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Crit Rev Toxicol. 1996 May;26(3):335-64.

Environmental estrogenic effects of alkylphenol ethoxylates.

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Department of Pharmacology and Environmental Toxicology Research Program/RIPS School of Pharmacy, University of Mississippi, University 38677, USA.


Alkylphenol ethoxylates (APEs) and related compounds recently have been reported to be estrogenic because it has been demonstrated in laboratory studies that they mimic the effects of estradiol both in vitro and in vivo. Chemicals referred to as "environmental estrogens" are suspected of causing health effects in both humans and wildlife through disruption of the endocrine system. In this review, the occurrence, environmental fate, and biological effects of APEs are presented. To provide understanding of the potential for endocrine disruption due to environmental estrogens, the physiology of estrogens in mammals and fish is also reviewed. The estrogenic potency of other environmental estrogens is compared to the potency of APE degradation products. The reproductive effects of estrogenic compounds are considered when evaluating the potential health effects of APEs. Given the reported environmental concentrations and bioconcentration factors of APE products, the potential for these compounds to produce estrogenic effects in the environment appears low. Although questions concerning the physiological effects of APEs and other environmental estrogens remain unanswered, there are indications that research is in progress that will lead to better understanding of the risks to humans and wildlife.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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