On October 31, 2013 the Great Lakes Green Chemistry Network and the Michigan Green Chemistry Clearinghouse, both U.S., hosted a webinar entitled “Transgenerational Inheritance of Prenatal Obesogen Exposure”. During the webinar the developmental and cell biologist Bruce Blumberg of University of California, Irvine, U.S., spoke on the U.S. obesity epidemic and its link to endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs). He indicated that the obesity rate in the U.S. is expected to reach 68% in 2020. Already, around 20 % of health care spending is spent on disease linked to obesity including metabolic syndrome and type II diabetes. Blumberg points out that the obesity epidemic roughly correlates with a marked increase in the use of industrial chemicals. As the metabolic function is controlled by hormones, endocrine active chemicals may influence the way the body handles nutritional intake. This means that individuals exposed to EDC have to struggle against obesity much harder than they would otherwise. Blumberg concludes that the formula currently used by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to calculate risks cannot adequately assess obesogens, as it does not consider the magnitude of the expected risk and assumes linearity in dose-response relationships. The webinar with Bruce Blumberg is publically available on youtube.

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GLGCN/MGCC (published November 20, 2013). “Green Chemistry Webinar: October 31, 2013 – Bruce Blumberg