Endocrine Society releases statement on Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals

The Endocrine Society has released a statement on Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals (EDCs):

An endocrine-disrupting compound was defined by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as “an exogenous agent that interferes with synthesis, secretion, transport, metabolism, binding action, or elimination of natural blood-borne hormones that are present in the body and are responsible for homeostasis, reproduction, and developmental process.”

Our understanding of the mechanisms by which endocrine disruptors exert their effect has grown. Endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) were originally thought to exert actions primarily through nuclear hormone receptors, including estrogen receptors (ERs), androgen receptors (ARs), progesterone receptors, thyroid receptors (TRs), and retinoid receptors, among others. Today, basic scientific research shows that the mechanisms are much broader than originally recognized. …

4. Nontraditional dose-response dynamics

There are several properties of EDCs that have caused controversy. First, even infinitesimally low levels of exposure— indeed, any level of exposure at all—may cause endocrine or reproductive abnormalities, particularly if exposure occurs during a critical developmental window. Surprisingly, low doses may even exert more potent effects than higher doses. Second, EDCs may exert nontraditional dose-response curves, such as inverted-U or U-shaped curves. Both of these concepts have been known for hormone and neurotransmitter actions, but only in the past decade have they begun to be appreciated for EDCs. …

Areas in the human body affected by EDCs (Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals).