Hermaphroditic, demasculinized frogs after exposure to the herbicide atrazine at low ecologically relevant doses
Scientists are continuing to sound the alarm about some common chemicals, including the herbicide atrazine, and link them to changes in reproductive health and development. Endocrine disrupting toxic chemicals have been found to feminize male frogs and cause homosexual behavior. Ashley Ahearn reports on how these substances may be affecting human development and behavior.
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Sources and more information
Hormone Disruptors linked to Genital Changes and Sexual Preference, loe Air Date: Week of January 7, 2011, and DES Daughter, SoundCloud 09 June 2015.
Depuis le 2 avril 2014, Ségolène Royal est ministre de l’Écologie, du Développement durable et de l’Énergie du gouvernement Valls. La Ministre a remis au Parlement en juin 2014 un rapport relatif aux perturbateurs endocriniens et a engagé le gouvernement dans une stratégie nationale qui vise notamment à réduire l’exposition de la population aux perturbateurs endocriniens et en faire un axe essentiel de la recherche en santé environnementale.
Les perturbateurs endocriniens, qu’est-ce que c’est?
Les effets des perturbateurs endocriniens sur la santé : l’exemple des pesticides en Gironde.
EDCs side effects reviewed by The Endocrine Society
2009 Study Abstract
There is growing interest in the possible health threat posed by endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs), which are substances in our environment, food, and consumer products that interfere with hormone biosynthesis, metabolism, or action resulting in a deviation from normal homeostatic control or reproduction.
In this first Scientific Statement of The Endocrine Society, we present the evidence that endocrine disruptors have effects on male and female reproduction, breast development and cancer, prostate cancer, neuroendocrinology, thyroid, metabolism and obesity, and cardiovascular endocrinology.
Results from animal models, human clinical observations, and epidemiological studies converge to implicate EDCs as a significant concern to public health. The mechanisms of EDCs involve divergent pathways including (but not limited to) estrogenic, antiandrogenic, thyroid, peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ, retinoid, and actions through other nuclear receptors; steroidogenic enzymes; neurotransmitter receptors and systems; and many other pathways that are highly conserved in wildlife and humans, and which can be modeled in laboratory in vitro and in vivo models. Furthermore, EDCs represent a broad class of molecules such as organochlorinated pesticides and industrial chemicals, plastics and plasticizers, fuels, and many other chemicals that are present in the environment or are in widespread use.
We make a number of recommendations to increase understanding of effects of EDCs, including enhancing increased basic and clinical research, invoking the precautionary principle, and advocating involvement of individual and scientific society stakeholders in communicating and implementing changes in public policy and awareness.
General Introduction to Endocrine Disruption
Important issues in endocrine disruption
The role of endocrinologists in discerning effects of EDCs
Overview of Endocrine Disruption and Reproductive Health from a Clinical Perspective
Clinical aspects of endocrine disruption in humans
Clinical dimorphism of EDCs on male and female reproduction
Experimental and clinical evidence of EDCs and potential mechanisms
Clinical and Translational Impacts of EDCs on Female Reproduction
Introduction to female reproductive development and function
Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS)
Premature ovarian failure, decreased ovarian reserve, aneuploidy, and granulosa steroidogenesis
Reproductive tract anomalies
Endocrine Disruptors, Mammary Gland Development, and Breast Cancer
Windows of vulnerability to carcinogenic agents and “natural” risk factors
Theories of carcinogenesis
Susceptibility of the breast during puberty and adulthood
Susceptibility of the mammary gland during the perinatal period
Perinatal exposure to environmentally relevant levels of endocrine disruptors
Male Reproductive and Developmental Health: The Human Evidence
Introduction to male reproductive health
Male reproductive function and development
Semen quality: temporal trends and EDC exposure
Male urogenital tract malformations
Testicular germ cell cancer
Introduction to prostate cancer
Evidence and mechanisms for EDC effects on the prostate
Neuroendocrine Targets of EDCs
Endocrine disruption of reproductive neuroendocrine systems
Hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) effects of EDCs
Thyroid, metabolism, and growth
Hormonal targets of neuroendocrine disruption
Introduction to thyroid systems
Environmental chemicals impacting thyroid function
Environmental chemicals impacting thyroid hormone transport, metabolism, and clearance
Environmental chemicals impacting the thyroid hormone receptor
Environmental Chemicals, Obesity, and Metabolism
Introduction to EDCs and the obesity epidemic
Environmental estrogens and obesity
Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor (PPAR) γ and organotins
Endocrine disruptors, diabetes, and glucose homeostasis
Endocrine disruptors and cardiovascular systems
Estrogenic EDCs and cardioprotection
Advanced glycation end-products (AGEs)
Recommendations for the Future
Linking basic research to clinical practice
Endocrine disruption and the public
Prevention and the “precautionary principle”
Specific recommendations for future research
Read the full paper: Endocrine-Disrupting Chemicals: An Endocrine Society Scientific Statement, NCBI PMCID: PMC2726844, Evanthia Diamanti-Kandarakis, Jean-Pierre Bourguignon, Linda C. Giudice, Russ Hauser, Gail S. Prins, Ana M. Soto, R. Thomas Zoeller, and Andrea C. Gore, doi: 10.1210/er.2009-0002, Endocr Rev. 2009 Jun; 30(4): 293–342.
1985 study: the DES women showed increased bisexuality and homosexuality
1985 Study Abstract
Thirty women aged 17 to 30 years with documented prenatal exposure to the nonsteroidal synthetic estrogen diethylstilbestrol (DES) were compared to thirty women of similar demographic characteristics from the same medical clinic who had a history of abnormal Pap smear findings. A subsample of the DES women were also compared to their DES-unexposed sisters. Sexual orientation in its multiple components was assessed by systematic semistructured interviews. In comparison to both control groups, the DES women showed increased bisexuality and homosexuality. However, about 75% of the DES women were exclusively or nearly exclusively heterosexual. Nonhormonal and hormonal interpretations of these findings are discussed.
Sexual orientation after prenatal exposure to exogenous estrogen,Ehrhardt AA, Meyer-Bahlburg HF, Rosen LR, Feldman JF, Veridiano NP, Zimmerman I, McEwen BS., Arch Sex Behav. 1985 Feb;14(1):57-77. NCBI PMID: 3977584.
Amazon is in a race against Google to store data on human DNA
Amazon.com Inc is in a race against Google Inc to store data on human DNA, seeking both bragging rights in helping scientists make new medical discoveries and market share in a business that may be worth $1 billion a year by 2018.
More info and videos
Read Amazon, Google race to get your DNA into the cloud, Reuters, Jun 5, 2015.
Significant association’ between low birth weights and how close pregnant women live to unconventional gas drilling
2015 Study Abstract
Unconventional gas drilling (UGD) has enabled extraordinarily rapid growth in the extraction of natural gas. Despite frequently expressed public concern, human health studies have not kept pace. We investigated the association of proximity to UGD in the Marcellus Shale formation and perinatal outcomes in a retrospective cohort study of 15,451 live births in Southwest Pennsylvania from 2007–2010. Mothers were categorized into exposure quartiles based on inverse distance weighted (IDW) well count; least exposed mothers (first quartile) had an IDW well count less than 0.87 wells per mile, while the most exposed (fourth quartile) had 6.00 wells or greater per mile. Multivariate linear (birth weight) or logistical (small for gestational age (SGA) and prematurity) regression analyses, accounting for differences in maternal and child risk factors, were performed. There was no significant association of proximity and density of UGD with prematurity. Comparison of the most to least exposed, however, revealed lower birth weight (3323 ± 558 vs 3344 ± 544 g) and a higher incidence of SGA (6.5 vs 4.8%, respectively; odds ratio: 1.34; 95% confidence interval: 1.10–1.63). While the clinical significance of the differences in birth weight among the exposure groups is unclear, the present findings further emphasize the need for larger studies, in regio-specific fashion, with more precise characterization of exposure over an extended period of time to evaluate the potential public health significance of UGD.
Sources and more information
Low birth weights associated with proximity to fracking sites, medicalnewstoday, 5 June 2015.
Perinatal Outcomes and Unconventional Natural Gas Operations in Southwest Pennsylvania, PLOS one, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0126425, June 3, 2015.