New research concludes that exposure to a combination of both arsenic and estrogen, at levels U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) considers “safe” for humans, can cause cancer at elevated levels. The higher levels of added organic brown rice syrup in soy-based formula may explain why some researchers found higher levels of arsenic in the soy-based formula. Combined with the presence of both phytoestrogens, soy-based formulas are a disease promoting ticking time bomb for infants.
Texas Tech University researchers revealed that humans exposed to a combination of both toxicants were almost twice as likely to develop cancerous cells in their prostate. The study is published in the peer-reviewed journal The Prostate.
While it is established that both arsenic and estrogen can cause cancer, the research raises concerns about the dangers of chemicals in combination, and the efficacy of regulations that are established by testing one chemical at a time. Kamaleshwar Singh, PhD., is an assistant professor at the Institute of Environmental and Human Health at Texas Tech. “The majority of cancers are caused by environmental influences,” Dr. Singh remarked to Texas Tech Today, “Only about 5 to 10 percent of cancers are due to genetic predisposition. Science has looked at these chemicals, such as arsenic, and tested them in a lab to find the amounts that may cause cancer. But that’s just a single chemical in a single test. In the real world, we are getting exposed to many chemicals at once.”
The study contributes to the growing body of research on the interactive effects of pesticides on human health and the environment. For example, Tyrone Hayes, PhD., professor of integrative biology at UC Berkeley conducted research on the interactive effects of atrazine and other pesticides in a study on frogs. The study compared the impact of exposure to realistic combinations of small concentrations of corn pesticides on frog metamorphosis. The study concluded that frog tadpoles exposed to mixtures of pesticides took longer to metamorphose to adults and were smaller at metamorphosis than those exposed to single pesticides, with consequences for frog survival. The study revealed that “estimating ecological risk and the impact of pesticides on amphibians using studies that examine only single pesticides at high concentrations may lead to gross underestimations of the role of pesticides in amphibian declines.” (Watch Dr. Hayes’ talk, Protecting Life: From Research to Regulation.)