Water Bottle Contains Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals Which Even Cause Cancer, Cardiovascular, Metabolic Disorders

Endocrine-disrupting chemicals found in bottled water

7:13 AM, 12th September 2013
University Frankfurt Research On Water Bottle Chemicals
German researchers have identified endrocrine-disrupting chemicals in 18 bottled water products.

LONDON, UK: German researchers have identified endrocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDC) in 18 bottled water products. Of 24,520 suspect chemicals, the one that showed consistent results across all tests and displayed anti-androgenic and anti-estrogenic activity is di 2-ethylhexyl fumarate (DEHF). The researchers used a combination of bioassay work and high-resolution mass spectrometry for the identification.

Endocrine-disrupting chemicals, which interfere with an organism’s hormonal systems, have been implicated in developmental and reproductive effects seen in nature and human medicine. More recently, suspicions have been raised that they might also increase the risk of cancer, cardiovascular and metabolic disorders. Of particular concern and public controversy have been bisphenol A (BPA) and the phthalates, organic compounds that mimic sex hormones.

Martin Wagner and Jorg Oehlmann of the Goethe University Frankfurt, Frankfurt am Main, and Michael Schlusener and Thomas Ternes of the German Federal Institute of Hydrology, have turned their attention to bottled water given growing concerns that such products might contain worrying levels of EDC. Wagner and colleagues obtained data on the anti-estrogenic and anti-androgenic activity of 18 bottled water products. The researchers then combined the data from water that showed such activity and found trace amounts of up to 24,520 different chemicals were present. Of these suspects, the team was able to narrow the field to a single compound by carrying out a mass spectrometric simulation. This allowed them to home in on DEHF as the only possible EDC giving rise to the relevant activity.

They confirmed the presence of this compound and isomers of dioctyl fumarate and maleate using chemical standards against which they tested the mass spectra. However, DEHF is known only as an anti-estrogenic compound, which implies that another so far unidentified EDC must be present in the samples that showed anti-androgenic activity. The team points out that these EDC could represent an important, and so far overlooked, component of toxicological regulation.

“This work is a ‘tour de force’ in identification of endocrine disruptors in packaged materials. It is a bit early to make any strong inferences about how detrimental these chemicals will be toward human health. It is certain that they are not beneficial. It will be very important for our future understanding of what chemicals we are routinely exposed to and which of these pose hazards of being endocrine disruptors,” said Bruce Blumberg, EDC Expert, University of California.


© Royal Society of Chemistry News  



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