[Pharmwaste] A bad mix: exposure may be "safe" only with onechemical at a time

randsney at comcast.net randsney at comcast.net
Mon Sep 14 16:48:26 EDT 2009

By Dr. Ronald E. Ney, Jr., Ph.D.

Many will say exposure to chemicals and their degradation products, and/or 
biologicals in consumer products, in the environment, etc. is so small there 
is little chance of risk.  While this may be true in many cases, safety 
cannot be judged on one chemical or one biological alone.  Humans and other 
animals are a mixture of chemicals and their degradation products, and 
biologicals, and we take in hundreds of different chemicals and biologicals 
a year. How safe are these chemicals and their degradation products, 
(pesticides, hormones, metals, etc.) and biologicals when the aggregate, 
synergistic, antagonistic, co-metabolism and co-biometabolism effects are 
never mentioned or studied to any extent, if at all and, they are not used 
in risk assessments?  In other words, the total picture is never known or 
considered for hazards to adults, child endangerment and environmental 
safety when it should be required.

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Tenace, Laurie" <Laurie.Tenace at dep.state.fl.us>
To: <pharmwaste at lists.dep.state.fl.us>
Sent: Tuesday, September 01, 2009 11:16 AM
Subject: [Pharmwaste] A bad mix: exposure may be "safe" only with 
onechemical at a time

only-one-chemical-at-a-time/ - more at the web site.

A bad mix: exposure may be "safe" only with one chemical at a time.
Sep 01, 2009

Exposure to a mixture of pollutants found in food, water and air have more
severe effects than each chemical alone.

Exposure to a mixture of environmental chemicals is far more harmful to male
rats than exposure to the individual chemicals would predict, even when the
level of each contaminant in the mixture causes no effect by itself. The
results indicate that assessing the risk of chemicals one-compound-at-a-time
will underestimate potential harm. People are exposed to hundreds of
chemicals at a time, if not more.  People could be affected by mixtures of
chemicals that are currently considered "safe" based on their individual

Laurie Tenace
Environmental Specialist
Waste Reduction Section
Florida Department of Environmental Protection
2600 Blair Stone Rd., MS 4555
Tallahassee FL 32399-2400
P: 850.245.8759
F: 850.245.8811
Laurie.Tenace at dep.state.fl.us

Mercury: http://www.dep.state.fl.us/waste/categories/mercury/default.htm

Unwanted Medicine:

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is committed to continuously assessing and

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