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The neurological effects of lead & PCB's compared with ADHD: What can be learned from the similarities and differences

Attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD, is one of the most frequently diagnosed neurobehavioral problems in children and is thought to be largely hereditary. But only a small number of cases have been linked to specific genes, leading many researchers to explore the impact of environmental...

Even toxics can act as a generic selection factor in the environment

One of the themes of this blog has been that virtually anything present in the environment can act as a selection factor influencing the course of evolution. A recent study on fish and PCB's and dioxins illustrates this point. Unfortunately for humans, the end result is not necessarily positive or...

Adaptation to poison, evolution at work

Prior posts have noted the wide diversity of selection factors (well beyond Darwin's original thesis) that are able to influence evolution, or what individuals of a population will survive to procreate and define the nature of the future population. Among factors cited in previous posts were toxicants...

New study supports association between exposure to persistent organic pollutants and Type II diabetes

Prior research has indicated that persistent organic pollutants (e.g., organochlorine pesticides; PCB's) may interfere with the body's ability to regulate blood sugar; some persistent organic pollutants have also been associated with obesity, itself a major risk factor for diabetes. Although...

9-11 firefighters show increased cancer risk, notes new study

Prior posts have addressed the various studies that have been published regarding the impact of exposure to the toxic dust and smoke that was generated by the 9-11 disaster. Researchers have now identified that male firefighters who were exposed to the toxic dust and smoke from the 9-11 attacks have...

EPA may be preparing tough report on dioxins in food

Dioxins collectively refers to hundreds of chemical compounds that share certain structures and biological characteristics. See Dioxin . Dioxins fall into three closely related groups: the chlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins (CDD's) chlorinated dibenzofurans (CDF's), and certain polychlorinated biphenyls...

Lake Erie contains substantial quantities of tiny pieces of potentially toxic plastic

Prior posts have noted the great Atlantic and Pacific garbage patches. [See, for example, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Pacific_garbage_patch ; http://www.mnn.com/earth-matters/translating-uncle-sam/stories/what-is-the-great-pacific-ocean-garbage-patch ; &, http://news.discovery.com/earth/oceans...