SETAC MultiBrief
Dec. 26, 2013

Fish on Prozac prove anxious, antisocial, aggressive
Environmental Health News via Scientific American
From June 13: When fish swim in waters tainted with antidepressant drugs, they become anxious, anti-social and sometimes even homicidal. New research has found that the pharmaceuticals, which are frequently showing up in U.S. streams, can alter genes responsible for building fish brains and controlling their behavior.More

How environmental toxins harm women's reproductive health
Live Science
From Oct. 3: Two leading groups of doctors and researchers on reproductive health say toxins in the environment are harming women's ability to have children. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the American Society for Reproductive Medicine issued a joint committee opinion calling for U.S. government policy changes, and urging greater action by physicians to help prevent chemical exposure during pregnancy.More

Toxic algae problems increasing nationwide
From Oct. 31: A new analysis shows a growing scourge of harmful algae blooms across the country. According to Andy Buchsbaum, director of the Great Lakes office of the National Wildlife Federation, which studied the issue, 21 states — including Indiana — issued health warnings about toxic algae this summer, covering about 150 locations on lakes, rivers and reservoirs.More

Ocean acidification poses unfathomable threat
The Seattle Times
From Sept. 19: Imagine every person on Earth tossing a hunk of CO2 as heavy as a bowling ball into the sea. That’s what we do to the oceans every day. the phenomenon known as ocean acidification — the lesser-known twin of climate change — is helping push the seas toward a great unraveling that threatens to scramble marine life on a scale almost too big to fathom, and far faster than first expected.More

Chemicals banned decades ago found in dead Illinois river otters
From Oct. 17: North American river otters in central Illinois are being exposed to chemical substances that had been banned for use in the U.S. at least three decades ago, according to research published in the latest edition of the journal Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety. Between 2009 and 2011, the Illinois Department of Natural Resources collected 23 river otter carcasses after the creatures had been accidentally killed.More

Ear wax from whales keeps record of ocean contaminants
From Sept. 19: According to a study published recently, these columns of whales' ear wax contain a record of chemical pollution in the oceans. The study used the ear wax extracted from the carcass of a blue whale that washed ashore on a California beach back in 2007. Scientists at the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History collected the wax from inside the skull of the dead whale and preserved it.More

How senators found common ground on TSCA reform
Environment & Energy Publishing
From May 30: They say compromise legislation leaves nobody happy. And that's pretty much true about the surprise chemical management bill released by near-opposite Sens. Frank Lautenberg, D-N.J., and David Vitter, R-La. The "Chemical Safety Improvement Act of 2013" would overhaul the 1976 Toxic Substances Control Act for the first time in its history, a long-sought goal of environmental and public health advocates.More

Is sewage plant necessary or 'largest boondoggle in Canadian history?'
National Post
From Nov. 14: In as little as one year, Victoria, British Columbia, is poised to break ground on a sprawling sewage treatment program that will rank as one of the largest public projects in local history. It could end up costing more than a billion dollars, one of its main facilities will be among the first structures visible to approaching cruise ships and, according to scientists, engineers and decades of studies, it is a foolish, useless monument to an uncaring government and an overly squeamish citizenry.More

Study: Polar bear brains have high levels of environment toxins
Nature World News coverage of research published in ET&C
From July 25: Polar bear brains have significant levels of PerFluoroAlkyl Substances, a kind of environmental toxins that are known to cause cancers and affect reproduction, a new study reported. The study was conducted by researchers at the Carleton University in Canada and Aarhus University in Denmark who found that at least eight brain regions of polar bears had significant amount of several PFASs including perfluorooctane sulfonate as well as several compounds of the perfluorinated carboxylate.More

Widely used pesticides toxic to honeybees
Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry via ScienceDaily
From July 25: Forthcoming research in the journal Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry analyzes the physiological effects of three separate pesticides on honeybees (Apis mellifera). An international research team — Drs. Stephan Caravalho, Luc Belzunces and colleagues from Universidade Federal de Lavras in Brazil and Institut Nationale de la Recherche Agronomique in France — concludes that the absence of mortality does not always indicate functional integrity.More