Friday August 17, 2018

Prenatal Exposure to Plastic Chemical may Reduce Cognitive Skills

As the mPFC is crucial for high-level cognitive functions, reduced cognitive flexibility is observed in developmental disorders such as autism

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Pregnant Women have benefited from the maternity scheme 'Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana' (PMMVY). Pixabay
Pregnant Women have benefited from the maternity scheme 'Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana' (PMMVY). Pixabay
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Prenatal or early exposure of your kids to a plastic chemical may harm brain development as well as reduce cognitive function, a study says.

Phthalates — chemicals that belong to the same class as Bisphenol A (BPA) and used in food packaging and processing materials — can potentially interfere with hormones important for the developing brain.

The study by researchers including Janice Juraska, from the University of Illinois in the US, showed that rats’ prenatal and early exposure to phthalates was associated with smaller medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) — brain region responsible for deep and dreamless sleep.

They also performed poorly on an attention-switching task than those not exposed to the chemicals early in life.

As the mPFC is crucial for high-level cognitive functions, reduced cognitive flexibility is observed in developmental disorders such as autism
As the mPFC is crucial for high-level cognitive functions, reduced cognitive flexibility is observed in developmental disorders such as autism. Pixabay

The findings, published in Journal of Neuroscience, showed that perinatal phthalate exposure resulted in a reduction in neuron number, synapse number, size of the mPFC and a deficit in cognitive flexibility for both male and female adult offspring of these rats.

As the mPFC is crucial for high-level cognitive functions, reduced cognitive flexibility is observed in developmental disorders such as autism.

Also Read: thyroid Dysfunction May Lead to Diabetes During Pregnancy

The results show that perinatal phthalate exposure can have long-term effects on the cortex and behaviour of both male and female rats.

The findings are important as humans may be regularly exposed to a variety of phthalates, which are endocrine-disrupting chemicals, the researchers warned. (IANS)

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UP Govt Imposes Ban on Polythene and Thermocol

Under the new rule, people found with 100 grams of polythene would be fined Rs 1,000 and those with five kilogram will have to cough up Rs 25,000.

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A man collects plastic and other recyclable material from the shores.(VOA)

The Uttar Pradesh government on Wednesday imposed a blanket ban on the manufacture, stocking, sale and transport of all plastic/polythene and thermocol items, an official said.

The ban on disposable cups, plates, spoons, forks and glasses was rolled out on the 72nd Independence Day.

Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath had ordered the ban on polythene bags of less than 50 microns on July 15.

The state will roll out the third and final phase on the Gandhi Jayanti day on October 2 by imposing a total ban on non-bio-degradable polythene.

Packs of flattened polyethylene terephthalate (or PET) bottles are carried into a depot before being pulverized as part of a recycling process at Tokyo PET Bottle Recycle Co. in Tokyo, Aug. 13, 2002. Researchers in Britain and the United States have engineered an enzyme that breaks down such plastics.
Packs of flattened polyethylene terephthalate (or PET) bottles are carried.VOA

Principal Secretary (Urban Development) Manoj Kumar Singh said the government has directed all municipal corporations, district officials and concerned departments to enforce the ban.

There will be special inspections to ensure compliance.

For the first time, the polythene ban has been effective on ground as the government empowered various departments to seize and penalise offenders, rather than leaving it to municipal corporations.

Also Read: Facial Scrub May Contain Millions of Plastic Particles

Under the new rule, people found with 100 grams of polythene would be fined Rs 1,000 and those with five kilogram will have to cough up Rs 25,000. (IANS)