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Endocrine-Disrupting Chemicals and Diabetes. Presented by Professor Dianna Magliano

We use chemicals to make our lives better. On the market today there are more than 100,000 chemicals and we use them as if they are utterly safe. The reality is very few have been tested for harmful effects.

The exponential rise in the worldwide incidence of obesity and diabetes over the last few decades cannot be explained by inactivity and poor diet alone.

This has lead researchers (including Dianna) to examine the effect of environmental pollutants as causative in chronic disease. New research from the Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute in Melbourne now suggests exposure to BPA increases the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

Dianna describes the endocrine disrupting mechanisms of persistent organic pollutants and Bisphenol A and Bisphenol S. It may be difficult to prevent exposure of Bisphenol A to humans without collaboration with food packaging /chemical manufacturing companies. The ‘older’ more chlorinated POPs are more likely to be harmful. Healthy lifestyle may help mitigate the effects of EDCs.

She leaves us with a plastics code guide:

Avoid: 3,6,7

  • No.3-PVC (Polyvinyl chloride)
  • No.6-PS (Poly Styrene)
  • No.7- PC (Poly Carbonate)

Probably Safe: 1,2,4,5

  • No.1-PET (Polyethylene terephthalate)
  • No.2-HDPE (High-density Polyethylene)
  • No.4-LDPE (Low-density Polyethylene)
  • No.5-PP (Polypropylene)

Professor Dianna Magliano, BAppSci (Hons), PhD, RMIT University, Master of Public Health, Monash University

Dianna heads the Diabetes and Population Health Unit at Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute. She is internationally recognised for her work on understanding the worldwide trends of diabetes. Her research involves examining the association between diabetes and other risk factors using large datasets. One of these key research areas is studying the relationship between environmental toxicants such as plastic pollutants and persistent organic pollutants and chronic disease.

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