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Hormone history

点击量:   时间:2017-06-24 07:01:05

By Kurt Kleiner PEOPLE have been exposed to chemicals that mimic female sex hormones since just after the turn of the century. A Spanish team has found that Bakelite, used to make plastic products since 1909, has similar effects to oestrogen. In this month’s Environmental Health Perspectives (vol 106, p 167), Nicolas Olea and his colleagues at the University of Granada describe experiments in which they dissolved Bakelite, or bisphenol-F, in ethanol. This solution made breast cancer cells proliferate and develop more progesterone receptors, mimicking the effect of oestrogen. “It pushes back human exposure by a couple of decades,” says John Peterson Myers, head of the W. Alton Jones Foundation in Charlottesville, Virginia, which funds environmental research. Last year, Olea’s team showed that bisphenol-A, found in a sealant some dentists use to provide a protective coating over teeth, is oestrogenic. The new paper extends this study to other bisphenols. It remains unclear whether human exposure to Bakelite has had significant health effects, says Carlos Sonnenschein of Tufts University in Medford,