund Poster Educates Picnic Day Visitors about Household Toxins

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Davis, CA basked in the ripe heat of spring this Picnic Day as thousands flocked to the 99th annual gala of cow milking, cockroach racing, and pitbull kissing. Tucked in the air-conditioned cool of Meyer Hall, UC Davis' Superfund Research Program (SRP) engaged Picnic Day attendees with a different kind of exhibit—one that left them better-informed of household toxins.

SRP’s interactive “Hide and Seek” poster prompted visitors to find the hidden toxin (under flaps) and seek its respective solution (on the side panels). Since SRP investigates hazardous waste and its impact on human health, the poster aimed to inform audiences of everyday toxins that might be lurking in their homes. Pharmacology and Toxicology graduate students Sean Kodani and Lindsey Curley moderated the poster exhibit throughout the day.

“You kind of have to ring people into the conversation,” said Kodani. “But when you do, you get people from all different levels of knowledge interested in finding out more, because it’s so relevant to their lives.”


UC Davis Scientists Reveal Clues Linking Bisphenol A (BPA) Exposure to Lung Disease

Thursday, August 01, 2013

Exposure to bisphenol A (BPA) has been shown to alter the development of reproductive organs, but little is known about its impacts on other organ systems. This paper on BPA health effects is important because it shows an effect in a non endocrine organ, the fetal lung, at circulating levels similar to humans. The authors found BPA increases MUc5B, a mucin, that is found in mucous cells. Increases in mucous cell abundance are a hallmark of asthma. Recent epidemiology studies show a link between neonatal BPA exposure and asthma. While this study is not conclusive in linking BPA to asthma or AHR (airways hyperresponsiveness), as there is no long term follow up on the exposed fetus, it provides an important clue about how BPA alters lung development, which in turn may predispose to airway disease.


Chris Barnhart received NorCal SOT Graduate Student Achievement Award

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Project 5 trainee, Chris Barnhart, received the 2013 NorCal SOT Graduate Student Achievement Award for his presentation titled, "Developmental PCB 95 exposure affects spatial memory in weanling mice". This award is given annually to one graduate student that has a research project deemed exceptional by a panel of Northern California Society of Toxicology (NCSOT) members. 


UC Davis Researchers' Key Discovery Involving Omega-3 Fatty Acids and Cancer

Tuesday, April 02, 2013

Researchers at the University of California, Davis have discovered a key mechanism by which dietary omega-3 fatty acids (fish oils) could reduce the tumor growth and spread of cancer, a disease that kills some 580,000 Americans a year.


In groundbreaking research, the team of 16 scientists led by Dr. Guodong Zhang of the Bruce Hammock laboratory, Department of Entomology and the UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center, discovered cytochrome P450 epoxygenase metabolites of omega-3 fatty acid DHA or epoxy docosapentaenoic acids (EDPs) block blood supply to the tumor and thus inhibit tumor growth and metastasis.

The natural EDPs were further stabilized by a drug called a soluble epoxide hydrolase inhibitor which is already under development to control pain and hypertension. The research is to be published the week of April 1-5 in the Proceedings for the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS). The studies, conducted on mice, also suggest that a combination of omega-3 diet and some anti-cancer drugs such as sorafenib.

Other co-authors of the paper in addition to Hammock were Jun Yang, Jun-Yan Liu, Kin Sing Stephen Lee, Arzu Ulu, and Sung Hee Hwang, all of the UC Davis Department of Entomology and UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center; Lisa Mahakian, Xiaowen Hu, Katherine Ferrara, Sarah Tam, and Elizabeth Ingham, UC Davis Department of Biomedical Engineering; Hiromi Wettersten of the UC Davis Division of Nephrology, Department of Internal Medicine; Robert Weiss, Comprehensive Cancer Center, Division of Nephrology and U.S. Department of Veterans’ Affairs Medical Center, Sacramento; and Dipak Panigrahy and Mark Kieran of the Vascular Biology Program, Children’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School.

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