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Environ Health Perspect. Feb 1998; 106(Suppl 1): 11–56.
PMCID: PMC1533291
Research Article

Environmental endocrine disruption: an effects assessment and analysis.

Abstract

This report is an overview of the current state of the science relative to environmental endocrine disruption in humans, laboratory testing, and wildlife species. Background information is presented on the field of endocrinology, the nature of hormones, and potential sites for endocrine disruption, with specific examples of chemicals affecting these sites. An attempt is made to present objectively the issue of endocrine disruption, consider working hypotheses, offer opposing viewpoints, analyze the available information, and provide a reasonable assessment of the problem. Emphasis is placed on disruption of central nervous system--pituitary integration of hormonal and sexual behavioral activity, female and male reproductive system development and function, and thyroid function. In addition, the potential role of environmental endocrine disruption in the induction of breast, testicular, and prostate cancers, as well as endometriosis, is evaluated. The interrelationship of the endocrine and immune system is documented. With respect to endocrine-related ecological effects, specific case examples from the peer-reviewed literature of marine invertebrates and representatives of the five classes of vertebrates are presented and discussed. The report identifies some data gaps in our understanding of the environmental endocrine disruption issue and recommends a few research needs. Finally, the report states the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Science Policy Council's interim position on endocrine disruption and lists some of the ongoing activities to deal with this matter.

Full text

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Selected References

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