Is a toxic mix more deadly than its parts?
March 22, 1997
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Where do estrogenic toxins come from? How could combinations of estrogenic toxins be more harmful than its parts? What could be causing the discrepency between the synergy studies? Could a better cellular test be developed to look for synergy? If the Tulane study proves correct, should the EPA lower its acceptable levels for estrogenic toxins by a factor of 1600? If synergy is proven to exist, how should EPA testing of toxins be changed? Additional comments
Online NewsHour links
December 23, 1996
Fred de Sam Lazaro looks at Minnesota's mutant frogs.
January 1, 1997
Paul Solman reviews the year in genetics.
Browse the Online NewsHour's science coverage.
The Online NewsHour's editors ask:
If synergy is proven to exist, should the EPA change its testing procedures? What changes would be made?
Prof. Porter of the University of Wisconsin responds:
We should at least check all commercial mixtures on the marketplace, we should test mixtures of likely sequences of application on a field, we should test products used in agricultural regions that might be used in closely related spaces, we should test likely urban mixtures of pesticides (herbicide/insecticide/fungicide) and fertilizers. Fertilizers may be important interacting chemicals with pesticides, but they are usually not part of mixtures tests.
Dr. Lynn Goldman of the EPA responds:
As a matter of course, EPA updates testing procedures when warranted by new science. With respect to synergy, test procedures would have to be specifically adapted for chemical mixtures. Historically, test procedures have focused on the determination of dose-response relationships of single chemical substances.