US environmental group publishes endocrine disruptor list

The Environmental Working Group is a high profile US non-governmental organization that uses science to support its claims but sometimes presents information in a manner that some more mainstream scientists consider distorting to the level of risk. That is GallonDaily’s caveat atop this report of a list of ‘Dirty Dozen’ endocrine disruptors that the group has just published. Despite the caveat, the list is likely to gain traction in environmental and consumer protection circles because of the shortage of other information about endocrine disruptors, those substances which mimic mammalian hormones and potentially cause such effects as birth defects, cancers, learning disabilities, and feminization of males. There is a great deal of research about endocrine disruptors going on but, beyond bisphenol A, relatively little dissemination of information about which substances may have these effects.

EWG and the Keep A Breast Foundation, a US-based international advocacy group, have stepped into the information breach with a ‘Dirty Dozen’ endocrine disruptor list. Few of the substances on this list are new to the charge of endocrine disruption but disseminating such a list may serve to increase public awareness of the endocrine disruption issue. The list is:

  • bisphenol A – used to manufacture some plastics and food can linings but now banned in Canada from baby bottles and baby food containers
  • dioxin – an unwanted byproduct from combustion of chlorinated materials and some plastics
  • atrazine – a pesticide
  • phthalates – used to provide enhanced flexibility in some plastics
  • perchlorate – a component of rocket fuel
  • fire retardants
  • lead
  • arsenic
  • mercury
  • perfluorinated substances – used in manufacture of non-stick surfaces
  • organophosphate pesticides
  • glycol ethers – used as solvents in paint, cleaning products, etc.

More information from EWG at

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