CENTER ON BEHAVIORAL MEDICINE
ENVIRONMENTAL INTOLERANCES and TOXINSEnvironmental Intolerances and Toxins-Chemical: Background Information
|CITATION: Solomon, G.M. and
Schettler, T. (2000). Environment and health: 6. Endocrine disruption and potential human health implications. CMAJ: 163 (11).
the past 50 years, tens of
thousands of chemicals have been synthesized and released into the
general environment. Some of these chemicals inadvertently interfere
with hormone function in animals and, in somecases, humans. The public health implications of these so-called
endocrine disruptors have been the subject of scientific debate, media
interest and policy attention over the past several years. The current
scientific debate centres on whether there is evidence of significant
risks to the general human population.1
The health care community should
be familiar with this issue because it is increasingly a subject of the
popular press and is a topic of concern to patients, who may present with questions. But health policy decisions are currently
being made with little input from the medical and public health community. In this
article we review the history of environmental endocrine disruption, the
mechanisms of action of endocrine disruptors and the current evidence of effects on
reproduction, infant development and neurobehavioural function. Finally, we discuss
health policy activities worldwide that are relevant to endocrine-disrupting
chemicals in the environment.
Table 1: Examples of
2: Trends in human health effects potentially related to endocrine
Council. Hormonally active agents in the environment.
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