Human Exposure to Endocrine Disrupting Compounds: Their Role in Reproductive Systems, Metabolic Syndrome and Breast Cancer. A Review

Environ Res. 2016 Nov;151:251-264. doi: 10.1016/j.envres.2016.07.011. Epub 2016 Aug 7.

Abstract

Endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) are released into the environment from different sources. They are mainly used in packaging industries, pesticides and food constituents. Clinical evidence, experimental models, and epidemiological studies suggest that EDCs have major risks for humans by targeting different organs and systems in the body (e.g. reproductive system, breast tissue, adipose tissue, pancreas, etc.). Due to the ubiquity of human exposure to these compounds the aim of this review is to describe the most recent data on the effects induced by phthalates, bisphenol A and parabens in a critical window of exposure: in utero, during pregnancy, infants, and children. The interactions and mechanisms of toxicity of EDCs in relation to human general health problems, especially those broadening the term of endocrine disruption to 'metabolic disruption', should be deeply investigated. These include endocrine disturbances, with particular reference to reproductive problems and breast, testicular and ovarian cancers, and metabolic diseases such as obesity or diabetes.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Breast Neoplasms / chemically induced*
  • Endocrine Disruptors / toxicity*
  • Environmental Exposure / adverse effects*
  • Humans
  • Metabolic Diseases / chemically induced*
  • Reproductive Health*

Substances

  • Endocrine Disruptors