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Nat Rev Endocrinol. 2010 Jul;6(7):363-70. doi: 10.1038/nrendo.2010.87. Epub 2010 May 25.

Environmental causes of cancer: endocrine disruptors as carcinogens.

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  • 1Department of Anatomy and Cellular Biology, Tufts University School of Medicine, 136 Harrison Avenue, Boston, MA 02111, USA.

Abstract

Environmental endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs), including pesticides and industrial chemicals, have been and are released into the environment producing deleterious effects on wildlife and humans. The effects observed in animal models after exposure during organogenesis correlate positively with an increased incidence of malformations of the male genital tract and of neoplasms and with the decreased sperm quality observed in European and US populations. Exposure to EDCs generates additional effects, such as alterations in male and female reproduction and changes in neuroendocrinology, behavior, metabolism and obesity, prostate cancer and thyroid and cardiovascular endocrinology. This Review highlights the carcinogenic properties of EDCs, with a special focus on bisphenol A. However, humans and wildlife are exposed to a mixture of EDCs that act contextually. To explain this mindboggling complexity will require the design of novel experimental approaches that integrate the effects of different doses of structurally different chemicals that act at different ages on different target tissues. The key to this complex problem lies in the adoption of mathematical modeling and computer simulations afforded by system biology approaches. Regardless, the data already amassed highlight the need for a public policy to reduce exposure to EDCs.

PMID:
20498677
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC3933258
Free PMC Article
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