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Talk with the expert: Prof. Schilirò from the University of Torino on Health Trends

A video interview with Prof. Tiziana Schilirò from the University of Torino - ITALY, about epidemiology and global health trends.
Thanks Dr. Schilirò for accepting this interview. Can you briefly update us on endocrinology health and potential risks coming from food and packaging ? Answer 1. THANKS SURE, we are speaking about one of the major issue in the field of environmental science We live in a world in which man-made chemicals have become a part of everyday life. Some of these chemical pollutants can affect the hormonal system. World-wide epidemiology shows high incidence and increasing trends of endocrine-related disorders.
Just think about : 1. Young men with poor semen quality 2. Genital malformations in baby boys (non-descending testes, penile malformations) 3. Adverse pregnancy outcomes (preterm birth, low birth weight) 4. Neurobehavioural disorders associated with thyroid disruption in children 5. Endocrine-related cancers (breast, endometrial, ovarian, prostate, testicular and thyroid) 6. Anticipated breast development in young girls 7. Obesity and also type-2 diabetes About food and packaging, the LINKs are with the presence of chemicals that migrate FROM packaging, such as plasticizers, coating and anti-adherent materials. But since experiments in human cannot be done, you understand we have data from epidemiological observation, and this is a research limit. A number of Epidemiology and Experimental projects on exposure to EDC are being funded by the EU.
Such as the SELMA project or the new Exposome projects, launched in 2018-2019 You will find in the “see also” material. Opinio-Neil ask Question 2.
The big question is: are we all at risk? or are some categories more at risk than others, and should begin to worry ? Answer 2. Considering that the chemicals act on our endocrine system, much of the data we have point to a «developmental» or an «early young» action of EDC. In adults, EDCs have effects when they are present, but when it is withdrawn the effect will fade away (much like insulin levels and sugar in the blood). In contrast, exposure to EDCs during fetal development and early childhood can have more permanent effects.
Just think about this : We know that EDC have been detected in all body fluids, also in the amniotic one, at very low doses I have to say. SOOO, yes we need to pay much attention, especially mothers, pregnant women, nurses and doctors, but also in the use of biberon and also children when they play with plastic toys, Shopper-Vicky asks Question 3. But, what can ordinary people do about this ? Answer 3 Well …despite global decisions should be taken by the leaders and governments, ordinary people make choices for him/herself, or for their children, or if you are a health care worker…. for your patients, or your clients…
So For Example: Limit the use of disposable tools (dishes, food containers, etc.) Limit the use of takeaway food if prepared and packaged in plastic boxes. Limit drinking water from plastic bottles. Limit the use of plastic wrap; or use suitable-for-food wrap. Limit the use of microwave with food packaged in plastic boxes or use suitable containers. Eat food in non-plastic dishes after warming. Reduce the time children play with plastic toys including videogames Last but not least, promote sport in children and adults, especially in green areas. Opinio-Neil asks Question 4. Back to science, we learned that epidemiology is based on data, frequencies, calculations … which are difficult to grasp. In the end, what are these calculations for ?
Do they tell us something useful? We have seen too many experts going on TV showing graphs, and … guess what… sometimes report different news …. Answer 4 I KNOW, YES … I should clarify the absolute necessity of high-quality epidemiology—The calculations we make are to identify and prevent risk factors for human health. For example, think about the relationship between asbestos and mesothelioma … think of the greenhouse effect and the reduced world ice reserves…. Sometimes SCIENTIFIC INFORMATION generates confusion instead of giving certainties. TRUE. Science needs to be comunicated, making a clear distinction between FACTS and OPINIONS.
Speaking about diseases, a CORRELATION does not mean CAUSE… for example: not everyone who eats red meat will have a gastrointestinal cancer … and not everyone who lives in cities with much UV irradiation has a skin cancer … Regula-Mary asks Question 8. As an officer of a regulatory agency, I need to have clear data and CERTAINTY, before imposing new regulations on food and packaging. Or else Industry will be penalized. Statistics and epidemiology hardly ever give us CERTAINTIES. What to do? Do you have suggestion ? Answer 8. Epidemiology tells us that a LINK surely EXISTS, between FCM, plastics, chemicals and hormonal disorders. But only experimental research can establish for sure. We should have adequate funding for this. EDCs are a recognized problem.
Exposure occurs at home, in the of¬fice, on the farm, from the air we breath, the food we eat, the water we drink. There is reasons to claim that increasing chemical use is related to the growing incidence of endocrine-associated pediatric disorders, such as those that I told you before. And at the same time, the global production of plastics grew from 50 million tons in the mid-1970s to nearly 300 million today.
Another clear evidence: over the last 40 years, a handful of chemicals - such as lead, DDT and chlorpyrifos - have been banned. There have been clear benefits for human and wildlife health from eliminating these chemicals. This is an example of success, but the scientific data were available many years before the ban was introduced. So the question is, when are the data sufficient to begin to act ? Perhaps the answer is in making more use of the PRECAUTIONARY PRINCIPLE to ban or restrict chemicals in order to reduce exposure EARLY. In my view, we cannot wait for “conclusive” evidence of harm to begin taking actions.

This will be a great interview with the epidemiologist Prof. Tiziana Schilirò, from University of Torino – Italy. Prof. Tiziana Schilirò is answering questions about the use of epidemiological methods to explore if there is any detectable risk for human health coming from chemicals with Endocrine Disruption activity.

These are very important issues to be comprehended and learned. Don’t miss this interview.

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Consumer and Environmental Safety: Food Packaging and Kitchenware

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