This release of CoMeta includes two new themes summarizing CoMeta content related to endocrine disruptors and hydraulic fracturing, a preliminary Litagion agent profile for asbestos, and a host of updated Litagion agent and company profiles impacted by newly published peer-reviewed science and newly gathered company information.
- Endocrine disruptors. The endocrine system is a network of glands and organs that synthesize, secrete, and respond to hormones. “Endocrine disruptors” are chemical compounds widely used in agriculture, industrial processes, and consumer products that disrupt this system by directly or indirectly interfering with normal hormonal signaling. This disruption is associated with a wide range of adverse health outcomes including lower IQ, autism, obesity, diabetes, reproductive cancer, and infertility.
- Hydraulic fracturing. In little more than a decade, hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” has transformed energy production in the United States. While paving the way toward energy independence, fracking and peripheral activities such as trucking, wastewater injection, and flaring is not without risks to human health and the environment. This theme brings together fracking-related exposures that span a number of Litagion agent profiles including diesel, silica, wastewater injection, waste gas flaring, and the process of fracking itself.
- Asbestos (Beta). Asbestos is the canonical Litagion agent: A miraculous and abundant mineral that imparted heat-, fire-, and acid-resistance to commercial products produced by a wide-swath of the U.S. economy, but, decades later, was shown to cause asbestosis, mesothelioma, lung cancer, and other diseases in hundreds of thousands of workers and consumers. This preliminary profile is designed to feature key historical and future asbestos exposures laying the foundation for a model that replicates and anticipates past and future costs of asbestos litigation. The profile is released as "beta" knowing that aspects of the profile are incomplete including exposure settings and the scope of damages to both body and property. Of particular note in this regard is that data describing the exposure of specific companies to past and future asbestos litigation is currently limited to companies that could be named in lawsuits alleging harm from asbestos-contaminated talc.
Updated Litagion agents based on 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:
- Di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP): The Health Outcomes and Measures of the Environment (HOME) study in Ohio demonstrated a link between DEHP levels in the urine of mothers and their offspring and lower IQ.
- Styrene: A study in Texas reported a significant association between residential styrene exposure and low birth weight.
In addition, we highlight the following changes to the components of Litagion agent risk resulting from recently published peer-reviewed science:
|Risk category change
|Overall risk change
|Projected science risk changes from Low (green) to Medium-low (light green)
|Projected science risk changes from Medium-high (orange) to High (red)