2012 Study Abstract
National Institutes of Health, PMCID: PMC3572204, doi: 10.1001/archpediatrics.2012.241, 2013 Jun 1.
Exposure to exogenous chemicals can impact endocrine function at multiple sites and through numerous specific modes of action, which may have far-reaching impacts on human health and development. Widespread human exposure to numerous known or suspected endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) has been documented in the US and worldwide, as have trends for increased rates of endocrine-related diseases and disorders among children. While human epidemiology studies of exposure to EDCs and children’s health remain extremely limited, there is a growing body of evidence showing that exposure to a number of chemicals commonly found in consumer goods, personal care products, food, drinking water, and other sources may adversely impact child development through altered endocrine function. This narrative review provides a brief introduction to several common EDCs (with a specific focus on persistent organic pollutants, phthalates, bisphenol A, and contemporary use pesticides, which only represents a small number of all known or suspected EDCs), an overview of the state of the human evidence for adverse impacts of EDCs on child development (fetal growth, early reproductive tract development, pubertal development, neurodevelopment, and obesity), guidance for health care providers based on current knowledge, and recommendations for future research.