Endocrine Disruptions

A Small Dose of Persistent Endocrine Disruptors


  • An Introduction to the Health Effects of Endocrine Disruptors

Ancient Greek Athletes - "The Greek physician Galen is reputed to have prescribed 'the rear hooves of an Abyssinian ass, ground up, boiled in oil, and flavored with rose hips and rose petals' to improve performance."

Endocrine Disruptors Dossier


 

Name: Endocrine Disruptors

  • Use: wide range of chemicals, pesticides, plastics, flame retardants, medicine
  • Source: synthetic chemistry, plants
  • Recommended daily intake: none (not essential)
  • Absorption: intestine, respiratory system (lungs), skin
  • Sensitive individuals: fetus and children
  • Toxicity/symptoms: endocrine system, mimic estrogen, anti-estrogenic, effects on hormone levels, sexual characteristics, reproduction, developmental effects
  • Regulatory facts: FDA and EPA are reviewing
  • General facts: billions of pounds used every year in wide range of products
  • Environmental: widely distributed in environment and can affect wild life
  • Recommendations: minimize use, avoid exposure to children, and consider alternatives

 

 

 

 

Bisphenol-A

Diethylstilbestrol

 

Persistent Environmental Contaminants Chapter


PowerPoint presentation


Potential Endocrine Disruptors

Class

Chemical

Use

Pesticide

DDT

Insecticide (no longer allowed in US

 

2,4-D

Herbicide

 

Atrazine

Herbicide

Plastics additives

Bisphenol A

Harden in plastics

 

Phthalates

Softener in plastics, solvent

Industrial chemical

Nonylphenol (breakdown product of nonylphenol ethoxylates

Detergents, paints, pesticides

Fire retardant

Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDE)

Fire retardant

Drug

Diethylstilbesterol (DES)

No longer used to prevent miscarriages

Contaminants

Dioxin

Byproduct PVC plastics, incineration byproduct, contaminant in certain chlorinated compounds

 

Arsenic, Lead, Mercury

Widespread contaminants

 

Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB)

Formerly used in transformer oils

Major Glands and Examples of Hormones and Function

Gland (location)

Example hormone

Function

Pineal gland (brain)

Melatonin

Sleep

Pituitary gland (brain)

Growth hormone

Growth, cell reproduction

 

Prolactin

Milk production, sexual gratification

 

Thyroid-stimulating hormone

stimulates thyroid gland to secrete T3 and T4

 

Luteinizing hormone

Female: ovulation - Male: regulates testosterone

Thyroid gland (neck)

Thyroxine (T4)

Metabolism

 

Triiodothyronine (T3)

Metabolism

Adrenal gland (kidney)

Glucocorticoids

Effects glucose uptake

 

Adrenaline

Fight-or-flight response (range of effects)

Pancreas (kidney)

Insulin

Regulates glucose

Ovary (female)

Progesterone

Pregnancy, muscle relaxation, range of effects

 

Estrogens

Growth, sexual characteristics

Testes (male)

Testosterone (androgen)

Muscle mass, bone density, sexual maturation

More Information and References


European, Asian, and international Agencies


  • World Health Organization - WHO Pesticide Evaluation Scheme (WHOPES). (accessed: 30 September 2008).
    WHOPES is an "international programme which promotes and coordinates the testing and evaluation of new pesticides proposed for public health use."

North American Agencies


  • US EPA Endocrine Disruptor Screening Program (EDSP)|http://www.epa.gov/endo/]. (accessed: 15 June 2009).
    Describes the program, efforts to develop the screening test, and prioritization of chemicals to be tested.
  • US National Institutes of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), National Institutes of Health - Endocrine Disruptors. (accessed: 23 May 2009).
    Provides an overview of endocrine disruptors and recent research.

Non-Government Organizations


  • The Endocrine Disruption Exchange, Inc. (TEDX) - Critical Windows of Development (Prenatal Origins of Endocrine Disruption). (accessed: 23 May 2009).
    "Critical Windows of Development is a timeline of how the human body develops in the womb, with animal research showing when low-dose exposure to endocrine disrupting chemicals during development results in altered health outcomes."
  • Natural Resources Defense Council - Endocrine Disruptors. (accessed: 9 June 2009).
    General information on endocrine disruptors.

References


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