Objective: During recent years, evidence has accumulated that both wildlife species and humans are exposed to ubiquitous endocrine-disrupting chemicals. Some are persistent in our bodies; others are nonpersistent but are produced in large quantities. Hitherto, the bulk of research in this area has been carried out by basic and experimental scientists and wildlife researchers. Relatively few clinical scientists have been engaged in research on this topic to date. The aim of this statement is to have pediatric endocrinologists consider the issue of endocrine disrupters in their clinical work and research.
Participants: Six pediatric endocrinologists who belonged to working groups on endocrine disrupters endorsed by the European Society for Paediatric Endocrinology (ESPE) and the Pediatric Endocrine Society (PES) participated, including three members from each society. Meetings were limited to the members of the working groups. No funding was associated with the work.
Evidence: Important data sources were publications from the World Health Organization, the European Science Foundation, and The Endocrine Society. Several of the participants have made long-standing contributions to the field of endocrine disruption. No unpublished work was considered.
Consensus process: The statement was written by the committee members together, using e-mail and phone. A draft was submitted to the Boards of the ESPE and PES. After some changes, the draft was accepted by both Boards.
Conclusions: Pediatric endocrinologists are urged to be alert to the possible significance of endocrine-disrupting chemicals when assessing both clinical problems and research data where etiologies of endocrine symptoms or diseases are unknown.