Cocktail of chemicals in the mother inhibits child growth

first_imgReviewed by Kate Anderton, B.Sc. (Editor)Feb 25 2019For the first time, researchers have shown that a combination of perfluorinated substances in the mother significantly inhibits child growth.They make many everyday things easier, such as keeping children’s feet dry in waterproofed boots, stopping the meat balls sticking to the frying pan and making it easier to clean the carpet.But these environmental chemicals, the perfluorinated substances, have a wide range of damaging effects, with the most recent turning out to be reduced growth in fetuses.This is shown by a new study in which researchers from Aarhus University have examined the cocktail effect of the chemicals, leading to findings which are both significant and alarming according to Professor Eva Cecilie Bonefeld-Joergensen from the Department of Public Health.”The perfluorinated substances can mimic the hormone estrogen and can therefore disrupt the body’s natural hormonal processes including the development of the fetus. We can see that the complex mix of perfluorinated substances in the mother impairs fetal growth and length,” she says.Researchers had previously only studied the individual impact of the substances on the fetus, and these results had not been entirely clear-cut.Eva Cecilie Bonefeld-Joergensen and her research colleagues have developed a new method for extracting and isolating the contents of the substances from the blood and then subsequently determining the combined endocrine disrupting effect of the substances – popularly called the cocktail effect – on the development of the fetus.”When it comes to the overall effect, the calculation is not 1+1=2, but rather 1+1=3. Low birth weight can lead to a number of diseases later in life, but we still lack specific knowledge about how the children who are exposed to the substances subsequently develop,” says Bonefeld-Joergensen of the results which have been published in the scientific journal Environmental Health Perspectives.Related StoriesPuzzling paralysis affecting healthy children warns CDCRepurposing a heart drug could increase survival rate of children with ependymomaResearchers identify gene mutations linked to leukemia in children with Down’s syndromeShe is currently waiting for an answer to an application for a foundation grant to carry out the necessary follow-up studies on the ongoing development of these children.The researchers have examined blood samples from 702 pregnant Danish women who were registered in the database “Aarhus Children’s Biobank”. Such thorough studies of the concentration of perfluorinated substances and their biological effect in pregnant woman have not been done previously, but the study is nevertheless in line with previous research in the area. The substances have furthermore been associated with a range of issues including breast cancer, fertility problems, ADHD, the risk of asthma, a weakened immune system and the reduced effect of vaccines.The harmful environmental chemicals accumulate in the body and are not easily degradable. They are fat and water repellent and are found in our food, in the air we breathe, in dust and water and in a wide range of everyday products such as e.g. waterproof clothing, food packaging, furniture textiles and make-up. Only a few of the almost one thousand different perfluorinated substances are presently regulated by law, and there is no product labeling requirement.”As a consumer, you have to ask in the store. Products with these toxic substances are popular, but we pay the price with our children’s and our own health if we don’t avoid these products,” says the researcher.The area is regulated by the EU, but the Minister for Environment and Food, Jakob Ellemann-Jensen (the Danish Liberal Party), has recently announced that he will explore the possibility of a national ban on the substances in cardboard and paper for food packaging.The new study is part of Aarhus University’s Fetotox project, which studies the impact of perfluorinated substances on women and children. Source:http://www.au.dk/last_img read more

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Workplace messaging startup Slack to go public

first_imgWorkplace messaging startup Slack has become the latest of the richly valued tech startups to file for an initial public offering Explore further This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. © 2019 AFP Citation: Workplace messaging startup Slack to go public (2019, February 4) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-02-workplace-messaging-startup-slack.htmlcenter_img Workplace messaging startup Slack said Monday it had filed a confidential registration for an initial public offering, becoming the latest of a group of richly valued tech enterprises to look to Wall Street. California-based Slack’s filing comes under a special provision of securities laws enabling startups to begin the IPO process without disclosing details of their financing.The statement offered no information on the date or amount of money expected to be raised. Some reports say Slack will use the direct listing, a method used by Spotify, that allows insiders to sell existing shares without issuing new stock, streamlining the IPO process and avoiding big investment banking fees.Slack, which claims some 10 million users in 150 countries, has raised more than $1 billion from investors with the latest valuing the company at $7.1 billion, making it one of the most richly valued “unicorns”—startups with private funding worth at least $1 billion.Slack, which offers real-time messaging for the workplace, is used to help improve communication and help companies get around email overload. It offers free services for small teams and paid plans with additional options.Created in 2013, Slack has been a leader in the new segment but faces competition from the likes of Microsoft, Facebook and others offering workplace collaboration tools.Analysts say Slack has found a niche, especially among small- and medium-sized businesses.Other richly valued unicorns aiming for an IPO in 2019 include ridesharing giants Uber and Lyft, and lodging startup Airbnb. Other potential IPOs in the sector include the social platform Pinterest and coworking sector leader WeWork.Slack’s CEO and founder Stewart Butterfield was part of the team that started the photo-sharing service Flickr. Workplace messaging startup Slack eyes 2019 IPO: reportlast_img read more

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