ch 9_

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University of Toronto Scarborough
Environmental Science
Jovan Stefanovic

Chapter 9: Endocrine Disruption - Tens of thousands of synthetic chemicals have been synthesized and released into our environment for the past 50 years - These chemicals can interfere with hormone function - There is debate whether there are evidence of significant health risks to human population from exposure to these chemicals - There is research for the past few years demonstrating how chemicals in environment can interfere with endocrine function o For adults, there is the ability to recover o In the fetus though, even minor changes in hormone levels can lead to lifelong effects - Endocrine disruption is gaining public attention and many public policy decisions today involve chemicals known or suspected to interfere with hormone function. Historical Background - Endocrine disruption is not a new phenomenon o Eg. 1930 test on animals demonstrated estrogenic properties of a number of industrial chemicals (eg. Bisphenol A used in many plastics) o Eg. 1950s studied feminizing effect of DDT in roosters - In 1971, a synthetic estrogen diethylstilbestrol (DES) was used for pregnant women o Linked to epidemic of vaginal clear cell carcinoma to young pregnant women in
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