Researchers find link between PVC plastic chemical, obesity in offspring

Jan. 22, 2013

Scientists at the UC Irvine have discovered a link between a chemical used in PVC plastic and obesity in the offspring of mice.

Scientists at the University of California, Irvine have discovered a link between a chemical used in PVC plastic and obesity in the offspring of mice.

After exposing pregnant mice to low doses of the chemical tributyltin (TBT), the researchers observed increased body fat, liver fat and fat-specific gene expression in their "children," "grandchildren" and "great-grandchildren" — none of which had been exposed to the chemical.

According to UC Irvine professor of pharmaceutical sciences and developmental & cell biology Bruce Blumberg, the findings suggest that early-life exposure to endocrine-disrupting compounds such as TBT can have permanent effects of fat accumulation without further exposure.

RELATED: PVC pipe has lowest overall failure rate, study shows

Human exposure to TBT can occur through PVC plastic particles in dust and via leaching of the chemical and other related organotin compounds from PVC pipes and containers.

Blumberg categorizes TBT as an obesogen, a class of chemicals that promote obesity by increasing the number of fat cells or the storage of fat in existing cells. He and his colleagues first identified the role of obesogens in a 2006 publication and showed in 2010 that TBT acts in part by modifying the fate of mesenchymal stem cells during development, predisposing them to become fat cells.

The study is published online in Environmental Health Perspectives, a publication of the National Institute for Environmental Health Sciences.

Sponsored Recommendations

Choosing The Right Partner for CHIPS Act Investments

As the U.S. looks to invest in the semiconductor research and production using CHIPS Act 2022 funding, it's important to choose the right partner.

EMWD Uses Technology to Meet Sustainability Goals

Eastern Municipal Water District pilots artificial intelligence-enabled control and machine learning to help save energy, reduce costs, and improve quality.

Protein Processing Solutions: Automation & Control

For protein processors looking to address industry challenges, improve efficiency, and stay ahead in a competitive market, Rockwell Automation offers tailored automation, control...

Automotive Manufacturing Innovation: Smart Solutions for a Connected Future

Rockwell Automation provides automation and control systems tailored for the automotive and tire industries, supporting electric vehicle production, tire production, battery production...