EDCs: The Risk of Exposure at Low Doses Is Underestimated

Endocrine disruptors are more harmful to health around the world than previously thought, according to a report prepared jointly by the Endocrine Society and the International Pollutants Elimination Network (IPEN) and published at the end of February. Studies indicate that such substances pose a health risk even at low doses. That’s why the limits that currently apply to EDCs do not reflect the state of scientific studies, the authors state.

Studies Offer New Insights

In fact, studies suggest that EDCs contribute significantly to diseases such as diabetes, inflammation, and reproductive and neurological disorders and can weaken the immune system. The report is based on studies of the following substances and substance classes, all of which are ubiquitous in the environment:

  • Glyphosate
  • Bisphenols and phthalates
  • Arsenic and inorganic lead
  • Per- and polyfluorinated alkyl substances (PFAS)
  • Brominated flame retardants

Phthalates have been observed to impede neurodevelopment, which manifests itself in impaired learning ability, attention disorders, and impulsive behavior. Arsenic promotes metabolic, cardiovascular, and neurocognitive diseases and has been shown to inhibit reproductive functions. PFAS are thought to interfere with the mode of action of estrogen, testosterone, and thyroid hormones.

Animal Testing Required

According to the lead author of the report, Andrea Gore, Professor of Neuroendocrinology at the University of Texas at Austin, animal testing is essential to understand the complex mechanisms of action. Ultimately, the endocrine system must be considered in the context of the body and the only way to do this is through animal studies.

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