Does ‘the Dose make the Poison?’

Extensive results challenge a core assumption in toxicology
by Pete Myers, Ph.D. and Wendy Hessler

The “dose makes the poison” is a common adage in toxicology. It implies that larger doses have greater effects than smaller doses. That makes common sense and it is the core assumption underpinning all regulatory testing. When “the dose makes the poison,” toxicologists can safely assume that high dose tests will reveal health problems that low dose exposures might cause. High dose tests are desirable because, the logic goes, they not only will reveal low dose effects, they will do so faster and with greater reliability. Greater reliability and speed also mean less cost.

Photo: rats different dose has different effect

While exposure in the womb to 100 parts per billion of the estrogenic drug diethylstilbestrol (DES) causes mice to become scrawny as adults, exposure to a much lower amount, 1 ppb, causes grotesque obesity.

The trouble is, some pollutants, drugs and natural substances don’t adhere to this logic, as can be seen in the photograph above. Instead, they cause different effects at different levels, including impacts at low levels that do not occur at high doses. Sometimes the effects can even be precisely the opposite at high vs. low. Because all regulatory testing has been designed assuming that “the dose makes the poison,” it is highly likely to have missed low dose effects, and led to health standards that are too weak.

Toxicology testing assumes ‘the dose makes the poison.’

Measuring how much of a compound, called its dose, produces a response, usually some kind of health effect, is difficult and time consuming. To understand how dose and effects are linked, toxicologists expose animals, tissues, or cells to pollutants. They then examine how the subject responds to the exposure.

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Letter: California Coastal Commission May be Weakened by a Firing

February 4, 2016
Kevin Nelson, San Clemente 

Since the 1970s, the Coastal Commission has been the protector of last resort for so many environmental issues.

But the Commission’s executive director might lose his job due to the politics of greed and over-development.

Here is a small sampling of the agency’s achievements:

  • A toll road would now be rammed through San Onofre State Park. Despite immense pressure, the Commission killed this travesty at a 2008 Del Mar Fairgrounds hearing packed with 3,000 enthusiastic protesters, keeping the park and Trestles as originally conceived. (I attended this rare event when people showed how much they cared.)
  • Banning Ranch in Newport Beach, although a piece of amazing habitat and land to be considered by the agency in March, would be buried beneath condos.
  • Marblehead in San Clemente would be much more densely packed without the public trails and arroyo preservation the Commission required.
  • Crystal Cove between Corona Del Mar and Laguna would be covered by Newport Coast homes right to the bluff edges.
  • Beaches in communities like ours would not be accessible without the strong enforcement policies written into the California Coastal Act.
  • The action to push out a key executive in the Commission risks the long-term health of this agency. Though it probably has imposed unnecessary delays on many small projects, it’s the best tool we’ve got for environmental protection.
  • If a development-first mindset succeeds in firing Executive Director Charles Lester at their upcoming February hearing in Morro Bay, we will lose a man with strong allegiance to the ethics of conservation.
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Comments on Human Rights to Water Resolution by SWB

You might be aware of this resolution establishing the human right to water.

Btw, do you have any progress with County staff on improving protections in sensitive watersheds?

Thank you,
Jim

FYI-We should be there-

Chris

At its February 16, 2016 board meeting, the State Water Resources Control Board (State Water Board) will consider adopting the attached draft resolution pertaining to the human right to water, as established by Water Code section106.3, subdivision (a).
On September 25, 2012, the California Legislature adopted Assembly Bill 685, which added section 106.3 to the Water Code (effective January 1, 2013), declaring that every human has the right to clean, affordable, and accessible water for consumption, cooking and sanitary purposes. (Wat. Code § 106.3, subd. (a).)  Section 106.3, subdivision (b), specifically requires the State Water Board to consider the human right to water when establishing policies, regulations, or grant criteria when such actions are pertinent to water for human consumption, cooking, and sanitary purposes.
The State Water Board’s adoption of the resolution would establish the human right to water as a core value and top board priority. Through the resolution, the State Water Board aims to provide statewide consistency in the implementation of the human right to water.
If you have any questions about this notification, please contact Gita Kapahi, Director of Public Participation and Tribal Liaison, at (916) 341-5501 or gita.kapahi@waterboards.ca.gov, or Stacy Gillespie, Senior Staff Counsel, at (916) 341-5190 or stacy.gillespie@waterboards.ca.gov

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State Water Board adopts measurement and reporting regulations for water diverters

The State Water Resources Control Board today adopted regulations requiring all surface water right holders and claimants to report their diversions. Those who divert more than 10 acre-feet of water per year must also measure their diversions.

The regulations, which apply to about 12,000 water right holders and claimants, require annual reporting of water diversions. The regulations cover all surface water diversions, including those under pre-1914 and riparian water rights, as well as licenses, permits, registrations for small domestic, small irrigation and livestock stockwatering and stockpond certificates.

Previously, pre-1914 and riparian right holders were only required to report every three years, and measurement requirements could be avoided if the right holder deemed them not locally cost effective. About 70 percent of such diverters claimed that exemption.
The goal of the new regulation is to provide more accurate and timely information on water use in California to enable better management of the state’s water resources.

“Knowing where, when, and how much water is being used is essential to managing the system fairly for all,” said State Water Board Chair Felicia Marcus. “We’ve historically not had a complete picture, and these past two years have made it even more essential to take this common sense move.”

California’s extended drought has highlighted the need for more accurate, timely information. This information is critical to ensuring that priority water needs are met, that water right holders are informed of water availability and that adequate flows remain instream for more senior downstream beneficial uses.

The regulations provide for phasing in requirements for installing measurement devices and a tiered approach to accuracy and recording frequency standards, all based on the size of the diversion.

For instance, large diverters with a claimed right to take 1,000 acre feet of water or more per year are required to have a measuring device or measuring method capable of recording at least hourly in place by Jan. 1, 2017; those with claimed rights to divert 100 acre feet or more must comply by July 1, 2017 and record at least daily; and those with claimed rights to divert more than 10 acre feet must comply by Jan. 1, 2018 and record at least weekly.

All diverters, regardless of size, are required to report their monthly diversions on an annual basis. The regulations also allow the State Water Board to require more frequent reporting when available water supplies are determined insufficient to serve all water right holders in a watershed or necessary to protect the environment.

Failure to comply with the regulations is a violation subject to civil liability of up to $500 per day under the Water Code.

The new regulations implement Senate Bill 88, passed by the legislature and signed into law by the Governor on June 24, 2015. They are adopted as emergency regulations, exempt from the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), and will remain in effect until revised. They take effect upon approval of the state Office of Administrative Law.
The regulations were developed with substantial input over the past few months from water rights and water management experts, and stakeholders.

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State Water Board and Human Rights to Water

At its February 16, 2016 board meeting, the State Water Resources Control Board (State Water Board) will consider adopting the attached draft resolution pertaining to the human right to water, as established by Water Code section106.3, subdivision (a).
On September 25, 2012, the California Legislature adopted Assembly Bill 685, which added section 106.3 to the Water Code (effective January 1, 2013), declaring that every human has the right to clean, affordable, and accessible water for consumption, cooking and sanitary purposes. (Wat. Code § 106.3, subd. (a).)  Section 106.3, subdivision (b), specifically requires the State Water Board to consider the human right to water when establishing policies, regulations, or grant criteria when such actions are pertinent to water for human consumption, cooking, and sanitary purposes.
The State Water Board’s adoption of the resolution would establish the human right to water as a core value and top board priority. Through the resolution, the State Water Board aims to provide statewide consistency in the implementation of the human right to water.
If you have any questions about this notification, please contact Gita Kapahi, Director of Public Participation and Tribal Liaison, at (916) 341-5501 or gita.kapahi@waterboards.ca.gov, or Stacy Gillespie, Senior Staff Counsel, at (916) 341-5190 or stacy.gillespie@waterboards.ca.gov

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Attack on Clean Water Rule gets Vetoed!

So you know…

The House of Representatives voted on S.J. Res. 22, a “Resolution of Disapproval” under the Congressional Review Act attacking the Clean Water Rule, the Obama administration’s landmark initiative to restore safeguards against pollution and destruction for lakes, streams, wetlands and other water bodies.

Fortunately, President Obama vetoed it and opponents of the Clean Water Rule did not have enough votes to override the veto.

Thanks for all your support out there!

Larry

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Turmoil at Coastal Commission Worries Environmentalists

By Michael R. Blood
Associated Press January 22, 2016

The powerful California agency that manages development along the state’s fabled coastline may oust its top executive soon, setting up a battlefront between environmentalists and developers who frequently clash over projects large and small.

The potential shake-up at the California Coastal Commission raises questions about the direction of an agency often caught in the friction between property owners and conservation along the 1,100-mile coast.

The commission’s chairman, Steve Kinsey, notified Executive Director Charles Lester in a letter released Wednesday that the panel will consider whether to fire him next month. Lester has held the post since 2011, and no reason was given for the proposed dismissal.

Kinsey did not return a phone call or email seeking comment. However, environmental activists suspect some commission members want to push out Lester to make way for management that would be more welcoming to development.

Susan Jordan of the California Coastal Protection Network said Lester’s ouster would leave the agency in turmoil and intimidate its staff.

“It’s not just about the homeowner who wants to build on the bluff. We are talking about billion-dollar projects,” Jordan said.

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CA Assessment Strategy for Freshwater Algal Blooms

Speaker: Beverley Andersen-Abbs
State Water Resources Control Board
January 28th 12:00 – 12:30 p.m.
CalEPA HQ Building, Training Room 2 East and West
https://stateofcaswrcbweb.centurylinkccc.com/CenturylinkWeb/JarmaBennett

If you have more question, please contact:

·         Dawit Tadesse at dawit.tadesse@waterboards.ca.gov or (916) 341-5486
·         Michelle Tang at Michelle.Tang@waterboards.ca.gov or (916) 341-5504

Best, Greg

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Is everything we think we know about chemical toxicity wrong?

May 30, 2012 at 5:54 pm

Yes,  if the first comprehensive review of the issue in a decade is correct in concluding that low doses of chemicals can harm health.

Figure 3 from Vandenberg et al. 2012. Non-monotonic dose-response curves

Figure 3 from Vandenberg et al. 2012, showing various types of dose-response curve. “NMDRCs present an important challenge to traditional approaches in regulatory toxicology, which assume that the dose-response curve is monotonic.” Click to enlarge.

Although the hypothesis that chemicals can have health effects at doses much lower than those routinely tested in the toxicological evaluation of chemicals is much-discussed, there has been no comprehensive review of the literature since 2002, when the US National Toxicology Programme last looked at the peer-reviewed evidence that such effects might exist (Melnick et al. 2002).

Their conclusions were muted, with the evaluating panel stating its findings “indicate that the current testing paradigm used for assessments of reproductive and developmental toxicity should be revisited”.

That reassessment has never really happened, and the possibility of low-dose effects has been more-or-less discarded in regulatory thinking, surfacing as a controversial hypothesis in need of, but never subject to, further evaluation.

The result is expressed in the opinion of the EU Scientific Committees that: “… no robust evidence is available that exposure to a mixture of such substances is of health or environmental concern if the individual chemicals are present at or below their zero effect levels… At low exposure levels, they are either unlikely to occur or are toxicologically insignificant.” (EU Scientific Committees 2011)

On the research front, however, much has changed in the past 10 years. Examples of low-dose effects have multiplied, understanding of the mechanisms by which these can happen has grown, and epidemiological support for the hypothesis has also begun to emerge. This has culminated in a recent 845-citation review of the evidence-base for the plausibility of the low-dose hypothesis. (Vandenberg et al. 2012)

Plausibility of hypothesis from hormone action

Specifically for Vandenberg et al. the mode of action of interest for low-dose effects is action via hormone signalling pathways, which is why their review focuses exclusively on endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs).

Low-dose effects are nothing new in endocrinology, where it has been understood for many years that hormones function at concentrations in the blood which, at least at the scale humans are used to dealing with, can only be considered minute.

Steroid hormones, such as oestrogen and testosterone, can have effects at low concentrations, with estradiol documented to have physiological effects at concentrations as low as 0.1-9 picograms/mol (less than a droplet in an Olympic-size swimming pool).

The question is: “Can chemicals not originating in the body also affect the hormone system?”

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Calif. Coastal Commission executive director under fire

http://capitolweekly.net/move-coastal-commission-director-lester-job/

Coastal Commission executive director under fire

BY JOHN HOWARD AND ALEX MATTHEWS POSTED 01.19.2016

A move to oust the executive director of the California Coastal Commission is under way, an effort that marks the most significant attempt against the commission’s ranking administrator in two decades.

Commission Chair Steve Kinsey wrote a letter to Executive Director Charles Lester, saying the 12-member panel “will consider whether to dismiss you” at the commission’s February meeting.

Kinsey’s Jan. 14 letter, reviewed by Capitol Weekly, emerged Tuesday after days of intense wrangling at the powerful agency.

statement was posted Tuesday evening on the commission’s web site for the Feb. 10-12 meeting, saying that “two items regarding the executive director have been set for public hearing and/or closed session (and) the employment status of the executive director … and if necessary, consideration of the appointment of an interim executive director … ”

There appeared to be a division between environmentalists and conservationists on one hand, who generally support Lester, and pro-development forces on the other.

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