- New Litagion agent profiles for chlorine, melamine, and four nitrosamines and a new theme summarizing CoMeta content related to Parkinson’s disease
- New liability catastrophe scenarios addressing contamination of drinking water with per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances
- New blog content: “EPA reapproves paraquat despite link to Parkinson’s”
- Interactive time series plot for litigation tracking and improved company search
- Updated Litagion agent and company profiles impacted by newly published peer-reviewed science and newly gathered company information
- PFAS drinking water contamination. There is growing scientific consensus that exposure to per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) has the potential to disrupt the normal functioning of the human endocrine system, which, in turn, could lead to a range of chronic disease conditions such as infertility, cancer, obesity, and developmental disorders. Often referred to as “forever chemicals,” PFAS persist in the environment and bioaccumulate in people and animals. In this scenario, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency responds to the environmental and health risks posed by PFAS by establishing an enforceable drinking water standard. Publicly- and privately-owned water systems nationwide file lawsuits in state and federal courts seeking to recover the cost of removing total PFAS to levels that meet the new standard.
- Nitrosamines. Nitrosamines are formed by a reaction between nitrates or nitrites and certain amines. While nitrosamines are not intentionally added to consumer products, they are found in many. Most prominently, nitrosamines form at low levels in cured meats, smoked fish, and fermented foods and beverages such as cheese and beer. They are also found in personal care products, tobacco products, and drinking water treated with chlorination chemicals. Because regulators consider nitrosamines to be probable carcinogens, the recent discovery of nitrosamine impurities in some medications has led to product recalls and heightened regulatory scrutiny.
- Parkinson’s disease. Parkinson’s disease – a chronic disease characterized by tremors, stiffness, impaired balance, and slowness of movement – is the fastest growing neurological disorder in the world, and an aging population cannot account for all this growth. The disease results from the loss of neurons in the region of the brain that produces dopamine, a neurotransmitter involved in the control of movement. About 10 percent of Parkinson’s cases are attributable principally to genetic causes, leaving environmental factors, including chemical exposures, to explain the balance of cases. Pesticides, solvents, and heavy metals have all been investigated for their potential to cause Parkinson’s disease.
- Chlorine. Chlorine is a highly reactive element used to manufacture cleaning products and disinfectants for commercial and household use as well as thousands of industrial compounds, such as vinyl chloride. Chlorine’s oxidizing potential makes it a highly effective disinfectant for use in bleaches and other cleaning products, swimming pools, and drinking water systems. Approximately 80 percent of chlorine is used to manufacture other chemical compounds, many of which do not contain chlorine in their final state. Now banned by international treaty, poisonous chlorine gas was once used as a chemical weapon.
- Melamine. Melamine [CAS No. 108-78-1] is an organic compound used in the manufacture of thermosetting plastics. Combining melamine and formaldehyde results in a smooth, light, yet highly durable plastic that is used for tableware, laminate flooring, countertops, wall paneling, dry erase boards, sleeping mats, and other plastic products. Adhesives, paints and coatings, cleaning products, leather treatment products, flame retardants, molding compounds, and insulation may also contain melamine. Melamine is sometimes illegally added to animal feed, pet food, and human food products in order to inflate apparent protein content. Melamine is nearly 70 percent nitrogen, which can mislead commonly employed tests for measuring protein. In one such incident in China in 2008, melamine added to infant formula sickened thousands of infants, killing at least six.
- N-Nitrosodibutylamine. A nitrosamine that forms when nitrogen oxide reacts with secondary amines.
- N-Nitrosodiethylamine. A nitrosamine that forms when nitrogen oxide reacts with secondary amines.
- N-Nitrosomorpholine. A nitrosamine that forms when nitrogen oxide reacts with secondary amines.
- N-Nitrosopyrrolidine. A nitrosamine that forms when nitrogen oxide reacts with secondary amines.
Interactive time series plot for litigation tracking
This release adds an interactive time series plot to CoMeta’s litigation tracking feature. Clicking on the chart icon (1) opens a window (2) that displays a plot of complaints filed by month.
The filters (3) above the chart allow you to slice and dice the complaint data by plaintiff type, whether the complaint alleges personal injury, and category of statutory violation alleged. The time period selector (4) enables you to view complaints filed within a specific period of time. Each bar on the chart represents the total number of complaints filed in a month by category of statutory violation alleged (5).
Company search using D-U-N-S® Number
CoMeta now supports searching for a company using its D-U-N-S® Number. A D-U-N-S Number is a unique nine-digit number used for identifying businesses by Dun & Bradstreet.
Updated Litagion agent profiles based upon newly published science
All Litagion agent profiles have been updated to reflect the most recently published peer-reviewed science. Notable scientific studies added to CoMeta since the last release include:
- Arsenic. A study employing data collected by the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) reports a significant association between urinary levels of arsenic and depression.
- Perfluorobutanesulfonic acid (PFBS). A prenatal cohort study in Shanghai finds a significant link between levels of PFBS in cord blood and respiratory infections in the first 5 years of life.
In addition, we highlight the following changes to the components of Litagion agent risk resulting from newly published peer-reviewed science:
|Litagion agent||Risk category change||Overall risk change|
|Dieldrin||Projected science risk changes from Medium-high (orange) to High (red)||Change from Medium-low (light green) to Medium (yellow)|
|GenX||Projected science risk changes from Medium-low (light green) to Medium-high (orange)||Change from Medium-low (light green) to Medium (yellow)|