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Environmental Factor, March 2012

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This month in EHP

By Eddy Ball

March Cover of Environmental Health Perspectives

The lead story in this month’s Environmental Health Perspectives (EHP) examines the hypothesis that cyanobacteria may be a major factor in neurodegenerative disease. Research has pointed to the cyanobacterial toxin BMAA (beta-methylamino-L-alanine) as the probable cause of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis–parkinsonism/dementia complex, which strikes the Chamorro people of Guam. Now some scientists speculate BMAA may be involved in other neurodegenerative conditions as well.

A second news story explores concerns over the number of medically unnecessary computerized tomography (CT) scans performed on patients each year. Mounting questions over cancer risks from ionizing radiation have medical professional organizations striving to improve CT imaging protocols so the technology prevents more problems than it causes.

This month’s Researcher's Perspective Podcast features a discussion with Boston University research pharmacist Katherine Kelley on concerns over the use of phthalates as a time-release coating on pharmaceuticals and dietary supplements.

Research this month includes:

  • Gut Ecology and Metabolism of Obesogenic and Diabetogenic Chemicals
  • Air Pollution Exposure Intervention and Cardiovascular Health
  • Phthalates in Medications and Supplements
  • BPA and Analogues Are Human PXR Ligands

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March 2012 Cover Page

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