PFCs chemicals impact young men fertility, Endocrine Society reports

Endocrine Disruption of Androgenic Activity by Perfluoroalkyl Substances: Clinical and Experimental Evidence, 2019

Perfluoroalkyl compounds (PFCs) are a class of organic molecules that are used in many everyday products such as oil and water repellents, coatings for cookware, carpets, and textiles.

The crucial emerging role of PFCs as pollutants of water, soil, and air and their persistent level in males warrant for more investigation on the mechanisms of PFC toxicity in humans.

There is a new reason to be concerned about toxic chemicals used in nonstick pans, waterproof products, and firefighting foam: PFCs impair male reproductive health, according to a recent study, the intercept reports.

Abstract

Background
Considerable attention has been paid to perfluoroalkyl compounds (PFCs) because of their worldwide presence in humans, wildlife, and environment. A wide variety of toxicological effects is well supported in animals, including testicular toxicity and male infertility. For these reasons, the understanding of epidemiological associations and of the molecular mechanisms involved in the endocrine-disrupting properties of PFCs on human reproductive health is a major concern.

Objective
To investigate the relationship between PFC exposure and male reproductive health.

Design
This study was performed within a screening protocol to evaluate male reproductive health in high schools.

Patients
This is a cross-sectional study on 212 exposed males from the Veneto region, one of the four areas worldwide heavily polluted with PFCs, and 171 nonexposed controls.

Main Outcome Measures
Anthropometrics, seminal parameters, and sex hormones were measured in young males from exposed areas compared with age-matched controls. We also performed biochemical studies in established experimental models.

Results
We found that increased levels of PFCs in plasma and seminal fluid positively correlate with circulating testosterone (T) and with a reduction of semen quality, testicular volume, penile length, and anogenital distance. Experimental evidence points toward an antagonistic action of perfluorooctanoic acid on the binding of T to androgen receptor (AR) in a gene reporter assay, a competition assay on an AR-coated surface plasmon resonance chip, and an AR nuclear translocation assay.

Discussion
This study documents that PFCs have a substantial impact on human health as they interfere with hormonal pathways, potentially leading to male infertility.

Up to half of childhood cancer survivors will develop hormone disorders

Endocrine Society’s Clinical Practice Guideline offers treatment recommendations

Washington, DC – The Endocrine Society issued a Clinical Practice Guideline titled “Hypothalamic-Pituitary and Growth Disorders in Survivors of Childhood Cancer: An Endocrine Society Clinical Practice Guideline,”advising healthcare providers on how to diagnose and treat the endocrine disorders that affect a significant portion of childhood cancer survivors in the United States today.

Recent data shows that almost 50 percent of these survivors will develop an endocrine disorder over their lifetime. The guideline provides recommendations on how to diagnose and manage certain endocrine and growth disorders commonly found in childhood cancer survivors.

Childhood cancer is relatively rare, and due to improvements in treatment and patient care, the current five-year survival rates exceed 80 percent. It’s estimated that by 2020, there will be half a million childhood cancer survivors in the United States. These survivors face a greater risk of developing serious medical complications, even decades after cancer treatment ends. Endocrine disorders are especially prevalent among this population, often as a result of their previous treatments, particularly exposure to radiation therapy.

“Childhood cancer survivors have a high risk of developing endocrine disorders,”

said Charles A. Sklar, M.D., of the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York, N.Y. Sklar chaired the writing committee that developed the guideline.

“Our new guideline addresses the growing risk of endocrine disorders among childhood cancer survivors and suggests best practices for managing pituitary and growth disorders commonly found in this population. The guideline stresses the importance of life-long screening of these survivors for earlier detection and optimal patient care.”

Recommendations from the guideline include long-term screening of childhood cancer survivors who underwent radiation therapy to the brain. This population should be screened for growth disorders, pituitary hormone deficiencies, and early puberty. If a condition is diagnosed, in most instances, clinicians should treat these survivors with the same approaches as other patients who develop endocrine conditions.

EU’s criteria for regulating EDCs do not go far enough

Endocrine Society calls for revising strategy to protect public health

Washington, DCThe Endocrine Society expressed continued concerns today that the European Union’s (EU’s) criteria for regulating endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) in pesticides and biocides do not go far enough to protect public health.

An EDC is a chemical that mimics, blocks or interferes with the body’s hormones. EDCs contribute to serious health problems such as diabetes, obesity, neurodevelopmental disorders and reproductive problems.

The criteria for biocides take effect today and will be implemented according to a guidance document issued by the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) and the European Food Safety Agency (EFSA). The Society’s scientific experts remain concerned that the final criteria require an excessively high level of proof that a chemical is an endocrine disruptor, and that the guidance document creates further unnecessary barriers to regulating harmful EDCs.

The Endocrine Society asserts that the finding of an adverse effect that involves hormones or endocrine systems should be sufficient to identify an EDC. A detailed study of action and mechanisms should not be required.

In addition, the guidance has a limited scope. It looks at only four endocrine pathways, and fails to address other pathways that affect important functions such as metabolism, body weight and insulin action.

EDC regulations should be designed to protect the most vulnerable populations–including fetuses, children and adolescents–from irreversible effects. EDCs are found in a number of products, including food contact materials, manufacturing chemicals, children’s toys, cosmetics and personal care products. Those potential sources of exposure need to be addressed beyond the EU’s biocides and pesticide laws.

In its position statement, the Society called for the EU to revise its 1999 strategy on EDCs to account for new scientific information developed in recent years and with the aim of minimizing exposure to hazardous EDCs throughout the environment and in consumer products.

Additional research also is needed to improve understanding of EDCs. New studies could explain how EDC exposures affect people during various life stages, including adolescence. More research also could shed light on how EDC exposure contributes to reproductive health issues, such as declining sperm counts.

Chemicals in lavender and tea tree oil appear to be hormone disruptors

More evidence essential oils ‘make male breasts develop’

Chicago, IL – A new study lends further evidence to a suspected link between abnormal breast growth in young boys—called prepubertal gynecomastia—and regular exposure to lavender or tea tree oil, by finding that key chemicals in these common plant-derived oils act as endocrine-disrupting chemicals. The study results was at ENDO 2018, the Endocrine Society’s 100th annual meeting in Chicago.

Lavender and tea tree oil are among the so-called essential oils that have become popular in the United States as alternatives for medical treatment, personal hygiene and cleaning products, and aromatherapy. Various consumer products contain lavender and tea tree oil, including some soaps, lotions, shampoos, hair-styling products, cologne and laundry detergents.

“Our society deems essential oils as safe,” “However, they possess a diverse amount of chemicals and should be used with caution because some of these chemicals are potential endocrine disruptors.”

said study lead investigator J. Tyler Ramsey, a postbaccalaureate research fellow at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), part of the National Institutes of Health.

An endocrine-disrupting chemical is a chemical in the environment that interferes with hormones and their actions in the body.

Lavender oil and tea tree oil pose potential environmental health concerns and should be investigated further

Male gynecomastia occurring before puberty is relatively rare, but a growing amount of cases have been reported to coincide with topical exposure to lavender and tea tree oil, and the condition went away after the boys stopped using the oil-containing products, Ramsey said. Researchers at the NIEHS, including Kenneth Korach, Ph.D., a co-investigator for the new study, previously found laboratory evidence that lavender and tea tree oil have estrogenic (estrogen-like) properties and anti-androgenic (testosterone inhibiting-like) activities, meaning they compete or hinder the hormones that control male characteristics, which could affect puberty and growth.

Under Korach’s direction, Ramsey and his NIEHS colleagues went a step further. From the hundreds of chemicals that comprise lavender and tea tree oil, they selected for analysis eight components that are common and mandated for inclusion in the oils. Four of the tested chemicals appear in both oils: eucalyptol, 4-terpineol, dipentene/limonene and alpha-terpineol. The others were in either oil: linalyl acetate, linalool, alpha-terpinene and gamma-terpinene. Using in vitro, or test tube, experiments, the researchers applied these chemicals to human cancer cells to measure changes of estrogen receptor- and androgen receptor-target genes and transcriptional activity.

All eight chemicals demonstrated varying estrogenic and/or anti-androgenic properties, with some showing high or little to no activity, the investigators reported. Ramsey said these changes were consistent with endogenous, or bodily, hormonal conditions that stimulate gynecomastia in prepubescent boys.

Of further concern, according to Ramsey, is that many of the chemicals they tested appear in at least 65 other essential oils. Essential oils are available without a prescription and are not regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Thus, the public should be aware of these findings and consider all evidence before deciding to use essential oils. The NIEHS Division of Intramural Research funded this study through its support of Korach.

Phthalate prenatal exposure can affect mens’ fertility and reproductive capacity of several generations

Prenatal exposure to consumer product chemical may affect male fertility in future generations

Chicago, IL – Chemicals found in a variety of routinely used consumer products may be contributing to the substantial drop in sperm counts and sperm quality among men in recent decades, a new study in mice suggests.

The study found the effect of chemicals that disrupt the body’s hormones, called endocrine-disrupting chemicals, may extend beyond more than one generation. The research results was presented Monday, March 19, at ENDO 2018, the 100th annual meeting of the Endocrine Society, in Chicago, Ill.

“Sperm counts among men have dropped substantially over the last few decades, but the reason for such an alarming phenomenon is not known. These results suggest that when a mother is exposed to an endocrine disruptor during pregnancy, her son and the son’s future generations may suffer from decreased fertility or hormone insufficiency,”

said lead author Radwa Barakat, B.V.S.C., M.Sc., of the College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, Ill.

The researchers studied the effect of di-(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP), which is among the most widely used endocrine-disrupting chemicals. It is found in a wide array of industrial and consumer products, including polyvinyl chloride (PVC) piping and tubing, cosmetics, medical devices and plastic toys. The study found that male mice exposed to DEHP prenatally had significantly less testosterone in their blood and fewer sperm in their semen. Consequently, they lost fertility at an age when they normally would have been fertile.

“Most surprisingly, the male mice born to male mice that were exposed to DEHP also exhibited similar reproductive abnormalities—indicating prenatal exposure to DEHP can affect the fertility and reproductive capacity of more than one generation of offspring,” “Therefore, DEHP may be a contributing factor to the decreased sperm counts and qualities in modern men compared to previous generations.”

Barakat said.

Barakat and colleagues gave pregnant mice one of four doses of DEHP, or a type of corn oil, from 11 days after they conceived until birth.

Adult males born to these mice were bred with unexposed female mice, to produce a second generation of mice. Young adult males from this second generation were bred with unexposed females to produce a third generation. When each generation of mice was 15 months old, the researchers measured sex hormone levels, sperm concentrations and sperm motility, or movement (a potential sign of infertility).

In second-generation males, only those descended from mice in the highest DEHP exposure group had abnormal reproductive results—lower testosterone concentration, sperms levels and sperm motility. Third-generation males descended from DEHP-exposed mice also exhibited reproductive abnormalities at age 15 months, even those descended from mice that received a lower dose of the chemical. The researchers were surprised to find that the lowest DEHP dose group exhibited the greatest abnormalities.

“This study underscores the importance of educating public to try their best effort to reduce their exposure to this chemical and also the need to substitute this chemical with a safer one,”

Barakat said.

The Endocrine Society calls for improved guidance to identify endocrine-disrupting chemicals

Changes needed to ensure implementation of EU EDC criteria will protect public health

WASHINGTONThe Endocrine Society called for European regulators to ensure that endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) can be identified using practical, achievable scientific standards in detailed comments on a draft guidance document for implementing criteria for the identification of EDCs.

An EDC is a chemical or mixture of chemicals that can cause adverse health effects by interfering with hormones in the body. There are more than 85,000 manufactured chemicals, of which thousands may be EDCs. Endocrine-disrupting chemicals are found in everyday products and throughout the environment.

The European Commission requested that the European Food Safety Agency (EFSA) and European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) develop the guidance for implementing new criteria for regulating EDCs. While the two agencies offered a thoughtful and practical approach to regulation of EDCs, the Society’s experts noted several concerns in the draft guidance that need to be addressed to ensure EDCs posing a risk to public health can be identified.

The Endocrine Society encourages the authors of the guidance to ensure that regulatory agencies can identify chemicals that interfere with hormone action and define them as EDCs based on a realistic standard of scientific information, minimizing the potential for mischaracterization of harmful chemicals. The Society also asked for more clarify on situations where agencies may not have sufficient information to evaluate a chemical.

The Society called for broadening the scope of the guidance to incorporate all potential toxicity effects that are relevant to endocrine disruption. The current draft focuses on tests and endpoints for EDCs that mimic, block, or interfere with estrogen, androgen, and thyroid hormones and the body’s production of steroids. However, chemicals can disrupt other endocrine pathways that depend on proper hormone function, such as metabolism. Disrupting these pathways can lead to adverse consequences such as weight gain and insulin resistance.

The Society encouraged regulatory agencies to review and update the guidance in the future as necessary to incorporate the latest scientific evidence on EDCs. The Society also highlighted problems in the thyroid section of the guidance recommending that regulators strengthen this section to ensure that this important and complex pathway is properly assessed.

Society experts will continue to provide input to the European Commission, EFSA and ECHA as they revise the guidance and European Union regulations. Science based regulations on EDCs are crucial to ensure a high level of health and environmental protection and protect the public from the harms due to EDC exposure.

EU criteria used to identify EDCs must be transparent and secure a high level of protection

The Endocrine Society urges EU Parliament to be transparent around EDC criteria

Washington, DC – Earlier this week, Member States of the European Union voted in favor of draft criteria to define endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs). The Endocrine Society is extremely concerned that the criteria will fail to identify EDCs that are currently causing human harm and will not secure a high level of health and environmental protection.

The world’s largest organization of endocrinologists is therefore urging the European Parliament to improve transparency surrounding the process for implementing the criteria and to engage endocrine scientists in further decision-making steps.

An EDC is a chemical or mixture of chemicals that can cause adverse health effects by interfering with hormones in the body. There are more than 85,000 manufactured chemicals, of which thousands may be EDCs. EDCs are found in everyday products and throughout the environment.

The criteria on EDCs cannot be called science-based as it contains arbitrary exemptions for chemicals specifically designed to disrupt target insect endocrine systems that have similarities in humans and wildlife. Earlier, the Endocrine Society, the European Society for Endocrinology, and the European Society for Paediatric Endocrinology released a statement strongly objecting to the addition of loopholes in the criteria as they create frameworks where potentially dangerous chemicals cannot be defined as EDCs by law.

The three societies urge Member States to work towards improved criteria for the identification of EDCs by incorporating the following recommendations:

  1. Removing the exemption for biocides and pesticides designed to act on endocrine systems;
  2. Adhering to a science-based definition of EDCs that include categories for known EDCs and chemicals for which more information is needed to make a determination; and
  3. Maintaining a hazard-based identification system without derogations based on risk.

The European Parliament will vote on the criteria in the coming months, and we encourage the Parliament to gather input from endocrine scientists and professional endocrine associations during their deliberations. Further details regarding the implementation of the criteria still need to be worked out, and we call for transparency on how the contributions from endocrine scientists will be given due consideration in the process by EFSA, ECHA, and the European Commission.

Image credit Sarah-Jane.

An Investigation
  1. The Manufacture of a Lie.
  2. A Denial of the State of the Science.
  3. The Interference of the United States.
  4. The Discreet but Major Gift to the Pesticides Lobby.
Endocrine Disruptors

About The Personal Care Products Safety Act

Bill would help protect consumers from chemicals that disrupt hormones

Endocrine Society applauds new push to regulate chemicals in personal care products

Washington, DCThe Endocrine Society praised the reintroduction of a Senate bill to ensure consumers are protected from hazards associated with exposure to chemicals in personal care products such as cosmetics and lotions.

The Personal Care Products Safety Act, co-sponsored by U.S. Sens. Dianne Feinstein and Susan Collins, would set a rigorous safety standard for personal care products and provide the public with more information about the chemicals in the products they are purchasing. This is an area of concern for the Society and its 18,000 members, including researchers studying how endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) disrupt the body’s hormones.

An EDC is a chemical or mixture of chemicals that can cause adverse health effects by interfering with hormones in the body. There are more than 85,000 manufactured chemicals, of which thousands may be EDCs. EDCs are found in everyday products and throughout the environment.
The evidence is more definitive than ever before that EDCs disrupt hormones in a manner that harms human health. EDC-related health outcomes include male reproductive disorders, premature death, obesity and diabetes, neurological impacts, breast cancer, endometriosis, female reproductive disorders, immune disorders, liver cancer, osteoporosis, Parkinson’s disease, prostate cancer and thyroid disorders.

The Personal Care Products Safety Act calls for some chemicals found in shampoo, deodorant, cosmetics and other personal care products to be reviewed for safety for the first time. The Society applauded the bill’s inclusion of propyl paraben, a potential EDC linked to reproductive disorders, as one of the first five chemicals slated for review.
By providing the necessary authority and fees for the FDA to properly regulate personal care products, the Society believes that this legislation will effectively and efficiently ensure a safer marketplace for personal care products and reduce harms from exposure to EDCs and other toxic chemicals.

Sources and Press Releases

  • Endocrine Society applauds new push to regulate chemicals in personal care products, TheEndoSociety, May 15, 2017.
  • Senators Seek Enhanced Safety Looks at Cosmetic Ingredients, promomarketing, May 15, 2017.
  • Personal Care Products Safety Act Would Improve Cosmetics Safety, ewg.
Endocrine Disruptors

Prenatal BPA exposure alters our natural ability to control appetite

Mouse study sheds light on how endocrine-disrupting chemical increases obesity risk

Washington, DC – An expectant mother’s exposure to the endocrine-disrupting chemical bisphenol A (BPA) can raise her offspring’s risk of obesity by reducing sensitivity to a hormone responsible for controlling appetite, according to a mouse study published in the Endocrine Society’s journal Endocrinology.

BPA is a chemical found in a variety of food containers, including polycarbonate plastic water bottles and can linings. BPA can interfere with the endocrine system by mimicking estrogen, one of the main sex hormones found in women. Research indicates BPA exposure is nearly universal. More than 90 percent of people tested in population studies had detectable levels of BPA and compounds produced when it is metabolized by the body in their urine.

As of 2014, nearly 100 epidemiological studies had been published tying BPA to various health problems, according to the Society and IPEN’s Introduction to Endocrine-Disrupting Chemicals.

Prenatal bisphenol A exposure weakens body’s fullness cues, The Endocrine Society News Room, February 07, 2017.

Image credit Owen and Aki.

The new study – Perinatal Exposure to Bisphenol-A (BPA) Delays the Postnatal Leptin Surge in Male and Female CD-1 Mice – found mice born to mothers exposed to BPA were less responsive to the hormone leptin, which is sometimes called the satiety hormone. Leptin helps inhibit the appetite by reducing hunger pangs when the body does not need energy. The hormone sends signals to the hypothalamus region of the brain to suppress the appetite.

“Our findings show that bisphenol A can promote obesity in mice by altering the hypothalamic circuits in the brain that regulate feeding behavior and energy balance.
Low level prenatal exposure to BPA delays a surge of leptin after birth that allows mice to develop the proper response to the hormone. BPA exposure permanently alters the neurobiology in the affected mice, making them prone to obesity as adults.”

said the study’s senior author, Alfonso Abizaid, Ph.D., of the Department of Neuroscience at Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada.

To examine how BPA can encourage the development of obesity, the researchers fed pregnant mice BPA in their food. The mice were exposed to doses of BPA that are lower than levels deemed safe by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and Health Canada. Once the mice gave birth, the researchers gave their offspring injections of leptin at various intervals and then examined their brain tissue and analyzed their blood to gauge the response to the hormone.

Other pregnant mice were not exposed to any chemicals or were exposed to an estrogen chemical called diethylstilbestrol (DES), so their young could be compared to those born to mice that were exposed to BPA. All the mice were fed a control diet to eliminate differences in food intake.

Newborn mice typically exhibit a surge of leptin when they are eight days old that programs the hypothalamus circuits to respond to fullness cues. The study found that animals exposed to BPA experienced this surge two days late, and mice exposed to DES never had a surge of leptin. When they were treated with leptin over the course of two days, control animals that weren’t exposed to either chemical lost more weight than BPA- or DES-exposed mice.

In addition, researchers found that mice exposed to BPA before birth had reduced fiber density and brain activity in the hypothalamus circuits involved in regulating energy expenditure.

“This study improves our understanding of how BPA can disrupt the endocrine system in a manner that raises the risk of obesity in animals.
Since BPA has also been linked to obesity in humans, people need to be aware that environmental factors can lead to increased susceptibility to obesity and cardio-metabolic disorders.”

Abizaid said.

MORE INFORMATION

All Advertised and Grocery Store Products are Safe

EDCs Myth vs. Fact, The Hormone Health Network Infographic

Endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) are a serious risk in modern society. These chemical compounds can interfere with the way the body’s hormones work, and they are associated with an array of health issues. Worse, they are almost everywhere: in consumer products such as pesticides, plastics, food storage materials, personal care products, clothing and more, and they also are used in electronics and agriculture.

Unfortunately, a number of myths about EDCs being safe have been perpetuated because of a lack of understanding about the realities of these chemicals and their effects on the body.

Some people claim EDCs represent no risk at all, and that all of the warnings about them are scare tactics and exaggerated. Others present myths as facts just so product sales will not be hurt. To take or maintain control of your hormone health, you must understand EDC facts so you can make wise decisions regarding your health.

Sources

Endocrine Disruptors