Endocrine-Disrupting Chemicals: The Endocrine Society 2015 Scientific Statement

The Endocrine Society, Hormone Science to Health, 2015

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As stated in the full EDC-2 Scientific Statement, the past 5 years represent a leap forward in our understanding of EDC actions on endocrine health and disease. The scientific literature published during this period has provided much deeper insights into the underlying molecular and cellular mechanisms of action, the importance of critical developmental exposure periods, and stronger epidemiological studies in humans from around the world.

2015 Executive Summary Abstract

This Executive Summary to The Endocrine Society‘s second Scientific Statement on environmental endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) provides a synthesis of the key points of the complete statement. The full Scientific Statement represents a comprehensive review of the literature on seven topics for which there is strong mechanistic, experimental, animal, and epidemiological evidence for endocrine disruption, namely: obesity and diabetes, female reproduction, male reproduction, hormone-sensitive cancers in females, prostate cancer, thyroid, and neurodevelopment and neuroendocrine systems. EDCs such as bisphenol A, phthalates, pesticides, persistent organic pollutants such as polychlorinated biphenyls, polybrominated diethyl ethers, and dioxins were emphasized because these chemicals had the greatest depth and breadth of available information. The Statement also included thorough coverage of studies of developmental exposures to EDCs, especially in the fetus and infant, because these are critical life stages during which perturbations of hormones can increase the probability of a disease or dysfunction later in life. A conclusion of the Statement is that publications over the past 5 years have led to a much fuller understanding of the endocrine principles by which EDCs act, including nonmonotonic dose-responses, low-dose effects, and developmental vulnerability. These findings will prove useful to researchers, physicians, and other healthcare providers in translating the science of endocrine disruption to improved public health.

2015 EDC-2 Abstract

The Endocrine Society’s first Scientific Statement in 2009 provided a wake-up call to the scientific community about how environmental endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) affect health and disease. Five years later, a substantially larger body of literature has solidified our understanding of plausible mechanisms underlying EDC actions and how exposures in animals and humans—especially during development—may lay the foundations for disease later in life. At this point in history, we have much stronger knowledge about how EDCs alter gene-environment interactions via physiological, cellular, molecular, and epigenetic changes, thereby producing effects in exposed individuals as well as their descendants. Causal links between exposure and manifestation of disease are substantiated by experimental animal models and are consistent with correlative epidemiological data in humans. There are several caveats because differences in how experimental animal work is conducted can lead to difficulties in drawing broad conclusions, and we must continue to be cautious about inferring causality in humans. In this second Scientific Statement, we reviewed the literature on a subset of topics for which the translational evidence is strongest: 1) obesity and diabetes; 2) female reproduction; 3) male reproduction; 4) hormone-sensitive cancers in females; 5) prostate; 6) thyroid; and 7) neurodevelopment and neuroendocrine systems. Our inclusion criteria for studies were those conducted predominantly in the past 5 years deemed to be of high quality based on appropriate negative and positive control groups or populations, adequate sample size and experimental design, and mammalian animal studies with exposure levels in a range that was relevant to humans. We also focused on studies using the developmental origins of health and disease model. No report was excluded based on a positive or negative effect of the EDC exposure. The bulk of the results across the board strengthen the evidence for endocrine health-related actions of EDCs. Based on this much more complete understanding of the endocrine principles by which EDCs act, including nonmonotonic dose-responses, low-dose effects, and developmental vulnerability, these findings can be much better translated to human health. Armed with this information, researchers, physicians, and other healthcare providers can guide regulators and policymakers as they make responsible decisions.

Sources and more information
  • EDC-2: The Endocrine Society’s Second Scientific Statement on Endocrine-Disrupting Chemicals, DOI: 10.1210/er.2015-1010, November 06, 2015.
  • Executive Summary to EDC-2: The Endocrine Society’s Second Scientific Statement on Endocrine-Disrupting Chemicals, DOI: 10.1210/er.2015-1093, September 28, 2015.
  • Endocrine-Disrupting Chemicals: An Endocrine Society Scientific Statement, NCBI PMCID: PMC2726844, doi: 10.1210/er.2009-0002, June 2009.

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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