Format

Send to

Choose Destination
Environ Int. 2008 Feb;34(2):168-83. Epub 2007 Sep 18.

Endocrine disrupting pesticides: implications for risk assessment.

Author information

1
Centre for Environmental Policy, Imperial College London, South Kensington Campus, London, SW7 2AZ, United Kingdom.

Abstract

Endocrine disrupting (ED) chemicals are compounds that alter the normal functioning of the endocrine system, potentially causing disease or deformity in organisms and their offspring. Pesticides are used widely to kill unwanted organisms in crops, public areas, homes and gardens and medicinally to kill parasites. Many are proven or suspected to be EDs. Ancient physiological similarities between different vertebrate groups suggest that disorders observed in wildlife may indicate risks to humans. This makes accurate risk assessment and effective legislation difficult. In this paper, the hazardous properties of pesticides which are known to have ED properties are reviewed in order to assess the implications for risk assessment. As well as data on sources of exposure in the United Kingdom (UK) an assessment of the evidence on the health effects of ED pesticides is also included. In total, 127 have been identified from the literature and their effects and modes of action are listed in this paper. Using the UK as a case study, the types and quantities of pesticides used, and their methods of application are assessed, along with their potential pathways to humans. In the UK reliable data are available only for agricultural use, so non-agricultural routes of pesticide exposure have been poorly quantified. The exposure of people resident in or visiting rural areas could also have been grossly under-estimated. Material links between ED pesticide use and specific illnesses or deformities are complicated by the multifactorial nature of disease, which can be affected by factors such as diet. Despite these difficulties, a large body of evidence has accumulated linking specific conditions to ED pesticides in wildlife and humans. A more precautionary approach to the use of ED pesticides, especially for non-essential purposes is proposed.

PMID:
17881056
DOI:
10.1016/j.envint.2007.07.013
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center