The Endocrine Society has issued a Scientific Statement linking endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) to obesity and diabetes as a follow-up to its 2009 report on risks posed to human health from EDCs including bisphenol A (BPA). The Scientific Statement also reviews evidence on EDCs and reproductive health problems, hormone-related cancers such as breast and ovarian cancer, prostate conditions, thyroid disorders and neurodevelopmental issues.

Since the publication of the initial report, research has contributed to a greater understanding of the role of EDCs on endocrine health and disease, particularly regarding the increased risk of diabetes and obesity associated with EDC exposure. There is also increasing evidence that EDCs may increase the risk of infertility, hormone-related cancers, neurological issues, and other disorders by mimicking, blocking, or otherwise interfering with the body’s natural hormones.

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The Statement also calls for the following actions:

  • Additional research to more directly infer cause-and-effect relationships between EDC exposure and health conditions. Regulation to ensure that chemicals are tested for endocrine activity, including at low doses, prior to being permitted for use.
  • Calls for “green chemists” and other industrial partners to create products that test for and eliminate potential EDCs.
  • Education for the public and policymakers on ways to keep EDCs out of food, water and the air, as well as ways to protect unborn children from exposure.
  • Recognition of EDCs as an international problem.

“The evidence is more definitive than ever before – EDCs disrupt hormones in a manner that harms human health,” said Andrea C. Gore, Professor and Vacek Chair of Pharmacology at the University of Texas at Austin and chair of the task force that developed the statement. “It is clear we need to take action to minimize further exposure. With more chemicals being introduced into the marketplace all the time, better safety testing is needed to identify new EDCs and ensure they are kept out of household goods.”

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