Our Stolen Futurea book by Theo Colborn, Dianne Dumanoski, and John Peterson Myers


Press Coverage: Newspapers and Newswires


26 December 2000. Writing in the Chicago Tribune, Karen Branden examines the controversy that has arisen because of discoveries by Dr. Frederick vom Saal (University of Missouri) that one common endocrine disrupting compound, bisphenol A, has measurable effects in laboratory experiments at levels thousands of times lower than previously thought. She reports on the National Toxicology Program's review of "low dose effects," interviews industry critics of vom Saal as well as Chandra Gupta, an academic scientist who independently confirmed vom Saal's findings. Branden's article gets to the heart of the importance of these results: that these low dose effects challenge the adequacy of countless toxicity tests undertaken to establish toxicity standards.

24 December 2000. The New York Times Magazine examines changes in the age of puberty of American girls, reporting on Marcia Herman-Gidden's finding that girls appear to be maturing more rapidly, and then examining some of the possible causes. Among those mentioned: increasing obesity, changes in the relationship between father and growing daughter, and contamination. While the author does mention contamination, she seems unaware of the large body of scientific literature showing that contaminants change maturation rates in experimental animals, and the evidence from epidemiological studies of links to contamination. This literature is now quite substantial. More...

20 December 2000. Chemical companies that created the world's largest DDT dump will pay $73 million to help restore the ocean environment off Southern California, according to a court settlement filed Tuesday. LA Times story...

20 December. The LA Times reports on new research that has revealed dramatic feminization of an endangered run of Chinook salmon in the Columbia River. LA Times story. More on the science...

17 December 2000. The New York Times reports that the European Union's "Scientific Committee for Food" has identified contaminated fish as a major source of dioxin and dioxin-like compounds in the European diet. A new report (available as a .pdf file) from the Committee finds "fish oil and fish meal have the highest levels of these chemicals." Quoted in the Times, a spokesperson for the EU Johan Reyniers, says "Europeans can eat fish in moderation, but "if you eat fish every day, you are likely to have a problem."

16 December 2000. Mick Corliss writing in the Japan Times anticipates the 3rd international scientific conference on endocrine disruption.

10 December. Writing in the Anniston Star, Richard Raeke reports on Superfund-level PCB contamination around Anniston, Alabama still remaining 30 years after Monsanto first reported leaks from its production facility. According to this newspaper story, internal documents obtained during disclosure in a law suit currently underway indicate that Monsanto misrepresented the scope of the contamination, and that at times as many as 250 pounds were leaking from the plant on a daily basis. A particularly revealing internal memo states: “From the Legal standpoint there is extreme reluctance to report even the relatively low emission figures because the information could be subpoenaed and used against us in legal actions. Obviously having to report these gross losses multiplies, enormously, our problems because the figures would appear to indicate a lack of control.”

9-16 December 2000. Numerous newspapers, wire services and websites covered UN negotiations in Johannesburg, South Africa, finalizing a treaty to eliminate persistent organic pollutants from commerce. La Times AP/Washington Post New York Times BBC Reuters Washington Post The Post has a Flash presentation online about the POPs treaty.

28 November 2000. ABC reports on a report by the Environmental Working Group revealing that many over-the-counter cosmetics sold in the United States contain dibutyl phthalate (DBP), an endocrine-disrupting reproductive toxicant. The report identifies specific products that are contaminated and alternatives that are not. According to EWG, major loopholes in federal law allow cosmetics manufacturers to put unlimited amounts of industrial chemicals like DBP into personal care products without any testing for adverse health effects.

28 October 2000. Los Angeles Times. Montrose Chemical and two other companies have settled a suit that requires them to pay Californians for having contaminated the ocean offshore of Los Angeles with 100 tons of DDT. The terms of the settlement will be announced in December. The suit sought payment of $150 million. According to Marla Cone writing in the LA Times, the settlement was announced at a moment in the trial of strength for the government and weakness for the chemical companies: A key witness for the companies had been disallowed and government experts effectively presented data on harm to wildlife in the region. More...

28 October 2000. Japan Times. In Japan to receive the Blue Planet Prize, Theo Colborn calls for the establishment of "an independent international cooperative research effort on endocrine disrupters" that is "financed by industry and overseen by a neutral committee." "An international initiative is needed because the chemicals are so intricately woven into the global economy and the problem is so complex." Efforts to organize this are already underway and the venture may be up and running in 2001. More... Also see an article in the 31 October edition of the Daily Yomiuri.

23 October 2000. Lycos ENS reports on a new study by the environmental health coalition, Health Care Without Harm, which concludes that premature infants and newborns treated in neonatal intensive care units are likely to be exposed to significant amounts di-ethylhexyl phthalate (DEHP), a chemical suspected to cause reproductive and developmental problems in humans. DEHP is used in PVC medical products to make them soft and flexible. It is also used in other products, such as floorings, wall coverings, furniture, luggage and children's toys. A review of DEHP exposure from vinyl medical products conducted by the National Toxicology Program's Center for the Evaluation of Risks to Human Reproduction noted "serious concern" about DEHP exposure in critically ill infants, but added "that the benefits of [these] medical procedures can outweigh the risks." More...

22 October 2000. Daily Yomiuri, Tokyo. Adding the debate over the health risks of bisphenol A, a medical research team at Tokyo University reports that exposure to low amounts of bisphenol A early during fetal growth "can have disruptive effects on the physical development of children." This new study, to be released in November, comes only days after the US National Toxicology Program issued its report on low-dose effects. According to the Yomiuri, "this is the first time it has been confirmed that even amounts of environmental hormone lower than the amount of bisphenol-A present in the human body can have a disruptive effect." Given that the experiments upon which they were reporting were with mice, the newspaper's assessment goes beyond what can be concluded with certainty, but the data are very suggestive. The scientists found that exposing mice embryos to bisphenol A at levels one-tenth to one-fifth the level found in the amniotic fluid of women disrupted fetal mouse development. More...

20 October 2000. Portland Oregonian. A new study establishes that skeletal fish deformities in the Willamette River of NW Oregon are caused by some factor in the water, not genetics. Of fish reared experimentally in the river, 34% had deformities, compared to 9% of a control population in the lab. Some natural fish populations from the river have deformity rates up to 70%. Pesticides, metals and contaminants like dioxin are possibly involved. More...

16 October 2000. Reuters. In early 2001 the US Centers for Disease Control will release results of the most ambitious effort ever undertaken to measure exposures of Americans to chemical contaminants. They're calling it the National Exposure Report Card. It will will tell scientists and the public how many Americans -- and which ones -- have unusually high levels of lead, pesticides and other undesirable substances in their blood. Tests on 5000 people will include measurements for 25 substances, including heavy metals such as lead, cadmium and mercury, tobacco products, organophosphate pesticides such as chlorpyrifos and malathion, phthalates, dioxins and PCBs. Tests will be repeated each year to track trends in the US population. More...

5 October 2000. Writing on MSNBC, Francesca Lyman examines the new CDC study that reveals unexpectedly high phthalate exposures in Americans. She conveys EPA scientist Earl Gray assessment that "there's ample cause for concern as the chemicals are reproductive toxins, with two, DBP and BzBP, particularly anti-androgenic, tending to block male hormones." Anti-androgens in the lab lower sperm count and feminize the male reproductive tract. A sidebar in Lyman's article provides a useful quick glance at some of the common consumer products that contain phthalates are are likely to be contributing to the exposures.

3 October 2000. Reuters: Environmental News Service and Reuters report on a study by Dr. Barry Commoner at Queen's University using state-of-the-art computer modeling traces dioxin falling upon the Canadian Arctic back to its sources. Most comes from the US (mostly from municipal solid waste incinerators, backyard trash burning, cement kilns burning hazardous waste, medical waste incinerators, secondary copper smelters and iron sintering plants), with less from Canada and some from Mexico. More...



21 September 2000. USA Today reports that the US EPA is set to announce that it will "regulate power-plant emissions of mercury, a toxic pollutant that causes neurological damage in about 60,000 of the babies born each year in the USA."


20 September 2000. ENS reports that a new study published in Environmental Science and Technology describes the allergic potential of triphenyl phosphate, a flame retardant used commonly in computer monitors. Reactions to exposure "range from itching and nasal congestion to headaches."


19 September 2000. A report from the National Wildlife Federation documents significant mercury contamination falling in rain and snow over New England. Leading sources of mercury include incinerators, coal and oil fired power plants, and industrial sources that produce chlorine and caustic soda. Mercury's links to developmental disruption in humans is well-established. More...


19 September 2000. Work from Japan reported by BBC indicates that leptin, a hormone involved in weight control suppresses an appetite for sweets. More... The role of leptin in human weight homeostasis is unclear. Research examining "leptin disruption" should be a high priority, given the current world-wide epidemic of obesity.


19 September 2000. According to the London Independent, Research in England reveals that one in three Britons suffers from some form of allergy. This contrasts sharply with conditions 30 years ago, when 15-20% were thought to be allergic. More... The reasons for this increase are likely to be many but are poorly understood. One popular theory cited by this article is that decreases in immune system challenges during early childhood (due to better health care) lead to a less-effective immune system later in life, but this theory fails to account for the fact that allergies, particularly asthma, are especially common in sectors of the public with the worst health care in early childhood. More on the immune system and endocrine disruption...


18 September 2000. In a news story covered by ENN, The Qikiqtaaluk Wildlife Board and the World Wildlife Fund report that a new survey reveals the impact of pollution on arctic wildlife. Hunters and elders from four Canadian arctic villages participated in the survey. Among them they have a combined hunting experience of about 800 years. "Hunters and elders from every community talked about abnormalities in at least one of the species they harvest regularly - caribou, seal, walrus, beluga, narwhal and polar bear. " "Almost half of the survey's participants said they see increasing abnormalities."


18 September 2000. The BBC reports that field trials begin today in Africa of an experimental vaccine against malaria. More... This is an important step in moving away from malaria vector control methods like DDT the use of which creates undesired public health side effects.


15 September 2000. Reuters Health newswire reports on the US CDC study by Blount et al. that reveals widespread exposure to phthalates among Americans, especially women of child-bearing age. More...


6 September 2000. The BBC reports that endocrine disruption of fish is widespread in northern Europe, with confirmations obtained from 5 of 7 countries examined. Up to 100% of fish are affected in some river systems. A combination of industrial compounds and human urinary metabolites (from drugs) appear to be the cause. More...



1 September 2000. The BBC reports that one percent of polar bears on the Arctic island or Svarlbard are hermaphroditic, and scientists studying this unnatural phenomenon believe it is due to endocrine disrupting chemicals. More...



22 August 2000. Pataki Signs Law on Alerts for Pesticides. Kirk Johnson. New York Times.



11 August 2000. How Big Tobacco fixed its problem with pesticide regulators. Robert James Parson. San Francisco Examiner. ...corrupting WHO's scientific review process...



14 July 2000. Pesticide banned by EU because of cancer risk. Electronic Telegraph. London.



12 July 2000. Cancer study deemphasizes genes' role. Washington Post. Rick Weiss. More... on what this means.



10 July 2000. Wide Ban on Soft Plastic Toys Proposed in Europe. ENDS Environment Daily



9 June 2000. E.P.A. sharply curtails the use of a common insecticide. New York Times. Andrew C. Revkin. See also www.bandursban.org



9 June 2000. U.S. acts to ban home pesticide Dursban. Reuters News Service. Patrick Connole.



8 June 2000. Over 10,000 seals die in the Caspian sea. Kazakh minister links seal deaths to oil and pesticides Reuters News Service.



7 June 2000. U.S. Rejects Pesticide Tests on Humans. Washington Post. Joby Warrick [this headline is somewhat misleading...]



17 May 2000. EPA links dioxin to cancer; risk estimate raised tenfold. Washington Post



10 April 2000. Alpine lakes in the Alps contaminated by DDT. Reuters.



6 February 2000. One Tale of Doping and Birth Defects. New York Times. Alan Maimon.



1 February 2000. Group seeks ban on vinyl chloride use to curb dioxins. Japan Economic Newswire



1 February 2000. The Chemistry of Unchecked Aggression New York Times. Eric Nagourney.



26 January 2000. Hormones raise risk of breast cancer Washington Post. Susan Okie



25 January 2000. Makers to abandon harmful substance (vinyl chloride) Asahi News Service.



17 January 2000. Britons are 'facing crisis in fertility Daily Mail. "FERTILITY problems in Britain are reaching crisis point with one in six couples affected, experts warned last night. Researchers say the annual increase in population has virtually halted. They blame factors including stress, pollution and an increase in the sexually-transmitted disease chlamydia which can lead to infertility. Figures released yesterday by Eurostat, the EU's statistics office, reveal that population growth across the continent slowed to just 266,000 last year the lowest since World War II."



12 January 2000. Peddling poison Gender-bender chemicals are now inside all of us. The Guardian London Paul Brown.



9 January 2000.Food Scare May Save the Whales, as Toxics Poison Them. London Independent.



27 December 1999. High-Concentration Dioxin Found in Babies' Umbilical Cord Jiji Press Ticker Service Tokyo,



21 December 1999. Barbie goes on an oil free diet. New York Times. Holcomb Nobel. [Mattel's press release.]



21 December 1999. EU plans action on hormone-mimicking chemicals. Reuters.



14 December 1999. Low dose can have impacts in vivo: the debate from last year is over. Daily Yomiuri. Tokyo.



18 December 1999. Deaths of harbour porpoises are linked to PCBs and mercury. New Scientist.



2 December 1999. EU approves ban on some softened PVC baby toys. Reuters. Overcoming industry opposition, the EU acts to reduce the likelihood that phthalates will wind up in children's mouths.



16 November 1999. NY State sues GE over PCBs. New York Times



14 November 1999. 'Safe' water peril to kids. Sacramento Bee. Chris Bowman. This story is based on a report by the Environmental Working Group.



25 October 1999. Studies link frog deformities to pesticides. Minneapolis Star Tribune. Tom Meersman. While parasites may be involved in some regions, at the epicenter of the frog deformities in Minnesota agricultural pesticides are clearly involved.



9 August 1999. Studies urged to examine the link between violence and exposure to pesticides. CNN.



18 February 1999. Study: Pesticides in foods too high for kids. USA Today. A study by Consumers Union raises concerns.



5 February 1999. DDT spreading in ocean,study says. Environmental News Network.



4 February 1999. EU Official revives push to ban chemical in toys. Reuters. Their concerns are about phthalates used as softeners in PVC toys.



7 December 1998. 11 endocrine disrupters found in nation's water system. Japan Times



4 December 1998. Study suggests pesticides linked to breast cancer. Associated Press.



23 November 1998. Persistant organic pollutants pervade asia. Environmental News Service. Frederick Noronha.



14 November 1998. Toys R Us to remove toys containing chemical that causes liver damage in animals. Associated Press. Consumer pressure led by the National Environmental Trust and Greenpeace encourage Toys R Us to commit to removing phthalates from toys likely to wind up in toddlers' mouths.



Study finds earlier onset of puberty for American girls. Philadelphia Inquirer. 8 April 1997.



Hormone disruptors require additional study, E.P.A. says. New York Times. 14 March 1997.



The PCB war heats up. New York Times. 3 March 1997. Editorial.



New studies show PCB's persist in Hudson, and are entering air. New York Times. 22 February 1997. Andrew C. Revkin.



Frog research puts spotlight on pesticides. Star Tribune. 16 February 1997. Tom Meersman.



New reports of deformed frogs trigger U.S. ecological alarms. Washington Post. 29 January 1997. William Souder.



Regional pact to curb toxic pesticides. Financial Times. 25-26 January 1997.



The pollution within. Portland Oregonian. 5 May 1996. Brian T. Meehan.



Pollutants can affect brain development, survey finds. Los Angeles Times Robert Lee Hotz. 31 May 1996.



Destroying the balance of nature. Los Angeles Times Marla Cone. 12 May 1996.



Measuring men up, sperm by sperm. New York Times. Gina Kolata. 5 May 1996.



EPA proposes hormone tests for chemicals. Los Angeles Times. Marla Cone. 2 May 1996.



Hormonal menace. Philadelphia Inquirer. Mark Jaffe. 29 April 1996.



Authors issue new pesticide warnings. Richmond Times Dispatch. Rex Springston. 14 April 1996.



Scientist sounds chemical alarm, warns we're poisoning our future. St. Paul Pioneer Press. Rob Taylor. 4 April 1996.



Are U.S. men less fertile? Latest research says no. New York Times. Gina Kolata. 5 May 1996. Kolata missed the sampling biases in these studies.



Has our future been stolen? The Seattle TimesBill Deitrich. 2 April 1996



Pollution's effect on human hormones: when fear exceeds evidence. The Washington Post. Rick Weiss and Gary Lee. 31 March 1996.



The great sperm debate. Bozeman Daily Chronicle. Gail Schontzler. 26 March 1996



Effect of everyday chemicals on reproductive health worries EPA. USA Today. Linda Kanamine. 21 March 1996.



Sperm counts: some experts see a fall, others poor data. The New York Times. Gina Kolata. 19 March 1996. Kolata failed to interview key scientists for this article.



Chemicals that mimic hormones spark alarm and debate. The New York Times. Gina Kolata. 19 March 1996.



Are chemicals endangering the unborn? The Boston Globe. Scott Allen. 18 March 1996.



Scientists debate the future threat of common chemicals. Wall Street Journal Michael Waldholz. 7 March 1996.



Pollution's effect on sexual development fires debate. Los Angeles Times. Marla Cone. 3 October 1994.



Sexual confusion in the wild. Los Angeles Times. Marla Cone. 2 October 1994.



Toxins' 'assault' on reproductive systems. USA Today. Anita Manning. 2 September 1994.


  Industrial chemicals may disrupt reproduction. The New York Times. William K. Stevens. 23 August 1994.  




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