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Environ Sci Technol. 2005 Jun 15;39(12):4321-32.

Lessons from endocrine disruption and their application to other issues concerning trace organics in the aquatic environment.

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Institute for the Environment, Brunel University, Uxbridge, Middlesex UB8 3PH, UK.


In the past 10 years, many thousands of research papers covering the many different aspects of endocrine disruption in the environment have been published. What has been learned from all this research? We have tried to reduce this very large volume of research into a relatively small number of "lessons". Hence, this paper is not a typical review, but instead it summarizes our personal opinions on what we consider are the major messages to have come from all this research. We realize that what has been a lesson to us may have been obvious from the outset to someone more knowledgeable on that particular aspect of the burgeoning field of endocrine disruption. In addition, it is inevitable that others will consider that we have "missed" some lessons that they would have expected to find included in our list. If so, we encourage them to submit them as responses to our paper. Our own lessons range widely, from the design and interpretation of data from fieldwork studies, through some key messages to come out of the very many laboratory studies that have been conducted, to issues around the sources and fates in the environment of endocrine-disrupting chemicals, and finally to the key role of sewage treatment in controlling the concentrations of these chemicals in the aquatic environment. Having (hopefully) learned our lessons, we have then applied them to the difficult issue of how best to approach future concerns about the potential impacts of other new and emerging contaminants (e.g., pharmaceuticals) on wildlife.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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