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C R Biol. 2017 Sep - Oct;340(9-10):403-405. doi: 10.1016/j.crvi.2017.07.004.

What is an endocrine disruptor?

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Laboratoire de pharmacochimie, UMR 176, CNRS, Institut Curie (IC), Section Recherche, 26, rue d'Ulm, 75248 Paris cedex 05, France. Electronic address:


Endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) and potential EDCs are mostly man-made found in various materials. By interfering with the body's endocrine system, endocrine disruptors produce adverse developmental, reproductive, neurological, and immune effects in humans, abnormal growth patterns and neurodevelopmental delays in children. Thus, diethylstilbestrol (DES) a non-steroidal estrogen, which is regarded as a proof of concept, induces clear cell carcinoma among young women. EDCS may be found in plastic bottles and metal food cans (BPA), medical devices (phthalates), detergents, flame retardants (polybrominated diphenyl ethers), food (BPA), toys (phthalates), cosmetics and drugs (parabens), and pesticides (alkyl phenols such as nonylphenol). The deleterious effects of endocrine disruptors constitute a real public health issue. However concerning the mechanisms of action of EDCs, many questions remain unanswered and need further investigations.


Bisphenol A or BPA; Clear cell carcinoma; Diethylstilbestrol; Endocrine disrupting chemicals; Parabens; Phthalates; Polybrominated diphenyl ethers

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