Endocrine Disruptors

Authored by: Vera Lucia S.S. de Castro

Managing Global Resources and Universal Processes

Print publication date:  July  2020
Online publication date:  July  2020

Print ISBN: 9781138342637
eBook ISBN: 9780429346132
Adobe ISBN:

10.1201/9780429346132-3

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Abstract

Many pollutants are known to adversely affect development and physiology by interfering with normal endocrine functions. Among them, numerous pesticides are described as able to change the endocrine system, since the differentiation and development of the reproductive system are dependent of the action of hormones. Endocrine-disrupter chemicals (EDCs) are substances in the environment, food, and consumer products that interfere with hormone biosynthesis, metabolism, or action, resulting in a deviation from normal homeostatic control or reproduction. Exposure to an EDC may have different consequences for an adult compared with a developing fetus or infant. The developing organism interaction with these chemicals may lead to the development of a disease or dysfunction later in life. Results from animal models and epidemiological studies converge to implicate them as a significant concern to public health since their mechanisms involve different pathways that are present in wildlife and humans. Furthermore, effects of different classes of EDCs may be additive or even synergistic, but there are limited data on the interactions between them. An increased understanding of the potential human and environmental health risks of exposure to single and mixtures of EDCs as well as the efficient removal process of EDCs from water are important but remain understudied. This entry presents an overview of the environmental EDC contamination and its possible effects on different organisms. However, it is beyond the scope of this entry to describe all the possible disruption events of the endocrine system.

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