Precaution Principle: regulating Diethylstilbestrol DES, Endocrine Disruptors, Environmental Health

by Nancy Langston, Professor of environmental studies and forestry

The Retreat from Precaution: Regulating Diethylstilbestrol (DES), Endocrine Disruptors, and Environmental Health
Discovering and regulating DES by Nancy Langston

– Abstract –
” Rates of intersexuality, reproductive cancers, and infertility appear to be increasing. Many researchers suspect that a key role is played by endocrine disruptors – the industrial pollutants that mimic hormones and disrupt the endocrine systems that shape sexual development.
Yet, for all the concern raised by a flood of experimental research showing endocrine disruption in animals and epidemiological studies suggesting effects on human reproduction, the U.S. government has essentially failed to regulate these chemicals, retreating from a precautionary principle that would require caution in the use of potentially toxic chemicals. Debates in the 1930s and 1940s over the regulation of diethylstilbestrol (DES), the first synthetic estrogen and the first chemical known to act as an endocrine disruptor, show how political pressures, scientific uncertainty, and changing conceptual models of gender and health led to this retreat from precaution “.

Sources © Copyright 2004 by Environmental History
The Retreat from Precaution: Regulating Diethylstilbestrol (DES), Endocrine Disruptors, and Environmental Health by Nancy Langston
Professor of environmental studies and forestry

From the same author:
Toxic Bodies: Hormone Disruptors and the Legacy of DES

More DES DiEthylStilbestrol Resources

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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