Endocrine-Disrupting Chemicals Identification Protocols are inadequate

Endocrine-Disrupting Chemicals and Public Health Protection: A Statement of Principles from The Endocrine Society

Endocrinology: EDCs Endocrine-Disrupting Chemicals Identification Protocols are inadequate says The Endocrine SocietyDiethylstilbestrol DES is the first synthetic estrogen and the first chemical known to act as an endocrine disruptor.

In a Statement of Principles unveiled today, The Endocrine Society proposes a streamlined definition for endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) and offers recommendations that will strengthen the ability of current screening programs to identify EDCs.

Read Experts Say Protocols for Identifying Endocrine-Disrupting Chemicals Inadequate.


An endocrine-disrupting chemical (EDC) is an exogenous chemical, or mixture of chemicals, that can interfere with any aspect of hormone action. The potential for deleterious effects of EDC must be considered relative to the regulation of hormone synthesis, secretion, and actions and the variability in regulation of these events across the life cycle. The developmental age at which EDC exposures occur is a critical consideration in understanding their effects. Because endocrine systems exhibit tissue-, cell-, and receptor-specific actions during the life cycle, EDC can produce complex, mosaic effects. This complexity causes difficulty when a static approach to toxicity through endocrine mechanisms driven by rigid guidelines is used to identify EDC and manage risk to human and wildlife populations. We propose that principles taken from fundamental endocrinology be employed to identify EDC and manage their risk to exposed populations. We emphasize the importance of developmental stage and, in particular, the realization that exposure to a presumptive “safe” dose of chemical may impact a life stage when there is normally no endogenous hormone exposure, thereby underscoring the potential for very low-dose EDC exposures to have potent and irreversible effects. Finally, with regard to the current program designed to detect putative EDC, namely, the Endocrine Disruptor Screening Program, we offer recommendations for strengthening this program through the incorporation of basic endocrine principles to promote further understanding of complex EDC effects, especially due to developmental exposures.

Read Endocrine-Disrupting Chemicals and Public Health Protection: A Statement of Principles from The Endocrine Society, Endocrinology. doi: 10.1210/en.2012-1422, 2012 Sep; 153(9): 4097–4110.

Author: DES Daughter

Activist, blogger and social media addict committed to shedding light on a global health scandal and dedicated to raise DES awareness.

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