Concern over endocrine disruptors raised a notch

A review article published recently by the peer-reviewed journal Endocrine Reviews is raising further concern about endocrine disrupting chemicals. One of the main findings reported in the article is that EDCs do not follow the traditional relationship between dose and response, “the dose makes the poison”, that is seen in many toxic chemicals. Instead, EDCs, which are chemicals which mimic natural hormones, are non-monotonic, which means that exposure to very small doses may cause a significant response in the body of mammals, including humans.

The paper lists non-monotonic dose-response curves not only from bisphenol A but also for atrazine, dioxins, hexachlorobenzene, methyl paraben, nicotine, nonylphenol, PCBs, perchlorate, sodium fluoride, tributyltin oxide and other substances some of which are commonly found in products or the environment at very low levels.

The authors:

  • encourage scientists and journal editors to publish data demonstrating NMDRCs and low-dose effects, even if the exact mechanism of action has not yet been elucidated.
  • further recommend greatly expanded and generalized safety testing and surveillance to detect potential adverse effects of this broad class of chemicals. Before new chemicals are developed, a wider range of doses, extending into the low-dose range, should be fully tested.

The full article and an abstract are available at http://edrv.endojournals.org/content/early/2012/03/14/er.2011-1050.abstract

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