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Maturitas. 2010 Jul;66(3):236-41. doi: 10.1016/j.maturitas.2010.03.001. Epub 2010 Mar 29.

Exposure to environmental endocrine disrupting compounds and men's health.

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Department of Environmental Health Sciences, University of Michigan School of Public Health, Ann Arbor, MI 48109, USA.


Human exposure to environmental endocrine disrupting compounds (EDCs) have received increased attention in recent years due to the documentation of widespread exposure to a number of EDCs among the general population, experimental data demonstrating endocrine-related effects on reproduction, development, metabolism, and cancer, and observations for increasing trends (as well as geographic trends) in endocrine-related disorders among populations. However, human studies of exposure to most environmental EDCs in relation to adverse health outcomes remain limited. This review focuses on the human data generated to date on the relationship between exposures to environmental EDCs and men's health. The agents discussed here, which include polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), pesticides, phthalates, bisphenol A (BPA), and polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), were chosen based on their exposure prevalence and the presence of existing human data in studies of male reproductive health, altered reproductive and thyroid hormone levels, diabetes and/or metabolic syndrome, and endocrine-related cancers. Taken together, the epidemiologic data on the environmental EDCs suggest that there may be associations between exposure and adverse health outcomes in men. However, the limited human data, and in many instances inconsistent data across studies, highlight the need for further research on these chemicals. Future longitudinal molecular epidemiology studies with appropriately designed exposure assessments are needed to determine potential causal relationships, to identify the most important time windows/life stages of exposure, and to define individual susceptibility factors for adverse effects on men's health in response to exposure.

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