State of the Science of Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals – 2012

Effects of human exposure to hormone-disrupting chemicals examined in landmark UN report

State of the science of endocrine disrupting chemicals - 2012
An assessment of the state of the science of endocrine disruptors prepared by a group of experts for the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and WHO.

19 FEBRUARY 2013 News Release
Many synthetic chemicals, untested for their disrupting effects on the hormone system, could have significant health implications according to the State of the Science of Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals, a new report by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and WHO.

The joint study calls for more research to understand fully the associations between endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs)—found in many household and industrial products—and specific diseases and disorders. The report notes that with more comprehensive assessments and better testing methods, potential disease risks could be reduced, with substantial savings to public health.

Some substances can alter the hormonal system

Human health depends on a well-functioning endocrine system to regulate the release of certain hormones that are essential for functions such as metabolism, growth and development, sleep and mood. Some substances known as endocrine disruptors can alter the function(s) of this hormonal system increasing the risk of adverse health effects. Some EDCs occur naturally, while synthetic varieties can be found in pesticides, electronics, personal care products and cosmetics. They can also be found as additives or contaminants in food.

The UN study, which is the most comprehensive report on EDCs to date, highlights some associations between exposure to EDCs and health problems including the potential for such chemicals to contribute to the development of non-descended testes in young males, breast cancer in women, prostate cancer in men, developmental effects on the nervous system in children, attention deficit /hyperactivity in children and thyroid cancer.

Human exposure can occur in a number of ways

EDCs can enter the environment mainly through industrial and urban discharges, agricultural run-off and the burning and release of waste. Human exposure can occur via the ingestion of food, dust and water, inhalation of gases and particles in the air, and skin contact.

“Chemical products are increasingly part of modern life and support many national economies, but the unsound management of chemicals challenges the achievement of key development goals, and sustainable development for all,” said UN Under Secretary-General and UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner.

“Investing in new testing methods and research can enhance understanding of the costs of exposure to EDCs, and assist in reducing risks, maximizing benefits and spotlighting more intelligent options and alternatives that reflect a transition to a green economy,” added Mr Steiner.

More research is needed

In addition to chemical exposure, other environmental and non-genetic factors such as age and nutrition could be among the reasons for any observed increases in disease and disorders. But pinpointing exact causes and effects is extremely difficult due to wide gaps in knowledge.

“We urgently need more research to obtain a fuller picture of the health and environment impacts of endocrine disruptors,” said Dr Maria Neira, WHO’s Director for Public Health and Environment. “The latest science shows that communities across the globe are being exposed to EDCs, and their associated risks. WHO will work with partners to establish research priorities to investigate links to EDCs and human health impacts in order to mitigate the risks. We all have a responsibility to protect future generations.”

The report also raises similar concerns on the impact of EDCs on wildlife. In Alaska in the United States, exposure to such chemicals may contribute to reproductive defects, infertility and antler malformation in some deer populations. Population declines in species of otters and sea lions may also be partially due to their exposure to diverse mixtures of PCBs, the insecticide DDT, other persistent organic pollutants, and metals such as mercury. Meanwhile, bans and restrictions on the use of EDCs have been associated with the recovery of wildlife populations and a reduction in health problems.


The study makes a number of recommendations to improve global knowledge of these chemicals, reduce potential disease risks, and cut related costs. These include:

  • Testing: known EDCs are only the ‘tip of the iceberg’ and more comprehensive testing methods are required to identify other possible endocrine disruptors, their sources, and routes of exposure.
  • Research: more scientific evidence is needed to identify the effects of mixtures of EDCs on humans and wildlife (mainly from industrial by-products) to which humans and wildlife are increasingly exposed.
  • Reporting: many sources of EDCs are not known because of insufficient reporting and information on chemicals in products, materials and goods.
  • Collaboration: more data sharing between scientists and between countries can fill gaps in data, primarily in developing countries and emerging economies.

Research has made great strides in the last ten years showing endocrine disruption to be far more extensive and complicated than realized a decade ago,” said Professor Åke Bergman of Stockholm University and Chief Editor of the report. “As science continues to advance, it is time for both management of endocrine disrupting chemicals and further research on exposure and effects of these chemicals in wildlife and humans.”

Sources and more information

Epilepsy: MHRA Drug Safety Update vol7

Topiramate, Valproate Special reminder on risk of neurodevelopmental delay in children following maternal use—not for use in pregnancy

AntiEpileptic Drugs

New advice on switching between different manufacturers’ products for a particular drug

Drug Safety Update vol7,monthly newsletter by the MHRA
Medicines safety updates from the MHRA, listing medicines information and safety alerts

Different antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) vary considerably in their characteristics, which influences the risk of whether switching between different manufacturers’ products of a particular drug may cause adverse effects or loss of seizure control. AEDs have been divided into three risk-based categories to help healthcare professionals decide whether it is necessary to maintain continuity of supply of a specific manufacturer’s product. Read more via the PDF link below.

Sodium Valproate

Special reminder on risk of neurodevelopmental delay in children following maternal use—not for use in pregnancy

There is new evidence on neurodevelopmental delay in children following maternal use of sodium valproate. A European review is underway to evaluate all currently available evidence on the association between fetal valproate exposure and neurodevelopmental delay or autism spectrum disorder. Healthcare professionals are reminded that sodium valproate should not be used during pregnancy and in women of childbearing potential unless clearly necessary. Read more via the PDF link below.

Full PDF; read and download the MHRA monthly newsletter
Drug Safety Update November 2013 (Volume 7, Issue 4)

For Related Posts, see our Tags:
AEDs – Epilepsy – Drugs – Pregnancy – Topiramate – Valproate

The FDA sued over Withholding of Information about Ractopamine Growth Drug used in Meat Industry

Ractopamine: The Meat Additive on Your Plate That’s Banned Almost Everywhere But America

Ractopamine: The Meat Additive on Your Plate That's Banned Almost Everywhere But America
Food safety advocates sue FDA over withholding of information about ractopamine growth drug used in meat industry

Ractopamine –  marketed as Paylean for pigs, Optaflexx for cattle and Topmax for turkeys – is used in 80 percent of US pig and cattle operations. The asthma drug-like growth additive, called a beta-agonist, has enjoyed stealth use in the US food supply for a decade despite being widely banned overseas.

This month, the Center for Food Safety  (CFS) and Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF) have  sued the FDA for withholding records pertaining to ractopamine’s safety.

Read Ractopamine: The Meat Additive on Your Plate That’s Banned Almost Everywhere But America
by Martha Rosenberg, 30 Oct 2013

Related posts:

Womb Cancer early Detection and Treatment Response Predictor using easily accessible Body Fluids

Role of DNA Methylation and Epigenetic Silencing of HAND2 in Endometrial Cancer Development

Role of DNA Methylation and Epigenetic Silencing of HAND2 in Endometrial Cancer Development
PLOSmedicine, the leading weekly Open-Access medical journal

Using easily accessible body fluids to accurately identify individuals with early stage womb cancer has the potential to change the cancer landscape, a new study suggests.

By collecting swabs from the entrance to the womb – a similar technique to that used in cervical screening – genetic material can be easily analysed for pre-cancer/cancer without the need for an invasive womb biopsy. This technique could be used as a test, or to screen women for womb cancer, possibly saving lives via early detection.

Read Role of DNA Methylation and Epigenetic Silencing of HAND2 in Endometrial Cancer Development, PLOS Medicine, 12 Nov 2013.

2013 Study Abstract

Endometrial cancer incidence is continuing to rise in the wake of the current ageing and obesity epidemics. Much of the risk for endometrial cancer development is influenced by the environment and lifestyle. Accumulating evidence suggests that the epigenome serves as the interface between the genome and the environment and that hypermethylation of stem cell polycomb group target genes is an epigenetic hallmark of cancer. The objective of this study was to determine the functional role of epigenetic factors in endometrial cancer development.

Epigenome-wide methylation analysis of >27,000 CpG sites in endometrial cancer tissue samples (n = 64) and control samples (n = 23) revealed that HAND2 (a gene encoding a transcription factor expressed in the endometrial stroma) is one of the most commonly hypermethylated and silenced genes in endometrial cancer. A novel integrative epigenome-transcriptome-interactome analysis further revealed that HAND2 is the hub of the most highly ranked differential methylation hotspot in endometrial cancer. These findings were validated using candidate gene methylation analysis in multiple clinical sample sets of tissue samples from a total of 272 additional women. Increased HAND2 methylation was a feature of premalignant endometrial lesions and was seen to parallel a decrease in RNA and protein levels. Furthermore, women with high endometrial HAND2 methylation in their premalignant lesions were less likely to respond to progesterone treatment. HAND2 methylation analysis of endometrial secretions collected using high vaginal swabs taken from women with postmenopausal bleeding specifically identified those patients with early stage endometrial cancer with both high sensitivity and high specificity (receiver operating characteristics area under the curve = 0.91 for stage 1A and 0.97 for higher than stage 1A). Finally, mice harbouring a Hand2 knock-out specifically in their endometrium were shown to develop precancerous endometrial lesions with increasing age, and these lesions also demonstrated a lack of PTEN expression.

HAND2 methylation is a common and crucial molecular alteration in endometrial cancer that could potentially be employed as a biomarker for early detection of endometrial cancer and as a predictor of treatment response. The true clinical utility of HAND2 DNA methylation, however, requires further validation in prospective studies. Please see later in the article for the Editors’ Summary.

The FDA Conflicts of Interest

Dan Berger is Cartoonist behind Natural News

Mike Adams, the Health Ranger says:

Over the last decade or so, the FDA has quietly become an agent of organized scientific fraud designed to promote the profits of drug companies at the expense of public health. One of the ways this is accomplished is by rigging drug review panels with industry “experts” who maintain financial ties to pharmaceutical companies.

All FDA drug review panels have members with such ties, and the FDA insists it has no obligation to disclose the ties. In fact, virtually everyone in conventional medicine insists they are all immune to influence from pharmaceutical companies, even as they act in a manner consistent with extreme influence… ” Continue reading: Conflicts of Interest

Conflicts of Interest at the FDA
Dan Berger is Cartoonist behind Natural News

All our posts about FDA – Prescriptions DrugsPharmaceutical Industry.

Watch the Diaporama, and the DES art photo set on flickr®  DES Diethylstilbestrol's photostream on Flickr

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Email your photos to with a short description and title :-)

Interview 2013 de Stephane Horel sur les Perturbateurs Endocriniens, Objets de tous les Lobbies

Stéphane Horel est journaliste indépendante spécialisée dans les conflits d’intérêts et les questions d’influence dans le domaine de la santé

Les perturbateurs endocriniens, objets de tous les lobbies
Stéphane Horel est journaliste indépendante et documentariste

Il n’est pas si courant de pouvoir observer en temps réel les manœuvres de lobbying de l’industrie pour influencer l’élaboration d’une politique publique périlleuse pour ses intérêts. La publication, par la Commission européenne, de la définition et des critères concernant les perturbateurs endocriniens (PE) est un cas d’école, car elle aura des conséquences économiques d’importance dans les domaines de la chimie, des pesticides, des biocides, mais aussi des cosmétiques ou de l’eau. La DG Environnement, qui devait se prononcer en décembre prochain, envisage maintenant de lancer une procédure d’évaluation d’impact (économique), qui repoussera de 6 à 8 mois la prise de définition. Il s’agissait d’une des revendications de l’industrie. ”

Lisez Les perturbateurs endocriniens, objets de tous les lobbies,
de Marine Jobert, avec l’interview de Stéphane Horel,
journaliste et documentariste spécialisée sur les conflits d’intérêts
Le journal de l’environnement, 23 septembre 2013

What is recurrent pregnancy loss (RPL)?

2016: ASRM has updated their fact sheet to include DES as a cause of recurrent pregnancy loss

Recurrent Pregnancy Loss PATIENT’S FACT SHEET
ASRM is a non-profit organization devoted to advancing knowledge and expertise in reproductive medicine including infertility, menopause, and sexuality

Recurrent pregnancy loss is a disease distinct from infertility, defined by two or more failed pregnancies. When the cause is unknown, each pregnancy loss merits careful review to determine whether specific evaluation may be appropriate. After three or more losses, a thorough evaluation is warranted. Although approximately 25% of all recognized pregnancies result in miscarriage, less than 5% of women will experience two consecutive miscarriages, and only 1% experience three or more. Couples who experience recurrent pregnancy loss may benefit from a medical evaluation and psychological support.

The American Society for Reproductive Medicine includes:

  • Genetic/Chromosomal Causes
  • Age
  • Hormonal Abnormalities
  • Metabolic Abnormalities
  • Uterine Abnormalities
  • Antiphospholipid Syndrome
  • Thrombophilias
  • Male factor
  • Unexplained

No explanation is found in 50% to 75% of couples with recurrent pregnancy losses. Here’s an explanation: the chance of miscarriages increases if a women has been exposed to DES, synthetic estrogens, BPA, Endocrine Disruptors…  ! ! !

A problem with the shape of a woman’s uterus might be a cause for pregnancy loss. Causes for abnormal shape of the uterus can be genetic or exposure before birth to medications such as diethylstilbestrol (DES).

The American Society for Reproductive Medicine, Revised 2016.
Full Patient Fact Sheet: What is recurrent pregnancy loss (RPL)?

Related posts

DES Daughters

DES daughters have a higher risk of recurrent miscarriages.
If you know or think you may have been exposed to DES it’s important to inform your doctor and gynaecologist.

More DES DiEthylStilbestrol Resources

Making sense of Drug Safety Science

Investigating the Science of Side Effects

Making Sense of Drug Safety Science
A charity that equips people to make sense of science and evidence

Experiencing side effects is unpleasant, and not understanding them is frustrating. While it’s impossible to have a drug with no side effects, this guide explains why they happen and what can be done about them.

The Making Sense of Drug Safety Science  new guide form was developed in collaboration with the MRC Centre for Drug Safety Science at the University of Liverpool , Sense About Science, 13 Nov 2013

La FNATH, partenaire de Réseau DES France

Ecoutez Arnaud DE BROCA, Secrétaire Général de la FNATH

La FNATH est une association à but non lucratif, indépendante de tous les pouvoirs. Association des accidentés de la vie, la FNATH a été créée en 1921 pour défendre les droits des victimes d’accidents au travail. Elle est aujourd’hui l’association de défense de tous les accidentés de la vie, des malades, invalides et handicapés.

  • Vidéo par Réseau DES FRANCE DISTILBENE, 05 Nov 2013.
    • Qu’est-ce que la FNATH?
    • Quels sont ses rapports avec Réseau D.E.S. France?
    • Pourquoi faire appel à eux plutôt qu’à un avocat?
    • Quelles sont les buts de cette étude?
    • Quels sont les rapports concrets de ce partenariat?
    • Rapport d’activité FNATH 2012
Le Distilbène DES, en savoir plus

DES Daughter: The Joyce Bichler Story

A True Story of Tragedy and Triumph

The Joyce Bichler Story, a True Story of Tragedy and Triumph
Read about first DES trial 35 years ago

The Joyce Bichler Story is a gripping memoir by a DES-victim daughter that interweaves her experiences of having treatment for vaginal cancer with the experiences of suing a drug company for exposing her to DES.

Joyce Bichler was the first DES daughter to sue and the first to win her law suit.

She tells of her testimony, of the court case and of the jury’s verdict.

Read book reviews on Amazon and GoodReads.

More DES DiEthylStilbestrol Resources