Kim Harley

Not Just Skin Deep: UC Berkeley Researchers Study Dangers of Makeup

Spikes in sex hormones drive teenage development and desire. They fire up the physiology of reproduction and push teens toward adulthood. These dramatic physical changes can make for emotionally—and biologically—vulnerable times.

Research shows that a class of chemicals found in many household and personal care products mimic or block the normal effects of hormones such as estrogen—a key player in breast cancer. These “endocrine disruptors” may pose a particular threat to teenagers during the years when their hormone levels are on the rise.

From the Fall 2014 Radicals issue of California.

Field Hazard: Study linking fumigant to smaller babies raises questions

Anxiety is running higher around California’s strawberry fields after a recent study linked the birth of smaller babies to the fumigant methyl bromide: Newborns whose mothers lived within three miles of fields treated with the fumigant weighed an average of 4 ounces less at birth.

But one of the Cal authors of the paper cautioned against leaping to conclusions, noting that the precise degree of the threat to humans has yet to  be determined and that banning fumigants outright could risk decimating communities supported by the strawberry industry.

Subscribe to Kim Harley