Article

Exposure to Environmental Endocrine Disruptors and Child Development

Department of Environmental Health Sciences, University of Michigan School of Public Health, Ann Arbor, MI 48109, USA.
JAMA Pediatrics (Impact Factor: 5.73). 06/2012; 166(6):E1-7. DOI: 10.1001/archpediatrics.2012.241
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT

Exposure to exogenous chemicals can affect endocrine function at multiple sites and through numerous specific modes of action, which may have far-reaching effects on human health and development. Widespread human exposure to known or suspected endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) has been documented in the United States and worldwide, as have trends for increased rates of endocrine-related diseases and disorders among children. While human epidemiology studies of exposure to EDCs and children's health remain extremely limited, a growing body of evidence shows that exposure to a number of chemicals commonly found in consumer goods, personal care products, food, drinking water, and other sources may adversely affect child development through altered endocrine function. This narrative review provides a brief introduction to several common EDCs (with a specific focus on persistent organic pollutants, phthalates, bisphenol A, and contemporary-use pesticides, which represent only a small number of all known or suspected EDCs), an overview of the state of the human evidence for adverse effects of EDCs on child development (fetal growth, early reproductive tract development, pubertal development, neurodevelopment, and obesity), guidance for health care providers based on current knowledge, and recommendations for future research.

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    • "Alterations in thyroid and steroid hormone function and activation of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors might occur due to exposure to such endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) influencing the adipocyte differentiation a'nd energy storage (Tang-Péronard et al., 2011; Thayer et al., 2012). Additionally, the presence of such synthetic chemicals in humans has been associated with elevated triglycerides and cholesterol, impaired fasting glucose and diabetes (Meeker, 2012; Tang-Péronard et al., 2011), factors that are all related to the body's natural weight control mechanisms potentially leading to obesity. Exposure to EDCs, such as BPA and phthalates, has already been linked to obesity in animal studies (Miyawaki et al., 2007; R.R. Newbold et al., 2007). "
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    • "In some studies, birth weight and preterm birth are affected by phthalates and BPA and in others no association is seen (Meeker, 2012). While a pregnant woman is very likely to be exposed to an EDC, even though she may know that exposure might result in negative healthy outcomes, due to the uncertainty of the scientific findings, she may perceive that her child is unlikely to experience these negative outcomes. "
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    ABSTRACT: Endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) such as Bisphenol A (BPA) and phthalates are ubiquitous in our environment and a growing body of research indicates that EDCs may adversely affect human development. Fetal development is particularly susceptible to EDC exposure, and prenatal care providers are being asked to educate women about the risks of exposure. To inform prenatal education on EDCs, the authors examined how women perceive risks during pregnancy and translate that perception into behavior, using the Health Belief Model as a guiding framework. Because EDCs may not be discussed during prenatal care, examination of general risk perception and motivation for behaviors was used to inform surveys and interviews focused on EDCs. The results of this investigation suggest that education about EDCs needs to be detailed and comprehensive about potential health outcomes in order for women to conduct their own risk assessment.
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    • "With the exponential growth of the chemical industry the use of synthetic chemicals become massive and therefore humans are continuously exposed to such substances [1] particularly in the indoor environment, where people tend to spend the vast majority of their life time. Hence, daily human exposure to these harmful chemicals has become, in the last decades, one of the major concerns to the public as well as the scientific community. "
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